Eggplant Pasta Timballoadmin
The Timballo (a shaped mold) of pasta and eggplant is a typical Sicilian dish made with partially cooked pasta, flavored with sauce, and then baked in the oven in an eggplant enfolded mold. It is a unique and tasty dish, a real explosion of flavors, perfect for a family dinner, Sunday lunch, or special occasion. It is colorful and beautiful to admire, and it can be prepared in just a few steps. Chef Alba
Eggplant Pasta Timballo
Eggplant, pasta and Meat:
- 4 medium 5 medium eggplants, thinly slices lenthwise, 1/4 inch in thickness
- 1 pound minced beef or minced beef or pork
- 1 1/2 cups frozen peas thawed
- 3-4 tbsps chopped basil
- 1 pound penne or mezze pene pasta
- 1 1/2 cups each grated pecorino, shreeded mozzarealla
- Secolari Arbasano Extra virgin olive oil for brushing
- 3 - 4 tbsps Secolari Arbosana Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Arbequina
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 (28 ounce) can good quality crushed tomato
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsps tomato paste
- 1 to taste Secolari Roasted Garlic Sea Salt
- 1 cup warm water or broth more if needed
- 1 to taste pinch of Secolari Wild Porcini Sea Salt
- 1 to taste black pepper
- Sauté garlic in olive oil over a gentle heat for 2 minutes until pale gold. Add the tomatoes, oregano, salt, pepper, sugar and simmer gently, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, blend well. Simmer for about 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally and adding 1 tablespoon of water at a time if it dries out.
- Trim the ends from the eggplants and slice lengthways into even thin slices about ¼ inch thick. Dry the slices using kitchen towels. Brush with oil and bake the eggplant slices in the oven over 400F until just golden. As each slice is ready, brush with olive oil and use to line an oiled heatproof cake pan, slightly overlapping the slices so there are no spaces between. Begin from the bottom and work your way up the mold.
- Brown the meat in a skillet with salt and pepper until golden and fully cooked. If too dry add 1-2 tablespoons olive oil.
- Boil the pasta in hot salted water according to package minus 3 minutes. Drain well, transfer to a bowl, and gently mix with half of the sauce. Stir in cheeses, peas, meat, and any leftover eggplant pieces.
- Spoon the pasta filling into the eggplant lined pan. Press down gently to eliminate any gaps. Fold over the ends of the eggplant. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 350F, then rest for 10 minutes to set so that it will be easier to turn out. Put a large plate on top of the bowl and swiftly turn both the bowl and plate over. Remove the pan and serve with extra sauce, extra grated cheese, and black pepper if desired.