Ben Tish is the Culinary Director at the Stafford Collection and he also brings a delicious Sicilian menu to London via Norma, the collection’s stand-alone restaurant on Charlotte Street. To recreate the taste of Sicily at home, give Ben’s thoroughly classic aubergine parmigiana recipe a go. Delizioso!

Serves 5

8 aubergines, ends trimmed
4 burrata (120gm each) drained
2 liters quality chopped tinned tomatoes
250g grated parmesan Reggiano
1 bunch fresh basil, leaves removed
250g dried breadcrumbs
Extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper


  • Place the tinned tomatoes in a saucepan, over medium heat, and slowly reduce them by half. Reserve.
  • Slice the aubergines lengthwise at about 2cm intervals
  • Heat a heavy base, large frying pan over medium heat, pour in some olive oil, and when hot gently fry the aubergines slices, in batches until they are all tender and golden brown. You will need to add extra oil as you go as the aubergines soak it up quite quickly. When the slices are fried, season well and drain them on kitchen towels to absorb the excess oil.
  • Heat an oven to 180˚C.
  • Rub the sides and base of an ovenproof dish (I use a terracotta one or a metal dish for a rustic look) with olive oil and then start by layering the bottom with aubergine slices, then a sprinkle of breadcrumbs and a few basils leaves followed by a ladle of tomato sauce, a burrata ripped into pieces and a handful of parmesan. Ensure everything is evenly spread and then continue to layer this way until you finish with a layer of aubergine. Transfer to the oven and cook for 40 minutes until the parmigiana is bubbling away and the top aubergines have begun to crisp.
  • Remove from the oven to rest for 20 minutes and then sprinkle with the remaining breadcrumbs and cheese and finish under a hot grill for 5 minutes before serving with the remaining basil leaves.