Monday, June 13, 2016

Eggplant Parmigiana with Farfalle

Tonight we made eggplant parmigiana with farfalle. This was one of the best recipes we have made yet. The cheese was sooo good. The sauce was delicious. Both of the children loved farfalle pasta and both of us had seconds!
The original recipe is here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alexandra-guarnaschelli/eggplant-parmigiana-recipe.html

We didn't have all the exact ingredients, so we improvised/modified a little. We also only had one eggplant since we knew Astrid and Kaspian wouldn't want any. Even with that, we only ate half of what we made.
This recipe does take a little bit of preparation ahead of time with letting the eggplant stand for an hour, but overall it's relatively fast and goes quickly once the preparation actually starts.
We made the sauce, then fried the eggplant and assembled the whole thing.

Plated

Farfalle

Eggplant Parmesean 
Going in the oven!


Ingredients:

The Sauce:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion sliced into medium long slices
1 tablespoon garlic
Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 (14oz can) fire roasted tomatoes
5 roma tomatoes (med-large size) cut into cubes
1 can of tomato paste
1/2 - 1 cup water

The Eggplant:
1 medium eggplant cut into circles
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon whole milk
1.5 cups Italian-style breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil, for frying, as needed, about 1 1/2 cups
about 3/4  pounds mozzarella cheese, cut into thin slices
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Pasta:
1 16 oz package of pasta - we used farfalle.  

Directions:

Tomato sauce:
1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and season with salt and red pepper flakes. Cook until the onions become translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the sugar and the canned and fresh tomatoes. Add in the tomato paste and 1/2 to 1 cup water. Cook 10 to 15 minutes over medium heat, stirring from time to time. Taste for seasoning, the tomatoes should be fairly broken down and the flavors coming together. Cook for another few minutes if the tomatoes still taste like they need a little more time to break down. Set aside to cool.
Eggplant:
1. Arrange the eggplant rounds in a single layer on a strainer over the sink. Sprinkle with salt on both sides of each slice and allow it to sit for about 1 hour. Salting it draws out the liquid and bitter flavor. After an hour, rinse with cold water and dry them thoroughly with a kitchen towel.
2. Put the flour in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper.
3. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk and season with salt and pepper.
4. In a third bowl pour the breadcrumbs.
5. Dip each eggplant slice in the flour and shake off any excess.
6. Then, dip in the egg mixture, and finally in the breadcrumbs. Make sure to coat both sides of each slice of eggplant.
7 Arrange them in single layers on a plate.
8. In a large skillet, pour enough oil to accumulate about 1/2-inch in the bottom. Heat the oil on high heat.
9. Use a pair of kitchen tongs to add a single layer of the eggplant to the pan. Cook them until they are golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from the oil and transfer to a cooling rack with a baking sheet underneath so the eggplant can drain as the others cook.
Assemble:
1.. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a 9 by 13-inch baking dish, spoon about 1/2 of the tomato sauce on the bottom. Top with a layer of the fried eggplant. Top with 1/2 of the mozzarella slices. Sprinkle with about 1/2 of the Parmesan  cheese. Spoon sauce and repeat the layering. End with the remaining mozzarella. 
3. Place the dish in the top part of the oven and cook until the cheese is melted and bubbly, 35 to 40 minutes. 

What we liked:

It was delicious! The cheese was excellent. It was probably one of the best things we made yet. 

What we didn't like:

Nothing, it was awesome. 

What Kaspian thought about it:

He loved the farfalle and opted for some shredded mixed cheese on top of it. He was not brave enough to try the parmigiana.
Astrid also loved the farfalle, managing to tear it up..even with her lack of teeth. 

Next time:

Use basil! It would have really added to it. Nick says mushrooms could go well with it but Alona says "no fungi!!! Yuck!"