Deconstructed Eggplant Parm Pasta

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

Peel 1/2 eggplant and cut into 1-inch square chunks. Peel and cut 1/2 yellow onion into similarly-shaped chunks. Mix everything with a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper, plus a pinch of garlic powder (if you have it– no worries if not). Then roast these veggies for 25-30 minutes, tossing halfway through.

Cook 4 cups of uncooked pasta according to the directions. I used Trader Joe’s bow ties when I made this the first time but I prefer Eat Banza pasta when I have it around the house.

In a small saucepan, heat 1/3 cup breadcrumbs and 1 T butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the crumbs begin to brown. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, then set the bread crumbs aside.

Once the pasta is cooked and drained, add a jar of tomato sauce (I used pre-bought, but you can feel free to make your own) to the same pot you were using before. Put it over medium heat. Mix in the roasted eggplant and onions and stir until warm. Add the pasta. Then remove the mixture from the heat and stir in 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated or chopped into chunks.

Top the pasta with bread crumbs, chopped fresh basil and a handful of grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Let’s talk about cheese.

It’s not a surprise that my stomach hates dairy– my brother has struggled with it for years. It’s possible that this has always been the case but it wasn’t under my yoga teacher training program — when I spent literal hours listening to my body every day– that I realized that dairy causes stomach cramps and bad gas for me.

But here’s the thing: I love cheese so, so very much. So even though my stomach isn’t the happiest with dairy these days, I refuse to stop eating cheese forever. Instead, I mostly opt for high quality cheeses in lower quantities. For this recipe, I used fresh mozzarella because I think it tastes better (mozz snob alert, sorry!). I added the mozz to the pasta in small amounts to be nice to my stomach and it all worked out fine in the end. I also do okay with goat cheese and harder cheese, like parmesan.

Like I said before: This is all about finding what works for you. For me, cheese isn’t the best but I can handle it every once in a while– and when I do decide to eat it, it’s so worth it.


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