The day after Christmas, I got on a plane with my mom, aunt and two cousins and spent 5 days in NYC with another aunt and cousin. It was a family trip. It was an all-female family trip. More importantly, it was a “Hey, let’s introduce you to some amazing Italian food that’s located on the other side of the country” trip. It’s sad, but I have actually spent time thinking about what kind of logistics would be involved in me flying back to NYC just for some more Linguine with Eggplant Parmigiana from Vincent’s.
Before eating the Eggplant Parmesan at Vincent’s I had only eaten eggplant maybe one other time and I remember not really liking it. So, I don’t know what made me order the dish at Vincent’s but it turns out that I’m very glad I did (high-five gut instinct!). I’m so glad that I did, that I keep thinking about the dish and Vincent’s sauce and I decided that I had to try and make it for myself.
Thanks to Honey, What’s Cooking? for sharing this recipe. I really liked how easy the Eggplant Parmesan was to make (and the fact that it wasn’t fried) and I liked how the linguine is baked along with it.
Let’s start off with the fact that I had no idea that there are so many kinds of eggplants. The store I shop at had Japanese eggplant and it worked just fine. They are a little smaller than the one used in the recipe I was following, so I used two. I didn’t use the whole grain linguine or the Barilla sauce like the recipe I was following called for. I used regular linguine and an organic brand of tomato sauce that was at my store. I also didn’t really measure the cheese but I still used part-skim mozzarella and grated Parmesan. I wish they sold tomato sauce in bigger jars. I could have used more than the 25 oz jar, I had, supplied. Next time I will have to make my own sauce ahead of time that way I control how much sauce is used. I like making healthier versions of my favorite foods and, like I mentioned earlier, I loved that this recipe had me baking the eggplant instead of frying it. I’ve tried making Chicken Parmesan and I can never seem to fry it right. The bread crumbs are always falling off and then I’m always left with sauteed chicken with burnt breadcrumbs scattered about the pan. It’s just not a good look.
Cook the Linguine part of the way through since it’s going to continue cooking in the oven with the sauce and the eggplant. Be sure to cover the baking dish with foil like the recipe says to because you don’t want the cheese on top burning too quickly and you also want everything to bake together and the pasta to finish cooking without getting dried out.
I’m so glad that I made myself some Eggplant Parmesan, and I’m glad that I at least tried to make a healthier version. It’s not Vincent’s but it’ll help with the cravings until I can get myself back to NYC.