Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a pan. Soften
the garlic and the basil stalks for 1 min,
without letting the garlic colour. Add
both types of tomatoes, the honey,
most of the thyme leaves and plenty
of seasoning. Simmer for 5 mins – you
don’t want the sauce to reduce too
much at this stage.
Meanwhile, heat oven to 200C/180C
fan/gas 6. Cut 6 slits down into the flesh
of each aubergine crosswise, taking care
not to cut all the way through. Season
inside, then push a slice of the mozzarella
and a basil leaf into each gap.
Pour the tomato sauce into a large
baking dish and sit the aubergines in it
(or use 4 individual dishes). Drizzle with
the remaining oil. Cover with foil and
scrunch it tightly at the edges. Bake
for 50 mins-1 hr until soft.
Remove the foil. Mix the breadcrumbs
and Parmesan, and scatter over the
aubergines with the rest of the thyme.
Bake, uncovered, for another 15 mins
or until the aubergines are very tender
and the crumbs are golden and crisp.
(The best way to tell if they are ready
is to prod the largest aubergine in the
centre with a skewer.) Let the dish rest
for 5 mins, then scatter over the rest
of the basil leaves. Serve with crusty
bread, if you like.