Saturday, January 5, 2013

Baked Eggplant Parmesan with Pesto Spaghetti

This is one of my favorite ways to eat eggplant. Traditionally eggplant Parmesan is breaded and fried before baking. I made this lighter by roasting the eggplant in the oven instead. 
I stacked the eggplant slices with layers of goat cheese, mozzarella cheese, and freshly torn basil. 
I filled a shallow baking dish with a thin layer of homemade tomato sauce and baked everything until the cheese was slightly melted and had a nice golden crust on top. 
The eggplant and goat cheese are the perfect pair! If you're looking for an easy and delicious Italian meal...this is it!

Baked Eggplant Parmesan
Olive oil, for baking sheets
2 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp ground paprika
3/4 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus 2 tablespoons for topping
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 large eggplants, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
6 cups store-bought tomato sauce or homemade
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella 
1 cup crumbled goat cheese 
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

Pesto Spaghetti
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup fat-free ricotta cheese
2 tbsp. reduced-fat Parmesan-style grated topping
2 tbsp. pine nuts
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1/4 tsp. salt, or more to taste
1/4 tsp. black pepper, or more to taste
1 lb cooked angel hair pasta

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush 2 baking sheets with oil; set aside. In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and paprika. In another bowl, combine breadcrumbs, 3/4 cup Parmesan, oregano, and basil; season with salt and pepper.
  2. Dip eggplant slices in egg mixture, letting excess drip off, then dredge in breadcrumb mixture, coating well; place on baking sheets. Bake until golden brown on bottom, 20 to 25 minutes. Turn slices; continue baking until browned on other side, 20 to 25 minutes more. Remove from oven; raise oven heat to 400 degrees.
  3. Spread 1/2 cup sauce in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Arrange half the eggplant in dish; cover with mozzarella, goat cheese, and basil. Repeat with remaining eggplant, sauce, and cheeses; sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Bake until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted, 15 to 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. 
  4. Combine all ingredients for pesto in a food processor until smooth. Toss with pasta. 

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