Kepti Baklazanai with Beef Bolognese

Жареные баклажаны с говядиной Болоньез - Kepti Baklazanai with Beef Bolognese is a Russian dish of fried aubergine covered with a beef bolognese sauce, topped with cheese and herbs; not dissimliar to the Italian Parmigiana di Melanzane with which you might be more familiar.

Time to get nuclear with some Russian fusion ...

Slice some aubergine, lengthways or across the plant depending upon the shape you want. Feel free to salt the slices to remove the bitterness, patting off the liquid that is drawn out - many modern varieties do not require this.

Put the slices into a hot grill pan or frying pan. Aubergine will soak up oil, so I prefer to dry fry initially and then pat with a little extra virgin olive oil and continue the frying to add colour. Once fried, set aside.

Make up a beef sauce with minced beef fried and the excess fat removed. Soften a chopped onion, some minced garlic, add in a can of plum tomatoes and a good handful of parsley. Salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for a couple of hours to cook through.

In a hot over (say, 180C), cook the aubergines through for 5 minutes and place onto a plate - two to three per person is sufficient.

Spoon the beef sauce over and sprinkle some grated cheese over the top - cheddar is fine, or feta.

Finally, garnish with more parsley.

For an Italian style, use oregano in the beef sauce and parmesan cheese for the topping. Garnish with basil.