Mamma mia! This is vegan, gluten-free Italian GOLD! I’ve been struggling in the pasta department for a while now, especially since going vegan on top of everything else but this… I promise you won’t miss the actual cheese. Don’t let the eggplant scare you off either. I avoided them at all costs because they, for some reason, seem so daunting but after this I’m a huge fan. They are surprisingly easy to work with and you can do sooooo many things with them!
- 1 medium eggplant
- 1/4 cup GF all purpose flour
- 1 cup GF panko breadcrumbs
- 2 Tbsp vegan parmesan* + more for serving (see bottom of post for recipe for this)
- 1 tsp dried oregano (or 2 tsp fresh)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 8 ounces pasta (such as linguini, but any kind will do, including veggie noodles or gluten free)
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- Slice eggplant into thin rounds and sprinkle each side with sea salt. Arrange in a circular pattern in a colander and place in the sink to draw out the bitter taste of the eggplant.
- Let rest for about 15 minutes and then rinse and place on a clean kitchen towel. Top with another clean dish towel and lay a baking sheet on top. Place something heavy on top, such as a cast iron skillet, to thoroughly dry for at least 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with nonstick spray. Also, if making pasta, bring water to a boil in a large saucepan.
- Prepare your dipping stations by placing almond milk and cornstarch in one bowl; flour in another bowl; and bread crumbs, sea salt, oregano, vegan parmesan in another bowl.
- Once dry, dip eggplant slices in flour, then almond milk mixture, then breadcrumbs. Arrange on the baking sheet and bake for a total of 20-30 minutes.
- While the eggplant is in the oven, bring a large skillet to medium heat. Once hot, add 2 Tbsp olive oil and pull 3-4 eggplant rounds out of the oven at a time and sauté. (This makes them crispier) Cook for ~2 minutes on each side and then return to oven to continue crisping. Do this until all rounds are browned.
- While the eggplant is baking, either prepare your favorite marinara sauce or use your favorite jarred sauce.
- Once done cooking, drain the pasta.
- Plate however you please!
*Vegan Parmesan Cheese: 3/4 cup raw cashews, 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast, 3/4 tsp sea salt, 1/4 tsp garlic powder. Add ingredients to a food processor and pulse until you get a fine meal. That’s it. Store in the refrigerator and this will last for several weeks!