Polenta-Topped Eggplant Pie
This hearty dish celebrates seasonal eggplant and is perfect for a cooler autumn evening. The rich flavours of the eggplant filling are complemented with the creamy polenta topping scented with garlic, pesto and Parmigiano Reggiano.
Heat some olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and eggplant and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring regularly to make sure the eggplant doesn’t stick to the pan. This may need to be done in 2-3 batches, adding more oil as needed.
Add pasta sauce and water; turn the heat to low, cover pan with a lid and simmer for 10-15 minutes until sauce is thick and eggplant is tender. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, then transfer mixture to cover the base of an ovenproof dish (such as a lasagne-style dish).
Preheat oven to 180°C.
In the meantime, make the polenta. Bring water to a boil in a large pot, add garlic and two teaspoons of salt. Add the polenta in a thin stream while stirring with a whisk to make sure no lumps form.
Stir vigorously for 1 minute, then reduce heat to medium-low. Continue stirring for 5 minutes until the polenta is very thick and comes away from the sides of the pan. Remove pot from the heat and stir in butter, pesto and parmigiano.
Spread the polenta evenly over the top of the eggplant mixture. Bake for 15-20 minutes until bubbling hot and polenta is golden brown. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Recipe by Julie Le Clerc