- 12 rounds eggplant, 1/3-inch, peeled
- 1 quart buttermilk
- 2 cups plain Asian breadcrumbs (panko)
- 1 tablespoon Parmesan powder
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
- 2 quarts vegetable oil
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups egg wash (equal parts egg and milk)
- Salt and ground pepper
- 3 cups red sauce
- 1 pound cooked linguine
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan, reserved for plating
For the eggplant, place the rounds in the buttermilk and allow to soak for 2 hours. During soaking, mix the breadcrumbs, cheese powder, parsley and thyme in a bowl, mixing well.
Once the eggplant is soaked, preheat the oil to 350 degrees F in a deep-fryer or large, heavy-bottomed pot. Dredge each eggplant round in the flour, egg wash and finally the breadcrumbs, ensuring to coat well. Once breaded, fry the eggplant, in batches, for 1 1/2 minutes. Flip and finish for a final 1 minute. Then remove to paper towels and allow excess oil to drain. Season with salt and pepper.
Next, in a saucepan, warm the prepared red sauce until on the verge of simmering. Then add the cooked pasta and stir. Warm for 2 minutes. After heating, remove and portion to plates and top with 2 slices cooked eggplant. Finish with the reserved Parmesan.