Monday, March 28, 2011

Fancy Eggplant Surprise

OKAY! STOP! I know this looks kind of... weird. Maybe even gross. But I swear on my life, it is delicious!

And yes. It is involved. But, sometimes making a recipe with a lot of steps and processes is fun.

And okay... it's not really klutz friendly. I did burn my fingers making the egg plant and I may have cut myself chopping...

Forget it. I don't have to defend my recipe choices! This recipe is delicious! I don't care if you can't see it or if it doesn't keep up with the "simple" recipe theme I try and live by. I made it and I survived to tell the tale of yumminess! You probably can too.

It's from Giada's cookbook "Everyday Italian". Or "Giada's Kitchen"... one of her cookbooks. They are all kind of the same, right? She's on the cover, cooking. The book is full of awesome, can't miss recipes that make you drool as you flip through the pages...

Anyway, that's enough of this botched up post. You should just make it. And trust myself, and Giada, that this is a flavor party you will not regret making for yourself and your family.

Enjoy! :)

Giada's Eggplant Timbale:
-3 med eggplants, sliced lengthwise, 1/4 inch thick
-1/3 cup plus 2 tbls olive oil
-salt/pepper to taste
-1/2 lb penne pasta
-1 med onion, diced
-1/2 lb lean ground beef
-1/2 lb ground italian sausage
-1/4 c Marsala wine
-1 c frozen peas, thawed
-2 c marinara sauce (jarred works!)
-1 1/2 cups diced smoked mozzarella chese (approx 6oz)
-1 cup freshly grated pecorino romano cheese
-1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

Place a grill pan over med heat or preheat a grill. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the eggplant slices with 1/3 cup of the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill the eggplant on both sides- until tender and colored with the grill marks. About 4 mins per side. Set aside when done.

While the eggplant cooks, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta, cook til tender but firm to the bite. Drain.

Meanwhile, warm the remaining 2 tbls olive oil in a large skillet over med/high heat. Add the onion and saute' until tender. Add the ground beef and sausage to the pan, browning the meat and breaking into bite size pieces. Pour out the excess fat. Add the Marsala wine, cook until the liquid evaporates, about 3 mins. Turn off the heat. Add peas, marinara, and stir to combine. Add mozzarella, 3/4 c pecorino, the basil, and the cooked pasta. Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a spring form pan with the grilled eggplant, making sure the slices overlap and hang over the edge of the pan. Fill the pan with pasta mixture, pressing down to make sure the filling is evenly distrubuted. Fold the eggplant over the top, creating an entirely enclosed timbale. Bake until the filling is warmed through and the cheese has melted, about 30 minutes. Allow it to set/cool for 10 mins.

Sprinkle with remaining cheese and serve.


  1. i always wanted to make this. besides that i adore eggplant and giada, the presentation is beyond impressive. so now the real question, how did it taste?
    p.s. i'm drooling over here:)

  2. Actually, that looks AMAZING. And I want to eat it right now. Where can I get some eggplant over here?

  3. That is SO fancy looking! Very impressive!!!!