Cake Boss Buddy Valastro may be known for his towering sweet confections, but on nights at home with his wife, Lisa, it’s all about family-style Italian comfort food.
“Honestly, I don’t like to go out,” the celebrity chef tells PEOPLE in the video above. And between their four children — Sofia, 13, Buddy, 12, Marco, 9, and Carlo, 5 — and constant surprise houseguests, the couple is always prepared to whip up dinner at a moment’s notice.
In addition to a fully-stocked refrigerator in their kitchen, they also have an industrial-sized fridge and freezer in their garage. “All Italians got a refrigerator in the garage,” he says. “That’s what we do.”
For dinner, Lisa whips up Buddy’s grandmother’s classic Eggplant Parm. “Even though it’s my grandma’s recipe, my wife makes it the best I’ve ever had,” the TLC star claims.
And when it comes to dessert, the Cake Boss takes the reigns — but instead of an elaborate cake, he takes the simple route with a 5-ingredient Grilled Bananas Foster accompanied by a big scoop of ice cream. Get their recipes below.
Eggplant Parmesan Recipe
2 medium-large eggplants, peeled and cut into ¼” rounds
2 cups breadcrumbs
1 tbsp. garlic powder
4 tbsp. dried parsley, divided
1 cup grated plus 6 tbsp. grated parmesan, divided
1 cup all-purpose flour
6 large eggs
12 oz. sliced mozzarella
3 cups marinara sauce
Olive oil, as needed for frying
1. Salt liberally and allow to weep set in colander for one hour. Press eggplant dry between paper and tea towels.
2. Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly oil a shallow glass or ceramic 9” x 13” baking dish and cover bottom with a layer or marinara sauce. In a pie plate or baking dish, add flour. In another dish, combine breadcrumbs with ½ cup parmesan, 2 tbsp. dried parsley and 2 tsp. each salt and pepper. In another dish, beat eggs with another ½ cup parmesan, remaining parsley and 1 tsp. each salt and pepper.
3. Heat a large skillet medium-high. Pour in enough oil to come ¼” up the sides. Dredge eggplant in flour, tapping off excess, then egg, dripping excess into plate. Coat in crumbs. Fry in hot oil, adjusting heat accordingly, until golden brown on each side. Set cooked eggplant to drain on paper towel-lined baking sheet. Lightly salt one side of the eggplant.
4. Place an overlapping layer of eggplant in the sauced baking dish. Sprinkle on two tablespoons of parmesan. Ladle over another layer of sauce. Cover with a layer of mozzarella. Repeat layer of eggplant, parmesan, sauce, mozzarella, and finish with two more tablespoons of parmesan.
5. Bake in the middle rack of the oven until cheese is bubbling and dish is hot throughout, about 20-30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Grilled Bananas Foster Recipe
3 tbsp. light brown sugar
1 tbsp. aged rum
2 tsp. unsalted butter
1 scoop vanilla ice cream
1. Preheat a grill to high, about 400°.
2. Slice banana lengthwise, trying not to cut all the way through the banana (but it’s okay if you do!). Open banana like a bun and fill with brown sugar, butter, rum and marshmallows. Close the banana gently and wrap in a layer of aluminum foil.
3. Place on grill and cook for 12-14 minutes, then remove and let rest 2 minutes.
4. Open the foil packets (being careful of steam) and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.