Tuesday, February 1, 2011

January's Recipe: Eggplant Timbale

I love to cook but I'm sure like most I get in ruts of cooking the same things all the time.  I love cookbooks and I have a ton but as someone who doesn't like to follow directions I alway kind of do my own thing when it comes to cooking.  As one of my goals for 2011 I am going to make something new every month and follow the directions.  For January I decided on Eggplant Timbale from Giada's Kitchen (I'm on quite the Giada kick lately).  We had our friend's the Snelson's over for dinner last friday and I decided who better to test it on than them.  I must say it was FANTASTIC and I can't wait to make it again!  The rebel in me is already thinking of new ways to change the filling.  It was really easy and looks beautiful, especially if your having friends for dinner.  We had ours with a yummy Caesar salad and crusty french bread.  We ate it up so quick I didn't get a picture, so here's the one from Food Network.com.  Hope you enjoy!


  • 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 store-bought marinara sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups diced smoked mozzarella cheese (about 6 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus 1/4 cup
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • Special equipment: 9-inch springform pan


Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or pre-heat a gas or charcoal grill. 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. 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 cheeses,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. 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 the timbale 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.


  1. YUM YUM YUM!!!! you're the best cook i know :)


  2. Kara, I just love your blog, Fiona just put me on to it, Lovely to see you and your Mum on sunday at the swapmeet, we didnt buy anything but got lots of ideas.

    Courtneys Mum.......

  3. Diane it is always such a pleasure to see you!! Glad you had fun at the flea market and thanks for stopping by my blog!

    Lots of love,


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