Eggplant Timbale

Total Time:
1 hr 55 min
45 min
10 min
1 hr

4 to 6 servings

  • 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.

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Cooking Tips
4.5 121
We loved this have made it again and again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Very Very good! I really like this. My daughter even liked this (not the eggplant part) and she is a picky eater. I did not use the smoked motz as we are not crazy about smoked cheese. I did use fresh motz for this recipe. I will for sure be making this again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Very tasty. we substituted pork sausage for mild Italian turkey sausage. It needed more eggplant than specified. We happened to have more eggplant on hand than it called for thankfully. It was a bit tedious but it helps when your husband enjoys cooking along side you so it makes for a fun recipe with a loved one. I really didn't think the 9" spring pan would fit all the pasta but sure enough it did! It turned out really well, held together nicely. we let ours set for about 20 minutes rather than 10 min. It was still warm and held nicely. I would have to say that the recipe took a lot longer to prepare than the recipe says. over 1 hr 15 min. Still though the taste and presentation was superb. :) item not reviewed by moderator and published
Giada, I made this tonight in honor of you. You will probably never see this but it's my favorite recipe of all time... creative, simple (just follow the steps everyone!), and delicious. I feel pride when I make this! Take care! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Attempting this for dinner today. I had a pot pull pasta with meat, mushrooms and onion in sauce. Did not have any Marsala wine. So none will be used. First I hope it turns out great. Second If there are leftovers. I wonder if they will freeze ok or not. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Wonderful! Tasty - hubby loved it! A bit labor intensive, but well worth the effort. It did take more eggplant than I figured, so had to go back to store for more....but other than that it was well worth the effort! item not reviewed by moderator and published
A little tricky and lots of steps, but well worth it! A new holiday favorite. Delicious! item not reviewed by moderator and published
great recipe, in need of clarification. Do not use a springform pan, too small for the amount of pasta, do use a large pyrex bowl which gives the shape of a timbalo.(drum. Use a mandolin to cut the eggplant. Butter or oil the pyrex bowl and then coat with bread crumbs, line bowl with eggplant slices add pasta, cheese, ragu, pea mixture, cover mixture with more eggplant.slices cover all with a dish and some cans that will press the mixture down, chill in refrigerator for 45 min. Then bake at 375 for 90 minutes. Let sit 20 and then slice invert bowl onto serving platter. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Wow. I made this for my fiance's birthday dinner last night and his brother joined us and devoured it! They were so impressed! I did have to take my time and it did take me longer to prepare but I think the next time will go much quicker. I also couldn't find smoked mozz but it wasnt' missed since it's our first time. I think I might add a little prosciutto next time. This is definately going into our favorites. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This looks so impressive that even friends who claimed to hate eggplant were dying to try it. A bit of advice for the reviewer whose timbale fell apart--do not pack the pasta too much. If you don't, it should stay together when you unmold it and when you slice it. item not reviewed by moderator and published

Not what you're looking for? Try:

Eggplant and Bucatini Timbale

Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse