Eggplant Parmesan Bite Pasta Bowls are a fun twist on the classic dish. Gotta love that!
I’ve always loved eggplant parmesan, but it used to be quite a rare thing to find me cooking it at home. The whole operation of putting each individual slice of eggplant through flour, and then egg, and finally breading, was time consuming. And then I could never fit more than a few slices of eggplant in the skillet. So the first batch went cold as I added yet more oil and cooked the second and third batches (all while trying to keep the temperature of the skillet perfectly even so nothing burned along the way). It was just a really lengthy, really messy process for me.
That has all changed, though, since I started making these penne pasta bowls with eggplant parmesan bites.
This dish is super easy and foolproof, and that makes it just my kind of recipe!
I quickly dice up an Italian eggplant (an Italian eggplant is about half the size of the typical American eggplant, and perfectly portioned for this recipe). Then I use a large slotted spoon to transfer the ‘bites’, all in one big batch, from flour to egg to breading.
I spread them out on a baking sheet, and let the oven do all of the work of turning them golden and crispy (the key to getting them toasted and browned: make sure they’re well coated with olive oil!)
That frees me up to grate some fresh parmesan cheese, cook some penne pasta, and throw together a quick and easy veggie marinara sauce. I just sauté some onion and bell pepper with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and add a jarred marinara. This quick marinara means that the sauce is ready to go by the time the eggplant parmesan bites have finished cooking.
Last step: just toss everything into serving bowls, and top each one with plenty of the grated parmesan! It’s all very straightforward and simple, so the process of cooking the dish is actually pretty fun. And, no question, the bite-sized breaded eggplant pieces make this dish a lot of fun to eat too!
The seasonings in the crispy breading make the eggplant bites so scrumptious, and they’re perfectly complemented by the freshly grated parmesan. And the sautéed onions and peppers in the marinara sauce really help to bulk up the dish (and add tons of nutrition!), so you can help yourself to a generous portion of this pasta without crazy amounts of calories. Those old days of avoiding eggplant parmesan are so long gone – this dish is just too fun and easy!
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