Aubergine & Buckwheat Parmigiana

Celebrating our partnership with Heart Research UK, enjoy chef Matt's heart healthy, plant-packed parmigiana recipe.

By Matt Williamson
90 minutes | serves: 4

The generous amount of whole garlic cooks down to become deliciously sweet and can be squeezed out of the skin. The barley soaks up all the juices and can be swapped for your favourite cooked grain or even small pasta shapes.


For the pancakes:

65g buckwheat flour (or use whole meal plain flour) 

60ml semi skimmed milk 

1 small egg 

Olive oil to grease  

For the tomato sauce:

1 tbsp olive oil  

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 

300g tomato passata 

½ tsp dried oregano 

Salt and pepper to taste 

1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed 

To assemble:

1 large aubergine, sliced ½ cm thick 

2 medium courgettes, sliced ½ cm thick  

70g ricotta 

20g grated parmesan  

1 tbsp breadcrumbs (optional) 

Small bunch oregano or parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped 

Salt and pepper to taste 

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan
  2. Whisk together the buckwheat flour, milk with 100ml water and the egg until well combined
  3. Preheat a non-stick frying over medium heat and lightly grease the surface with olive oil
  4. Pour 1/3 of the batter onto the frying for each pancake and swirl as thin as you can. Cook the pancake for about 1- 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Flip the pancake and cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until golden brown.
  5. Remove the cooked pancakes from the frying pan and keep on a plate. Repeat the process with the remaining batter to give 3 pancakes, greasing with more cooking olive oil as needed, then put to one side
  6. Toss the aubergine and courgette with a pinch of salt and 1 tbsp olive oil. Spread on a tray, or trays, in a single layer and bake for 20 minutes until tender.
  7. Meanwhile, cook the garlic and onion in the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil for 10 minutes until softened, then add the tomatoes, dried oregano, a pinch of salt and pepper.
  8. Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened, then stir in the chickpeas
  9. In a baking dish, spread a thin layer of about ¼ of the tomato sauce on the bottom. Layer a buckwheat pancake on top of the sauce and dot with 2 tbsp of the ricotta and add a sprinkle of chopped herbs.
  10. Add a layer of aubergine and courgette slices and spread a layer of 1/3 of the remaining tomato sauce over.
  11. Repeat until you have a final layer of tomato sauce which you top with the remaining ricotta, ½ the parmesan and the breadcrumbs if using.
  12. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and bubbling and it’s piping hot.
  13. Remove the dish from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before serving topped with a sprinkle or herbs and the remaining parmesan.