Eggplant and Zucchini Cake

1 medium eggplant
2 zucchini
salt and pepper
2 pounds fresh ripe tomatoes
1 onion
1 garlic clove
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 handful of torn fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons plain white unbleached flour
4 eggs
3 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese + extra to sprinkle on top
12 ounces mozzarella cheese

Thinly slice the eggplant and slice the zucchini lengthwise. Sprinkle with salt, place in a colander, cover and weight down. Leave for 30 minutes. Put the tomatoes in a bowl, cover with boiling water for about 40 seconds, then plunge into cold water. Using a sharp knife, peel off the skins.

Finely chop the onion. Crush the garlic. In a large saucepan, heat two tablespoons of olive oil, add the garlic and cook until colored, then add the onion and cook gently until softened. Add the tomatoes and sugar, bring to the boil, then simmer for 40 minutes, uncovered to allow the sauce to reduce. Season with salt and pepper and add a few basil leaves. The sauce should be thick and concentrated.

Rinse the eggplant and zucchini and pat dry. Dip the vegetables in flour and set aside.

Whisk the eggs in a bowl and add the parmesan cheese. In a frying pan heat the oil. Dip the eggplants and zucchini in the egg mixture and fry until golden on both sides. Drain on absorbent kitchen paper and set aside. Preheat the oven to 375F. Slice the mozzarella cheese.

Assemble the dish by layering the ingredients in a 8 inch spring-release cake tin. Place a third of the eggplants in the bottom, add half the zucchini and a third of the cheese, tomato sauce and basil leaves. Then add a layer of eggplants, cheese, tomato sauce, basil leaves, remaining zucchini, cheese, tomato sauce, basil leaves and finally eggplants. Sprinkle over parmesan cheese and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

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