Prep 10 mins
Cook 20 mins
From "Every Day with Rachel Ray" 11/06. Sweet and short. (We didn't use the basil leaves, personal preference)instead used parsley.
- 1⁄2-1 cup vegetable oil (for frying)
- 1 (1 lb) eggplant, thinly sliced crosswise (peeled or skin-on)
- 1 cup flour, seasoned with (for dredging)
- italian seasoning
- salt, to taste
- fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 lb rigatoni pasta
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, halved
- 1 (28 ounce) can tomatoes
- 1 (8 ounce) bagshredded mozzarella cheese
- 8 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced or 8 fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
- italian seasoning, to taste
- freshly grated parmesan cheese, for serving
- In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup vegetable oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking.
- Dredge the eggplant slices in the flour, shaking off any excess. Add enough eggplant to the skillet to fill it without crowding, and fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side.
- Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt, & freshly ground black pepper.
- Repeat with remaining eggplant slices, and more oil. Let cool, then cut into 1/2" strips. Set aside.
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente; drain and return to the pot.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring until golden, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in the tomatoes, Italian Seasoning, salt & freshly ground blaack pepper,(don't overdo with seasonings) and bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.
- Add the tomato sauce to the cooked pasta and toss to coat, then stir in the mozzarella.
- Divide the pasta among shallow bowls and top with reserved eggplant strips, basil or parsley, and Parmesan.
This was a delightful dinner that everyone enjoyed. I fried the eggplant until golden and then as the last batch was done I went ahead and threw in the golden pieces and made them crisp. I like that this was not as messy as egg and breading....but I still plan to try it that way as well. I used fresh herbs in the sauce and topped it with basil and Parmesan. Thanks DiScharf for a wonderful dinner!