Catherine says: "Eggs are so good for you and so filling too! This is a wonderful dish, packed with vegetables - it has 'taste of the Med' written all over it!"

Ingredients

  • 1 medium aubergine, roughly diced
  • 1 medium courgette, roughly chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 5 shallots, peeled and sliced in half
  • 5 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 tablespoons rapeseed oil
  • 60g ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • ½ teaspoon chopped rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 eggs
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Parmesan shavings, to garnish
  • Sprigs of thyme, to garnish

Method

Healthy Italian mains

This week, I’m still on the healthy meals path. Well-being is important, but do you sometimes find yourself at a bit of a loss for a healthy recipe? It’s great to have a range of nutritious alternatives to the old routine and I think that Italian-inspired cooking often ticks this box well. Although people think that Italian food is fattening – all that pasta, cheese and sausage – it really depends on what you choose. Typically, Italian meals are loaded with yummy roasted vegetables, healthy olive oil, oodles of fresh fish and plenty of lovely fruit, all of which easily create a balanced diet. Italian habits, such as eating fruit instead of dessert, taking time over meals, going for a walk after Sunday lunch, using fresh local and seasonal produce, and preparing meals from scratch, all contribute to the virtuous circle of the everyday Italian diet. For me, it makes perfect sense. Buon appetito!

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (fan 160°C, gas 4). Place the diced aubergine, courgette, yellow and red peppers, garlic, shallots and the sprigs of thyme into a medium gratin dish.
  2. Drizzle with a little oil and oven bake for about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the ricotta cheese, thyme, rosemary, Parmesan, parsley and paprika in a bowl, mix well and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Take the roasted vegetables from the oven and spread the ricotta-herb mix over the top of the vegetables.
  5. Make 4 slight indentations in the ricotta spread and break an egg into each indentation.
  6. Arrange the tomato halves in between and return to the oven to bake for about 12 to 15 minutes. This may take a little longer, depending on the size of the eggs.
  7. To serve, sprinkle over the Parmesan shavings and sprigs of thyme. Serve hot with a green salad.