Parmesan Bread Crumbed Eggplant with Pasta

As I am on this cooking/baking venture, I thought of trying this recipe I came across in one of my many, extremely thick recipe books.

It is really delicious and easy to make and it’s prefect for vegetarians and meat lovers alike. 🙂

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, very finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, pasted (minced then mashed with salt) or grated
  • 1 can (800g) whole tomatoes
  • 1 can (400g) tomato sauce or purée
  • A handful of basil leaves, plus a few for garnish
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 small, firm eggplants (aubergines), cut lengthwise into 0,5cm (1/4 inch) slices
  • Flour, for coating
  • 2 large eggs, beaten with a splash of water
  • 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs (eyeball it)
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan) cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped (a handful)
  • Olive oil, for frying
  • 500g  fresh mozzarella balls, thinly sliced
  • 500g tagliatelle or fettuccine
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Preparation

Heat the olive oil in a sauce pot over medium heat; add the onion and cook for 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the tomatoes and sauce or puree, some basil, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, while breaking up the tomatoes.

Meanwhile, season the eggplant slices with salt and let them drain in a colander for 30 minutes. This releases the water from the eggplant.

Pre-heat the oven to 190˚C (375˚F).

Using three shallow dishes, coat the eggplant slices in flour, then beaten eggs, then the breadcrumbs mixed with 3/4 cup (3 handfuls) of Parm cheese and parsley.

Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the eggplant for 3-4 minutes on each side, then drain the slices on paper towels set over a cooling rack. Heat up more olive oil in the pan, if necessary, and repeat the frying process until all the eggplant is cooked.

Dot a casserole dish with some of the tomato sauce, then arrange the eggplant in an overlapping layer. Dot the eggplant with more sauce and top with the mozzarella. Repeat layering with eggplant, sauce and mozzarella.  Bake for 20 minutes, until bubbly.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Add salt and the pasta and cook to al dente, then drain the pasta and place it back in the pot. Toss the pasta with butter, a handful of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and the tomato sauce.

Serve the eggplant dish with the pasta alongside.

Bon Appetit!!

Be awesomely blessed!

Cláudia

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