Wow ~ Friends, give this a try, worth the effort! EGGPLANT TIMBALEby Kathy Bullerman on Jan. 05, 2012, under Beef, Main Dish, Pasta, Pork
When I got this new cookbook for Christmas (Giada’s Kitchen) I saw this recipe for Eggplant Timbale. The pictures in the cookbook looked so good, I had to give it a shot! This dish originated in Naples. It is filled with a delicious cheesy mixture!
The only way I have ever had eggplant was sliced, dipped in egg, rolled in cracker crumb then FRIED! Oh so good!
I did do some alterations to the original recipe. I added a little more sauce and a little less cheese so it was a little more friendly to the waistline.
Don’t let all of the directions, intimidate you….It is a little time consuming; but not complicated at all!
2 – medium eggplant, sliced lengthwise 1/4 inch thick
1/3 cup plus 2 T. olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 # penne pasta
1 medium onion – diced
1/2 # Italian sausage
1/2 # lean ground beef
1/4 cup Marsala Wine (I used Sherry)
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 jar of Classico Tomato Basil Pasta sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded Pecorino Romano cheese
1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped or you can use 1/3 cup dried basil
Using a pastry brush, lightly brush both sides of the eggplant slices with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Preheat your grill on medium heat. Grill the eggplant on both sides until tender and colored with grill marks; about 4 minutes per side. Be sure to watch the grill carefully so the eggplant doesn’t burn. When done, set aside.
Cook the pasta – only 8-10 minutes. You don’t want to fully cook the pasta, as it will finish cooking in the oven. Set aside.
In a large skillet, add 2 T. olive oil and saute the onion until tender. Add ground beef and pork sausage. Brown the meat, breaking into bite size pieces. Pour off any excess fat. Add the wine and cook until the liquid has evaporated about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add the peas and marinara sauce and stir to combine. Add the mozzarella, 3/4 cup of the Pecorino, the basil and the cooked pasta. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 inch springform pan with the grilled eggplant, making sure that the slices overlap and hang over the edge of the pan; reserve a few slices. Fill the pan with pasta mixture, pressing down to make sure the filling is evenly distributed. Fold the eggplant slices up over the top of the pasta and top with the reserved slices to enclose the timbale completely. Bake the timbale until the filling is warmed through and the cheese has melted, about 45 minutes. Let the timbale cool for 10 minutes.
Invert the timbale onto a serving plate and remove the pan. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup grated Pecorino , slice and serve.