Since we always do more than one family dinner for Christmas, my family and I have decided to do a non-traditional dinner. This past year, I made eggplant parmesan and it was a huge hit!
Blue Ribbon Recipe
Eggplant Parmesan is an Italian favorite and this version is restaurant quality. It's double dipped in Italian bread crumbs and Panko crumbs which creates a super crispy coating. Served over spaghetti that's lightly sauced and with sweet peas is wonderful. The result is simply delicious - a must-try!
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large pot, fill halfway with water and bring to a boil.
While water is warming, heat a large skillet to medium-high heat and add oil.
Using 1 large bowl and 2 plates, set up a prepping station to bread the eggplant. Crack eggs in a bowl and whisk well. Place the Italian bread crumbs on one plate and place the Panko on the other plate. Add Italian seasoning and garlic salt to the Panko and blend with a dry fork.
Working in batches, dip the eggplant slices in the egg (letting excess drip off).
Then coat with the Italian bread crumbs.
Back to the egg (letting excess drip off).
Then dip into the Panko crumbs.
Place the breaded eggplant slices in the skillet. Do not overcrowd the skillet.
Let the eggplant cook for about 2 minutes (or until brown) before flipping them over to the other side. Let them get just a light golden brown.
Once the eggplant has been “seared” on both sides, place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and lightly sprayed with non-stick cooking spray in a single layer. Bake them for approximately 20 minutes.
While the eggplant is in the oven, warm the marinara sauce on medium-low heat. You may want to make sure this is covered with a lid to help prevent splattering.
Generously salt the boiling water and place the pasta in the boiling water in the other pot. Cook pasta according to package. (You may want to start the pasta within the last 10-13 minutes of the cook time for the eggplant so everything stays nice and hot.)
During the last two minutes of the cook time for the pasta, add the peas.
Drain the pasta and peas using a colander.
Place drained pasta back in the pot. Add about 3 tablespoons (or more) of the marinara sauce to the pasta and mix.
Place pasta and peas on a plate and top with the eggplant.
Add the marinara over top of the eggplant. Add about 1-2 teaspoons of shredded Parmesan cheese and shredded mozzarella.
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