This is a super tasty version of the Italian classic aubergine parmigiana (or eggplant parmigiana in the US) that is vegan, great for your digestion and banging with flavour!! It is similar to lasagna except thin slices of melt in your mouth aubergine are used in place of the pasta. This makes a great centrepiece dinner that is great for sharing or for a meal prep.
* Slice the aubergine and sweet potato lengthways into 1 cm thick slices. In 2 separate bowls toss them in 1 Tbsp of oil each, coating each slice sprinkle with ¼ tsp of salt in each bowl and coat evenly. Spread the slices in an even layer on 3 baking trays and roast for 20-25 minutes until the aubergine is very soft and charred slightly and the sweet potato is cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside. Lower the oven to 180 C.
For the tomato sauce;
* Finely chop the greens from the leek and rinse well to remove any sediment. Grate the carrot, and finely slice the chilli into small pieces. Finely chop the tomatoes and the cherry tomatoes in half.
* Put 1 teaspoon of oil in a large wide bottomed pan over high heat, once the pan heats up, add the leek, chilli and grated carrot and 1 tsp of the salt. Cook for 3 mins stirring regularly. Then add the red wine and cook for 1-2 minutes until it evaporates.
* Add the tamari and cook for a further minute.
* Next, add all the fresh tomatoes, stir well and cook for a further 3-4 minutes. Add the tin of chopped tomatoes and bring to the boil. Once it boils, reduce to a simmer and cook for a further 10-15 minutes. Taste and add more salt and ground black pepper to taste. Allow to cool slightly before layering your Parmigiana.
For the bechamel;
* In a non stick pot add the oil, once hot add the rice flour and whisk for 2 minutes stirring continuously until golden. Add the milk slowly to the flour and oil mixture (roux) whisking continuously. Add the seasoning and remaining ingredients for the bechamel. Bring it to the boil and reduce to a simmer for 6-8 minutes, whisking often. Once it has reached the desired degree of thickness, remove the Bay leaf from the sauce, remove from the heat, taste and season if needed.
Remove the basil leaves from the stalks. Spread ⅓ of the bechamel on the bottom of your casserole dish, next top with a full layer using all the baked sweet potatoes. Top this with all the tomato sauce, then a sprinkle a decent layer of fresh basil leaves, leaving some aside for garnish. Then layer on all the aubergines spreading out to cover the top well, then layer on the remaining bechamel and spread it out and finally sprinkle over the breadcrumbs.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until bubbling and the breadcrumbs are golden brown, garnish with some fresh basil leaves, serve and enjoy!