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How to Eat Like a Local in Puglia with Villa Plus

Imagine…’ve arrived at your gorgeous villa in Puglia, the sun is shining, you’ve stopped off at a local market heaving with fabulously ripe, fresh local produce and you want to eat like a local.  We’ve teamed up with Villa Plus to help you do just that.

Villa Plus pride themselves on providing well-equipped villas in great locations with private pools at affordable prices. Basically, they specialise in better villa holidays and they’re gong the extra mile by collaborating with us to share some recipes to cook using local produce when you’re on holiday in Puglia.  Take advantage of those food markets and Eat Like a Local.

This is a lovely, easy supper that can be prepared ahead and warmed through on the day. The delicious juices are fabulous for dunking ciabatta or similar crusty bread into and served with a green salad. It turns a hearty, simple meal into something impressive.

Aubergine Parmigiana

Ingredients: Serves 4
Olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1kg fresh plum tomatoes, skinned and chopped
3 large aubergines
500g mozzarella cheese, ripped into pieces
100g flaked parmesan cheese
1 bunch fresh basil
Sea salt and black pepper to season

  1. Heat up the oil in a large frying pan and fry the onion and garlic over a medium heat for around 10 minutes until soft.
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes, season well with salt and black pepper, put a lid on and simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to gas 3/170c. Slice the aubergines to 1cm thick.
  4. Heat a frying pan or griddle, brush the aubergine slices with a little olive oil and fry the aubergines in batches until golden brown, drain on kitchen roll. If you pour the oil into the frying pan you will end up using loads of oil as the aubergines soak it up, this way you use less.
  5. In a deep casserole place a single layer of aubergines followed by tomato sauce, salt, pepper, basil leaves, mozzarella cheese and parmesan flakes, repeat so you end up with 2-3 layers.
  6. Cover with a lid and bake for 45-60 mins until the cheese is golden and melted on top and the tomato sauce is bubbling.
  7. Serve with crusty bread and green salad