1 small aubergine, fine diced
½ brown onion, fine diced
400g cooked puy lentils, or one tin of ready cooked brown lentils
600g tinned tomatoes
1 bay leaf
A pinch of dried fennel seed, oregano, chilli flakes and dried basil
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste
1 vegetable stock cube
Red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon or so white sugar
Salt and pepper
Basil leaves to garnish
Salted ricotta to garnish
Take a large pan and sweat the onion over a medium heat in some olive oil with some salt and pepper, the bay leaf and the dried herbs and spices. Once the onion has softened, add the aubergine and continute cooking until the aubergine starts to soften. Add more olive oil if needs be as the aubergine will soak up a lot of the oil.
Add the garlic, stirring it in to cook it out before adding in the tomato paste. Then add the tinned tomatoes, stock cube and about 400ml water. Stir well, bring to the boil then simmer for about half an hour.
Add the cooked lentils and cook for another five minutes to heat the lentils through. Add about a tablespoon of chopped parsley, some sugar and vinegar then check the seasoning.
When you are happy with the seasoning, transfer to bowls then top with grated Riccotta Salata (salted ricotta) and one or two basil leaves. Finish with a glug of good quality olive oil.