Sunday, October 24, 2010

Eggplant Timbale - An Old Favorite

This is a recipe that I have made numerous times. It is a favorite of mine. The presentation is absolutely beautiful. It took me a while to get it to come out right, but I think I have perfected it now.

Ready to get started.

Out of the oven.

Unmolded and ready to cut into.

The  finished timbale. What a beauty.

I can taste this all over again just looking at this photo. What a wonderful taste and bite. The different textures are so pleasing. The eggplant is smooth and velvety, the meat rich and flavorful, and the peas have a slight snap as you bite down on them. Another perfect autumn/fall dish.

Eggplant Timbale
Adapted from Giada's Kitchen

2 medium eggplants, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1/3 cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound penne pasta
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound Italian pork sausage
1/4 cup Marsala wine
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
2 cups marinara sauce, jarred or homemade
1 1/2 cups diced smoked mozzarella cheese (about 6 ounces) I used regular mozzarella, as I couldn't find the smoked in the grocery store I was in)
3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus 1/4 cup (Also used parmesan, no pecorino romano either)
1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, (used about 1/4cup, thought a cupfull was too much for my liking) 

Special equipment: 9-inch springform pan

Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or pre-heat a gas or charcoal grill, (I did mine on the gas grill as there are so many slices it would take forever using my small grill pan). Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the eggplant slices with 1/3 cup olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill the eggplant until tender and colored with grill marks, about 4 minutes per side. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta.
Meanwhile, warm the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the beef and pork, and brown the meat, breaking it into bite-sized pieces with a wooden spoon, about 5 minutes. Pour off any excess fat. Add the Marsala 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 cupof the pecorino parmesan, basil, and cooked pasta. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the springform pan with the grilled eggplant. Be sure that the slices overlap and hang over the edge of the pan. Sort of like a flower, making sure they overlap so that your filling doesn't leak out. Make sure to line the bottom well also, as this will become the top when inverted. Fill the pan with the pasta mixture, pressing down to make sure the pan is filling up evenly. Fold the eggplant slices up over the top of the pasta and add a few more slices on top to completely enclose the timbale. Bake until warmed through and the cheese has melted, about 30 minutes. Let rest on the counter for 10 minutes to set.
To serve, invert the timbale onto a serving plate and remove the springform pan. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese over the top. Slice and serve.
Serves 4 to 6.

This is my entry for IHCC's Potluck, Cookbook Sundays at Brenda's Canadian Kitchen, Potluck Sunday's at Mommy's Kitchen with Tina, and Presto Pasta Nights #187 being hosted this week by Tigerfish of Teczcape . Also for Cassidy's Recipe Swap Sundays at Remodelaholic blog, and Miranda's Fat Camp Fridays over at Mangoes and Chutney, and to Angie's Sundays at One at her blog Cocina Diary. Stop by for a visit. Or even better yet come join in on all the fun.

Cookbook Sundays Badge



Eggplant Timbale

Pasta, italian sausage, and ground beef smothered in marinara and cheese all wrapped up in velvety eggplant.

See Eggplant Timbale on Key Ingredient.

Eggplant Timbale on Foodista
Carla and Michael


  1. Oh my gosh, does this ever sound good. I've never heard of anything quite like this. How on earth did you get the presentation like that!? I have a feeling mine would look nothing like that, lol. I can't even cut a piece of pie. Thank you so much for linking this scrumptious recipe up to Cookbook Sundays!

  2. Yes, what a beautiful presentation! I am not a big eggplant fan, but this sound very very good. thanks for sharing.

  3. Wow - your eggplant timbale makes for a gorgeous presentation! I've wanted to make a timbale several times, but I have to admit that I'm kinda scared. Great job!

  4. Very nice guys! I like the addition of the Marsala to balance the taste of the eggplant.

  5. Wow..this sounds amazing!! and looks it, too...

  6. Oh wow!, this is comfort food at its best. Looks so delicious, especially since I haven't had dinner yet! By the way, thanks for joining us this week!

  7. Looks like a perfect dinner party dish... or a make any dinner a party and have lots of leftovers to replay it over and over. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Night.

  8. never made like this
    thank you you can find agar agar in asian stores (indian or chinese I have seen) it is in place of gelatine no animal products it is in forms of sheets or powder and commonly called agar agar (sometimes known as china grass or ceylon moss)
    hope you try it and enjoy :)

  9. Looks wonderful! I have never tried anything like this, but since it has all my favorites in it, I am sure I would love it:)

  10. Oh boy, I have so got to try this one. It looks amazing, and as luck would have it I picked up a beautiful big eggplant at the market today which will be just perfect :-)

  11. Good job on the timbale. Tried it once and it flopped out of the pan

  12. Wow, that is a neat recipe. I might have to try it. I am always looking for new eggplant recipes.


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