Pasta With Eggplant, Goat Cheese & Breadcrumbs

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The secret to preparing delicious pasta with eggplant, goat cheese and bread crumbs rests within a few special areas of the preparation process. Find out how to make pasta with eggplant, goat cheese and bread crumbs with help from the owner of a family Italian restaurant in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Italian Dishes
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Video Transcript

Alright, how we doing? Clemenza Caserta here. What we're going to do for you today, a little pasta, eggplant, goat cheese and toasted bread crumb. To start off, look for an eggplant, now when you're picking out your eggplant in the super market you want to make sure it's nice and firm, you don't want it mushy, you want to look for the color, you don't want any bruises on the skin. Now to start the dish very simple you want to take some eggplant, you can leave the skin on, you can take the skin off. Now in all honesty depending on the type, the time of month it is, okay this thick skin I know because I've used it before, it's going to be nice and tender some times the skin gets a little hard if you over cook it or fry it too hard. So what we're going to do is take a little bit of eggplant very quick give it a nice dice, okay you don't want to make it too small because you don't want to turn it to mush, too small. We're going to take some fresh garlic, get some chopped garlic going on, okay very simple a little chopped garlic. Now to start the dish very simple, what we're going to do a little bit of the garlic. And again you want a little bit of a worm pan you don't want too hot, some garlic, get your eggplant in there. Now the thing about eggplant, eggplant is like a sponge, it's going to absorb the oil, it's going to soak it right in, you want to give your pan a little shake, like back in the old day when you were making that Jiffy Pop popcorn, give it a little shake like that. Okay, now take a look at that, right off the bat it soaked in all the olive oil so if that happens no big deal, we're really cooking here, not a problem, add a little bit more olive oil. Okay a little chili flake or crushed red and again season, make sure everything is always seasoned, salt, pepper it's going to bring out the flavor. Very simple a little black pepper, okay a little bit of salt. Now the thing about eggplant not like most other vegetables, most vegetables you want firm to the bite, you want to blanch it, you want to shock it, you want it a little bit al dente, eggplant not so much, eggplant has got to be soft, it's got to be tender, you want to make sure you cook it all the way through and again I can't stress it enough it's like a sponge it will soak up all the oil, if you want to add a little more olive oil you can, no big deal. But once your eggplant is going a little bit we're going to take a little penne pasta, okay very simple and again you don't got to use penne, you can use rigatoni, you can use spaghetti, you can use linguini, anything. Drop your pasta in the water, okay very simple and again once you drop the pasta in the water make sure the water has salt, the second you drop your pasta give it a little stir so it doesn't stick together. Now eggplant is still going, nice take a look at that, you can almost smell that, I can smell that, take a that, beautiful check it out, very simple. Now once your eggplant is a little bit tender let it cook for a little bit. You're going to add your tomato sauce, now again I like to use San Marzano tomatoes from the region of San Marzano of Italy if you cant find them that's fine be sure to use a good quality Italian tomato, very simple, add some tomato. And again I keep stressing this you're constantly building layers you want to season it a little black pepper, a little salt, very simple. Okay now the trick too is fresh basil, there's one dry herb I'm totally against, I don't think you should ever use it, but if you do the more power to you, fresh basil. Okay a little bit of fresh basil now again let that cook. For the bread crumb part you can use plain bread crumbs, you can use seasoned bread crumbs all I have here is simple a little Italian seasoned bread crumb that I made myself, Parmesan cheese, parsley, a little salt, a little pepper, a little garlic. Now what you're going to do in a pan with a little bit of olive oil, okay just a little bit of olive oil, lightly sprinkling your bread crumb and you're going to toast it, right off the bat you want to get that nice beautiful, nice toasted bread crumb, look at that, look at that with the sauce, look how beautiful that is, look how beautiful that is eggplant, tomato sauce, basil, check that out. Okay now we're going to take some goat cheese, very simple a little bit of goat cheese right in there and it's almost going to make it like a vodka sauce or a cream sauce, but we're using goat cheese, very simple. Check that out look at the goat cheese melted, isn't that beautiful, look at that. Use as much as you want, use a lot, use a little bit, I recommend a couple of teaspoons, that's fine. After the penne has been cooking and again you want to cook your pasta al dente, you want to cook it firm to the bite, check that out, give it a little toss, beautiful. Now to finish the dish, very simple, we have the bread crumb that we toasted earlier, okay, check it out, nice golden brown. Again seasoned bread crumb a little bit of olive oil, medium flame, finish it with a little toasted bread crumb. And simply because I'm Italian and I happen to love cheese I'm going to add a little bit of Parmesan cheese. And again that's the dish, eggplant with goat cheese and toasted bread crumb. Ammo juana bon appetit. See you all next time.

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