Pasta with Spicy, Eggless Eggplant Parmigiana and Roasted Vegetables
Eggplant Parmigiana is my go-to classic at an Italian restaurant and probably my top choice in eggplant preparation. In this recipe, I made a spicier twist on this classic and added an extra step that is beyond worth it and makes a huge difference in the end result. Layer on top of a bed of pasta, olive oil and roasted vegetables, and you’ve got yourself a delicious, warm meal for the winter!
As much as we are pro-vegetable here at Cumin Nature, to be real, eggplant was a total bottom of the barrel vegetable for me growing up. I hated the texture – soggy and slimey? No thank you. When we had roasted eggplant and curd rice for dinner, I’d eat the rice and drown my eggplant in buttermilk so I could bare it! Well, times have changed. If you’re lucky, you’ll grow up with a mom like mine who didn’t allow any food to go down the trash chute, only down our throats. So I grew up and finally appreciated what all eggplant can do.
That being said, eggplant parmigiana is hands-down my FAVORITE way to cook eggplant.
This recipe calls for eggplant plus any of your favorite vegetables to fold into the pasta. Why stop at just one veggie, when you can mix them all? Today, I roasted mushrooms and spinach with some garlic to add to my pasta dish. The eggplant on top really sealed the deal, and it looked beautiful on the plate. Did someone say dinner party?!
To make this meal eggless,
I used non-dairy milk to bind the breadcumbs to the eggplant. It’s a bit of a longer process, since the milk doesn’t immediately coat the eggplant the way an egg wash would. I’ve seen other recipes suggest butter or maple syrup, but we are trying to be healthy here!
To bread the eggplant,
Wash completely with milk, and then press firmly into a plate of breadcrumbs. While pressing firmly on one side, manually lay breadcrumbs on the top side. Shake lightly so pieces that haven’t stuck can fall off. The bottom side that was pressed down should be coated well with breadcrumbs, and should go immediately on the pan to cook. While the bottom side cooks, add a pinch of milk with a spoon and layer on more breadcrumbs. This ensures that the breadcrumbs won’t flake off when you turn it over, since it is a fresh coating of the milk wash and crumbs that haven’t gotten soggy or wet.
Try it out and let us know what you think!
This is perfect for meatless mondays, plated dinner parties, or weekly meal prep! If you decide to make large batches for multiple meals, we recommend reheating in the oven, not the microwave so you’re eggplant stays nice and crispy. Bon appetit!
A spicier, eggless take on Eggplant Parmigiana, layered on a bed of pasta with roasted vegetables.
- 1 large eggplant sliced into 1/2" thick slices
- 2 tbsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp black peppercorn
- 1 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup milk or non-dairy milk
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil for pan-frying
- 3 cups tomato sauce homemade or store-bought
- 2 cups shredded parmesan cheese
- 8 oz spaghetti about 2/3 of container
- 2 cups of mushrooms
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 handfuls of spinach leaves
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Wash eggplant slices with water and wrap in paper towel. Leave until completely dry, and salt both sides of your eggplant slices.
Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil.
In 2 shallow plates, add breadcrumbs to one and milk in the other. Dip both sides of eggplant slice into milk, then place the bottom side directly in the breadcrumbs plate and press firmly. Manually add breadcrumbs to the top of the eggplant slice.
Shake off the excess and immediately add to the heated pan. Repeat for the other slices, add 2-3 to the skillet at a time. Cook on both sides until golden brown, remove and set on a heating rack or large plate.
Heat a small saucepan over low to medium heat and add tomato sauce. Once the sauce starts to simmer, add chili powder, cumin and black peppercorns. Continuously stir until spices have folded into the sauce and the sauce starts to slightly bubble. Turn off the heat.
In a large casserole dish, add enough sauce to cover bottom of the dish. Add a layer of eggplant slices, then layer with a dollop of sauce on top, followed by a layer of parmesan cheese. Repeat the layers until you run out of eggplants slices. Top the casserole with more cheese.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly. Use the broiler for 5 minutes to get the cheese more brown and crispy, if you like.
While the eggplant bakes, boil enough water to cook the spaghetti. Once the water boils, add spaghetti and stir from time to time. Cook for about 15 minutes until it is al dente.
As the spaghetti cooks, reheat the pan with leftover sauce on medium heat. Add garlic and cook until it is golden brown. Then add mushrooms, spinach, and any other vegetables you fancy.
Drain the pasta and fold the vegetables and sauce mix into the spaghetti.
Plate the spaghetti with veggies, then top it with 1 or 2 eggplant slices.