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Fr. Alex Roche, St. Maria Goretti, Laflin

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PASTOR CHEF: Father Alex Roche

PREPARING: Eggplant Parmigiana

Thank you for visiting the Rectory, Set, Cook! II: Turning Up The Heat page of Fr.  Alex Roche, pastor of St. Maria Goretti, Laflin, as well as diocesan vocations director and director of seminarians. As part of the latter role, Fr. Alex organizes vocations discernment dinners twice per month, so he’s no slouch in the kitchen.

“The joke is that I’m the vegetarian priest looking up recipes for meatloaf on YouTube,” he said, noting that most young men discerning the priesthood are decidedly NOT vegetarians. Nonetheless, he chose a vegetarian dish – eggplant parmigiana – as his preferred route to Rectory, Set, Cook! II success. This is a somewhat healthier version of the commonly found traditional recipes given no breading is involved. Neither is Parmesan cheese. Fr. Alex's cheeses of choice here are fresh mozzarella and provolone.

Tips from the master pastor chef in the making:

  1. Soak your eggplant in milk first. It prevents the eggplant itself from soaking up oil, adds texture, and brings out flavor in the final analysis.
  2. To dry your eggplant, you can use paper towels or simply salt it generously and leave it in a colander for an hour or so.

Please consider supporting Fr. Roche – who, on a sidenote, says his dream job is to become a motorcycle cop – with a vote (or a few) over the next six weeks. St. Maria Goretti Parish will benefit from your voting dollars, and so will Catholic Social Services’ anti-hunger efforts: food kitchens, food pantries, and other hunger outreach efforts.

As Catholics, we are ALL called by Christ to feed the hungry, and we can do great things by working together daily to help carry out these and other core Catholic missions.

Please also consider purchasing a Rectory, Set, Cook! cookbook. Proceeds of the cookbook sale will do a little more to help fight the good fight against hunger in Northeastern and Northcentral Pennsylvania. Plus, your purchase will get you a good eggplant parmigiana recipe!


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