- Prep-time: / Ready In:
- Makes 8 cups pasta + 12 slices eggplant
Air-fryers are a fantastic tool for whole-food, plant-based kitchens, as they make it easy to cook up perfectly crispy meals and snacks without any oil. Crispbread crackers give air-fried eggplant extra crunch in this healthy take on an Italian comfort-food classic. Be sure to peel the eggplant because the skin can get tough.
Tip: Depending on the size of your air-fryer basket, you may need to fry just a few eggplant slices at a time; to keep air-fried slices warm, transfer to a baking sheet in a 250°F oven while cooking the remaining slices.
By Nancy Macklin,
- 4 crispbread crackers
- 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed
- ¼ cup unsweetened, unflavored plant milk, such as almond, soy, cashew, or rice
- 1 medium eggplant (1 lb.), peeled and sliced into ½-inch rounds
- 10 oz. dry whole grain linguine
- 1 onion, chopped (1 cup)
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
- 1 8-oz. package sliced fresh button mushrooms
- 1 22- to 23-oz. jar oil-free marinara sauce
- 1 14.5-oz. can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- Preheat air fryer to 370°F. In a food processor place crackers, 2 Tbsp. of the nutritional yeast, the garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Cover and process until finely chopped; place in a shallow bowl. Pour milk into a second shallow bowl. Dip each eggplant slice into the milk and then the crumbs, lightly coating all sides. Place on a baking sheet.
- Place eggplant slices in air fryer, in batches if necessary, so they are not touching. Air-fry 12 to 15 minutes or until eggplant is tender and breading is crisp, turning slices once.
- Meanwhile, cook linguine according to package directions. Drain and return to pot. In a large skillet cook onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms over medium 5 to 7 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally and adding water, 1 to 2 Tbsp. at a time, as needed to prevent sticking. Transfer to pot with pasta. Add marinara sauce and tomatoes; mix well. Cook 5 minutes or until heated through.
- Top linguine mixture with eggplant. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tsp. nutritional yeast and the basil.
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