"Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life - well, valuable, but small - and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave?" - Kathleen Kelly (You've Got Mail)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Deconstructed Eggplant Parmesan - Meatless Monday

This is a recipe I've had flagged for a long time! Don't know it took me so long to try it out. I think eggplant intimidates me a little bit. There's a fine line between it being too bitter and tough and too mushy and flavorless. Sauteing it in small pieces was a great way to gauge it. This dish was fresh and tasty, loaded with flavor. 

It made a lot which was great for leftovers. The original recipe says this feeds 4. I'd say it serves 6-8, easy! There were a few little changes I made based on the ingredients I had on hand. If you're a eggplant parm lover, this is a simple, delicious, less messy way to enjoy it!

Recipe found here

Deconstructed Eggplant Parmesan

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 c. marinara sauce
1 c. water
1 lb. rigatoni or penne
10 basil leaves, torn
1/2 lb chopped fresh mozzarella (I had shredded I needed to use)
1/4 c. panko breadcrumbs
1/4 c. grated Parmesan

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. In the meantime, set a large skillet over medium-high heat, and add olive oil. Add the eggplant, onion, and 1 teaspoon salt and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, until the eggplant is tender. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 2 more minutes.
Pour the marinara and water over the eggplant mixture and stir to combine. Simmer gently until the the eggplant is soft and just barely falling apart, about 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if necessary.
In a small skillet pan, toast the breadcrumbs with a little bit of olive oil until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Set aside. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and add to the pan with the sauce. Add the basil leaves (reserving one or two for garnish) and the mozzarella and toss to combine.
Spoon the pasta into serving bowls and top each with a tablespoon of breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Garnish with torn basil leaves, and serve immediately.

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