Baked Eggplant Parmesan with Gin Marinara and Basil Fettuccine Alfredo
I used to make chicken parmesan often, being one of Mark’s favorite meals. Since going vegetarian I have been wanting to make eggplant parmesan. I love eggplant, but Mark and I are not on the same page on this one. After a day of hiking we were on our way home, tired and hungry. Mark came up with the idea of making both chicken and eggplant parmesan. He agreed to help so I gave in. We only needed 1 onion and 1 chicken breast from the store so we made a quick stop. I ran into the store, waited in the butcher line only to find out they didn’t sell chicken. I visited the packaged chicken section for the first time in 3 months and I could not justify spending $6 for more chicken then we needed. I left with my onion thinking that Mark could go to another store while I started cooking. Surprisingly he said he would just eat the eggplant. I don’t think it was his changing attitude, however. I am willing to bet everything I have on pure laziness. Anyways, this forced him to eat the eggplant. He liked it, but he said it just didn’t taste like chicken. Really?? Are you sure the taste wasn’t similar? I mean, they look similar, don’t they? I don’t know what he was expecting. I mean, it is “eggplant” parmesan. He did eat it though, he just wasn’t jumping with happiness. I, on the other hand, loved it and had it again for lunch the next day. It was awesome.
The gin marinara sauce and the basil fettuccine alfredo were excellent as well, and Mark definitively agreed. The most consuming part about this dish is waiting for the marinara sauce to reduce (about 30 minutes total). The rest of this dish is super easy. Give it a try!
Gin Marinara Sauce
Gin Marinara Sauce Ingredients:
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, grated
- salt + pepper
- 1 tsp italian seasoning
- 1 tsp red chili pepper flakes
- 1 big can whole tomatoes, drained
- 1/3-1/2 c. red wine
- 1 shot gin or vodka
- Handful chopped basil
- 2-3 tbsp parmesan cheese
- In hot olive oil add onions and a bit of salt. Add garlic, black pepper, and italian seasoning.
- Add canned whole tomatoes, squeezing each tomato to break apart. Do not add remaining tomato juice in can.
- Add red wine and gin.
- Add chopped basil.
- Heat on med/low heat for about 30 minutes. Season with more salt to taste.
- Blend with emersion blender and add parmesan cheese.
Baked Eggplant Parmesan
Eggplant Parmesan Ingredients
- 2 eggplants, peeled and thinly sliced
- Salt + Pepper + italian seasoning
- 1 egg
- Panko bread crumbs
- Marinara Sauce
- Mozzarella cheese
- Pre heat oven to 425
- Place peeled and sliced eggplant in cold water for about 20 minutes while you make marinara sauce
- After 20 minutes, remove from water and sprinkle a bit of salt on both sides of eggplant
- Combine flour, pepper, salt, and italian seasoning in bowl
- In 2nd bowl combine egg and 1 tbsp water
- In third bowl add panko bread crumbs
- Dip parmesan in flour, then egg mixture, then panko
- Place eggplant in greased casserole dish
- Heat for 5-7 minutes and flip over for another 5 minutes
- Take out of oven and add marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese
- Heat for another 7-10 minutes
Basil Fettuccine Alfredo
Basil Fettuccine Alfredo Ingredients
- 1/2 package fettuccine, cooked with 1 tbsp olive oil to prevent sticking together
- 1/2 c. heavy cream
- 1/3 c. milk
- 3 cloves garlic, grated
- 1/3 package cream cheese
- 1/2 c. parmesan cheese
- 1/2 c. mozzarella cheese
- salt + pepper, to taste
- A pinch of nutmeg
- Boil fettuccine in salted water until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drizzle 2 tbsp olive oil on pasta and set aside
- In saucepan, place cream, milk, garlic, cream cheese, parmesan, salt + pepper and heat on low.When cheeses are melted and sauce thickens, add mozzarella and nutmeg.
- Combine pasta and alfredo sauce. Add basil leaves.