Vegan Parmesan Eggplant Pasta

What's for dinner Mama Bear? Have no idea? I know the feeling.. Here's something that is quick and yummy! Only 45min.. so start preparing when you get home! Enjoy! Ingredients:

EGGPLANT PARMESAN

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs (GF for gluten free eaters)
  • 2 Tbsp vegan parmesan + more for serving
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
  • 1 tsp cornstarch

PASTA + SAUCE

  • 8 ounces pasta
  • 2 cups marinara sauce

Instructions:

  • Slice eggplant into thin rounds slightly less than 1/2 inch thick, and sprinkle each side liberally with sea salt. Arrange in a circular pattern in a colander and place in the sink to draw out the bitter taste of the eggplant.
  • Let rest for 15 minutes, then rinse and arrange on a clean absorbent kitchen towel. Top with another clean dish towel and lay a baking sheet on top. Place something heavy on top, such as a cast iron skillet, to thoroughly dry for at least 10 minutes.
  • In the meantime, preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil and spritz with nonstick spray. Also, if making pasta, bring water to a boil in a large saucepan.
  • Prepare your dipping stations by placing almond milk + cornstarch in one bowl; flour in another bowl; and bread crumbs + sea salt + oregano + vegan parmesan in another bowl.
  • Once thoroughly dry, dip eggplant slices in flour, then almond milk mixture, then breadcrumbs. Arrange on the baking sheet and pop in oven to bake for a total of 20-30 minutes.
  • IMPORTANT STEP: While the eggplant is in the oven, bring a large skillet to medium heat. Once hot, add 2 Tbsp olive oil and pull 3-4 eggplant rounds out of the oven at a time and sauté to give them extra crisp and texture. Cook for ~2 minutes on each side and then return to oven to continue crisping. Do this in batches until all rounds are browned.
  • While eggplant is browning in the oven, prepare marinara. Set aside.
  • Once done cooking, drain pasta and cover with a towel to keep warm. Set aside.
  • To serve: Plate pasta and eggplant slices and marinara in a dish as a dipping sauce. Additional vegan parmesan cheese makes an excellent topper.

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