Words fascinate me. With all the different languages one thing can have many different names. Take eggplant. Which is a strange thing to call it as the common ones are large and purple. But various countries in Europe called it eggplant because they used to be the size of a goose egg and even whitish. In the UK using the word aubergine shows a bit of the French influence on our language but if you continue back the roots are found in the Arabic word al-badinjan.
Years ago when my mum and I would work together we had a little game we’d play. This was when the internet was new to us and I would look up the word of the day and try to test her. It would always be a big word or something really obscure and she would have to try to come up with the definition. I think I tripped her up a small handful of times. She has an excellent vocabulary and because she took Latin she could figure out the root of the word. I may not have the vocabulary she does but I love the history of words.
I asked the kids what they would like for dinner this week and our daughter piped up with eggplant parmesan. As I’ve never made it before I thought why not? And really it’s not very difficult to make. The only time consuming bit is the homemade pasta. For the tomato sauce I used our homemade base and added our usual group of veg and a bit of red wine.
Slice the eggplant about 1/4″ thick or so and remove the skin. I then sliced them in half so it is more manageable.
Dip them in egg and panko bread crumbs and pan fry in oil until browned then turn them over. On the browned side I seasoned with salt and pepper and grated fresh parmesan cheese over the eggplant.
After both sides are browned finish off in the oven to complete cooking. Toss the pasta in the sauce. I prefer the Italian way of just letting the sauce coat the pasta rather than have the pasta swimming in the sauce. Grate more fresh cheese over the dish and serve.
Super easy to put together and the kids loved it. And hey, any time the kids ask for a veg based dish I won’t be saying no! Though we are lucky, they love their veg.