Eggplant Parmesean

Super easy, and really delicious.

For 4

Ingredients

1 Decent Sized Eggplant
3 Eggs
1/3 Cup of Milk
½ + Cup Flour
Salt
Pepper
Olive Oil
½ # Parmesean Reggiano
½ Box Penne Pasta
Easy Spaghetti Sauce

Directions

Pre-heat your oven to 350°.

Peel your eggplant, and cut into roughly quarter-inch slices. Lay these out on paper towels and sprinkle salt over the top of them. This is to get some of the bitterness and water out of them. You'll want to let these sit for around a half hour, at the end of which dab them with a paper towel to remove the liquid and excess salt.

In a bowl, mix your eggs and milk with a fork, like you were going to make scrambled eggs. Put your flour and salt and pepper on a plate, and mix together with your fingers - this is for dredging the eggplant. You may need more flour, but you can add that to the plate later.

Pour 2 - 3 tablespoons of olive oil into a sauté pan, and set your heat to medium to medium-high. Now take your slices of eggplant, and, one by one, dredge in the flour, tap the excess flour off, dip into the egg mixture, then dredge back through the flour. Once you've done this, put the slice into the pan with the oil, and cook for approximately 2 or 3 minutes a side, carefully flipping with a pair of tongs or a fork, until the batter becomes a nice golden brown and is crispy. Typically I only do 4 or 5 slices at a time, and hold off on dredging the eggplant until I'm ready to put them into the pan. And it really helps to have someone in the kitchen to help you with the dredging and egg, so that your fingers don't become entirely gunked up with egg and flour.

As the eggplant slices are done, remove them from the pan and place them on a cooling rack. This isn't so much to cool them as it is to prevent them from getting mushy as they cool, so that the batter stays nice and crisp.

Once you've cooked all your eggplant, using a cheese grater (or a small knife), grate off large rustic slices of your parmesean reggiano into a bowl or onto a plate.

Now take and randomly layer your eggplant into a pan - some kind of Pyrex, or a brownie pan, or the like will do just fine. As you put down a layer, sprinkle some of your cheese over each layer. But be sure to save out a little bit of the cheese for garnishing the plate!

Pop the pan into the oven for approximately 30 minutes. If you're making the Easy Spaghetti Sauce, this would be a great time to start it.

After the eggplant's been in the oven for about 10 minutes, start your water for the pasta.

When there's about 10 minutes left to the half hour for the eggplant, you have two choices - either drop everything into a holding pattern so you can open another bottle of wine, or carry on. If you're dropping into a holding pattern, you'll want to drop the oven temperature to about 200° when the half hour is up. You can keep the eggplant good and hot but not overcooked like this for up to about a half hour. If you're not, throw in your pasta so as to have everything come together at the same time.

When it's time to serve, take some of your sauce and toss with the pasta, and put on the plate. Then place a few pieces of eggplant over this, and ladel a little more of the sauce over the top. Sprinkle some of the leftover cheese over the top, and serve.

Enjoy!

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