Crispy Eggplant Parmesan

 

The farmer’s market is starting to slow down in its production – but that’s not to say it’s over! Eggplant is plentiful and a great “meaty” vegetable to add to your meal. I will admit, my children did not approve of this meal, however, my husband was raving about it so I thought it worthy of a blog post. The key to eggplant is to keep it from getting mushy.  I stray from the norm of baked eggplant and fry it instead. Try it out- let me know what you think!

 

Crispy Eggplant Parmesan
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Ingredients
  1. 1 eggplant (2 if small), sliced into 1/2 inch thick rounds
  2. 2 eggs
  3. 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  4. 1 pound spaghetti noodles
  5. 2 cups tomato sauce
  6. 1/2 cup mozzarella (or more if you are a cheesehead like me)
  7. generous grating of fresh parmesan on each plate
  8. 1/2 cup canola oil or vegetable oil (any oil that can be heated to a high temperature)
  9. Serves 4
Recipe
  1. 1. Set up a station for breading the eggplant. Whisk the eggs and place in a shallow bowl or rimmed plate that will fit a slice of eggplant. Place breadcrumbs in separate, but similar bowl. You can use Italian spiced breadcrumbs, or add a dash of salt and pepper and a sprinkle of parmesan to doctor up plain breadcrumbs. First submerge the eggplant rounds into the eggs and then coat liberally with the bread crumbs. Start the water for the pasta and begin heating the tomato sauce.
  2. 2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a heavy bottomed frying pan. Make sure there is enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. The eggplants do not need to be fully submerged in the oil - the bottom of the eggplant should be covered enough so it doesn't stick. Having a splatter guard is nice here (protects your arms and face from oil splatter). You can test the oil to see if it's ready by dropping a dash of water into the oil - if it sizzles it's ready to go - but watch for spraying oil.
  3. 3. Add the eggplant rounds one at a time and cook for about 3-4 minutes a side until crispy and brown on each side. Remove from pan and place onto a paper towel to soak up some of the oil. Drain the oil from the pan (or use a new frying pan) and place the eggplants back into the frying pan with a lid. Add the mozzarella cheese and cover to melt the cheese - the cheese should melt quickly, so don't walk away!
  4. 4. While the eggplants are cooking - cook the pasta according to the package. Mix the cooked pasta with the tomato sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. 5. Plate the pasta with a crispy eggplant round or two. Grate with fresh parmesan. Serve hot!
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