Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Zucchini and Bow Ties with Eggplant Parmesan

This meal was a winner to me! I've never ever had eggplant before, and I just so happened to get lucky my best friend gave me some to try. This is probably the first meatless meal I've made, and my husband was totally sad! He said he needed MEAT on his birthday. Which is today. Happy Birthday, Honey!

Your stars of the show, the ingredients!

Eggplant slices all lined up after being dipped in flour, egg, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs and herbs. They look so yummy. I used Panko instead of regular bread crumbs for a good crunch.

Fry the slices a few at a time in 1/2 inch of oil in a frying pan.

Gently cook the zucchini before adding in the cooked pasta and some of its starchy water.

The finished meal. Oh so yummy!

Zucchini and Bow Ties with Eggplant Parmesan
Zucchini and Bow Ties Recipe by: Rachael Ray's 365: No Repeats Cookbook
Eggplant Parmesan by: Bobby Flay @ Food Network

coarse salt
1 pound bow-tie pasta
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium zucchini, cut into matchsticks
coarse black pepper
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano cheese
20 fresh basil leaves, torn or shredded

1 medium sized eggplant, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 to 3 cups breadcrumbs
1 1/2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
salt and pepper
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon water
all-purpose flour for dredging
vegetable oil for frying
about 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

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If an item says it's a staple item that means that I used so little of the full product that it wasn't worth the math to figure out each teaspoon, etc. Haha.

Total Price of Meal: $19.44

Zucchini and Bow Ties

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Cook the bow ties al dente. Save a couple ladles of starchy pasta water before you drain the pasta.

2. Heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the extra virgin olive oil and the garlic. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the zucchini. Cook gently for 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add a couple of ladles of cooking water. Drain the pasta and add to the zucchini. Toss with the cheese and turn off the heat. Toss for 2 minutes, until the liquids are absorbed. Serve in shallow bowls with lots of basil on top.

3. Serve with Eggplant Parmesan.

Eggplant Parmesan

1. Lightly butter the bottom and sides of a 15 x 10 x 2 baking sheet.

2. Place the bread crumbs into a large shallow bowl. Add the herbs, salt and pepper as you like. In another medium shallow bowl, whisk the eggs and 1 tablespoon of water.

3. Season each eggplant slice on both sides with salt and pepper. Dredge each eggplant slice in the flour, tapping off excess, then dip it in the egg, and finally dredge it in the bread crumb mixture. Shake off any excess breading and transfer the egg plant to a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining eggplant.

4. Heat 1/2 inch of oil in large saute pan over medium heat until the oil gets hot. Working in small batches, fry a few of the eggplant slices, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 minutes per batch. Using tongs, transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining eggplant.

5. After transferring the eggplant slices to the paper towels, put a little handful of mozzarella cheese on top to melt while the rest of the eggplant slices finish frying.

6. Serve with crusty garlic bread.

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