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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4.5 122
We are vegetarian this is amazing without the meat. Instead of the meat we use portobello and cremini mushrooms. Always looking for good recipes I can make without meat. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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
A delicious recipe that lends itself well to variation. Though, I'll chime in with yet another vote to increase the number of eggplants to 4... and large eggplants, at that. Two mediums just will not cover. I made a vegetarian version of the recipe, substituting mushrooms - cremini and portabello - and green pepper for the meat. Also eliminating the peas, since I loathe them, and using my own homemade pizziola sauce. I also found that the Marsala was too sweet for my taste; I'd change to a plain, full-bodied red next time. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This eggplant timbale definitely has the WOW factor when it's done! It looked so pretty! However, I would agree with the suggestion in another review that you need more than 2 eggplants. I ended up using 4 eggplants. It's also easier to purchase the long and plump eggplants. To make it pretty, for one slice of eggplant, I cut it crosswise instead of lengthwise. I used this as the first piece on the bottom as the centre piece. Then, all the other longer pieces "fanned" out of the middle piece. In any case, this recipe is brilliant! item not reviewed by moderator and published
The flavor of the pasta part was good but you definitely need more eggplant to cover. Also, I suggest salting both sides of the eggplant and letting sit for one hour (Alex does this with her eggplant parm. To take the bitterness away. Salt both sides, let sit on wire rack for an hour and then rinse and pat dry. Then continue with recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I saw this on Everyday Italian while I was on lunch break at work and I really wanted to make it. It was hard slicing the eggplant perfectly, and it was also kind of hard lining the eggplant to the bottom of the springform pan, but in the end it turned out great and it's dee-licious. I have some advice to those of you trying to make this dish. Firstly, you don't need to grill the eggplant slices, I pan fried mine and it worked just as well. Secondly, make sure you choose two long eggplants, if its too short your slices won't be able to reach the edge of the pan. Finally, I used regular mozarella and Parmesan cheese so I wouldn't have to go on a goose hunt trying to find the speciality stuff and it worked fine. Overall, it's a great dish and I really enjoyed making it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Great recipe, I made it with sweet turkey sausage. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Absolutely beautiful presentation! Mine also held together perfectly. I made my own marinara sauce which I think helped the dish. Beautiful to the eye, but really just a regular dish made to look fancy. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was a very tasty dish, but did not hold together and make quite a mess in the oven. I suspect my eggplant preparation was to blame. Be sure not to slice it too thin and overlap enough to create a seal. I used baby eggplant to it was rather short which made it even more difficult to get good coverage. item not reviewed by moderator and published
have made this twice and perfection each time!!!! i didnt have sausage the 2nd time, i used organic ground beef and seasoned with herbs d' provence ;0 i grilled the eggplant on my gas outdoor grill which seemed faster; seemed like i used more salt than the recipe called for! i have made several of Giada's recipes and each time they are a huge hit with my friends and family!!!!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was easier to make them I thought. Gorgeous, elegant, delicious and impressive! There is almost no way to botch this up, just don't let your eggplant slices tear in the middle. LOVE IT!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Lovely, time consuming but the enjoyment is in the making and of course eating. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was a great recipe. My family loved it and was not very difficult (if you are an experienced chef. Will make it again for a special event! Love it! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This dish is amazing, and not that difficult if you're a seasoned kitchen aficionado...hobbyist! It was a bit time consuming, but well worth the effort. I made the filling the day before, the let it rest in the fridge, allowing the flavors to really come together. My only note, is to make sure you get one large (long eggplant and one medium. The larger fold building the sides that wrap around for the timbale. Also, DO add red chili flakes (1 TBLS to the recipe. Other than that just follow the instructions as so and it will be splendid. We drank the remaining Marsala while eating and it was like being back in Italy dining in a quaint garden or Agriturismo. Thanks Giada! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this recipe and was thrilled! Show stopper and delicious! I cooked for 50 min. and let set for 30 min. Came out beautiful and did not fall apart. I used 4 medium sized eggplant and had just enough item not reviewed by moderator and published
It turned out beautifully! It looked just like the photo and tasted fantastic! I made for friends that we are traveling to Italy with. My guests and I prepped and had vino, then waited for the masterpiece. It was the most impressive looking dinner I have ever created. Followed the specific directions and I would not say difficult to make, but a bit time consuming. We let set about 15 minutes before eating and it stood on its own perfect, even after slicing. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I would have to agree with Christine. Sorry I'm late posting, since I made this last month. It was "Giada month" at our house and I made at least 4 of her recipes each week. This was disappointing. I used 2 large eggplants, and felt it could have used a third one. It took at least 35 minutes for it to set. The flavor was good after I spiced it up a little with crushed red pepper and a little chili oil. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Do you guys really test these things? As it was presented, I had to put this back in the oven 2 more X's trying to get a crust on the outside layer. This should be in the oven at a minimum of 375 for 1 hour 15 mins. AND depending on the size of the eggplant, you may need more than 2. I made do with what I had today, When I released it from the springform pan I immediately placed it back on a baking sheet to set. Come on. Some of us are really serious about making these recipes!! Christine Erengis Chicago, Il item not reviewed by moderator and published
I loved this recipe!!! This combines all things tasty, like eggplant, pork and beef, cheese and pasta!!! It is a bit time consuming for the prep work, but after that's all done, its a breeze to put it all together. The flavour is great and I do recommend letting it stand to set up after coming out of oven for at least 30 minutes or a bit longer. And it looks just the picture when you slice it!!! I served this up with a big green salad and some great crusty bread!! Everyone loved it!! Since then, I've made this another couple of times and its come out just the first one!! Delish!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made it for the first time and it tasted wonderful. However, it did fall apart on me. It didn't change the taste, but I didn't get the wow factor on the presentation. Anyone have any suggestions as how to keep it together? I'll make it again regardless, but I was just curious. item not reviewed by moderator and published
While I have discovered I do not like eggplant or even working with eggplant, I rather like the pasta part of this recipe. I could not find smoke mozzarella where I live, so I improvised with half regular mozzarella and half shredded smoked Gouda. Seemed to work well. Used sweet Italian sausage. Would recommend this with a warning to the cook on the time it takes to deal with the eggplant. If I had to make it again with the eggplant, I would definitely peel it before cooking it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Tasty? What did you think? Time consuming, but turned out excellent. We loved it. Defininately, a keeper. It does require 3 eggplants, though. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Definitely tasty!!! Worked perfectly! May use sweet Italian sausage next time. This will be one of our new favorites!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
First off, this does not fit into a 9" springform pan, I filled up a 13X9 casserole dish with all of this. Second of all, this is very delicious. Wonderful! item not reviewed by moderator and published
One of my favs! I use leftover pasta and improvise on that part. Usually anything will work. Its not that difficult and kind of fun to prepare. Served on a platter, it raises your culinary skills! Impressive to see and eat. item not reviewed by moderator and published
this was one of the best finds on the website. I am a vegetarian and had quite a lot of fun figuring out what veggies I can replace with meat. I went with red and yellow peppers, broccoli and olives. Though my timbale was a tad loosely packed and it crumbled a little when I served, the dish came out beautifully. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Overall the recipe is great. It's not difficult to do, but I cook ALL THE TIME! The recipe (and I've made it three times in the last couple of weeks) needs far more eggplant than the recipe calls for; so purchase accordingly! I also added some red pepper chili flakes, a bit of cayenne, fresh oregano in addition to the basil, and a bit more of the smoked Mozzarella. All in all.. fabulous WOW factor and very good! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This dish is fantastic and really not all that difficult. It just takes a bit of multi-tasking (and a lot of dishes to clean up. I doubled the recipe for Christmas Eve in a 13x9 pan since I was having an open house with about 25 people coming. I layered the bottom of the pan with eggplant, followed by the pasta, and topped with more eggplant then cut it like a lasagna. It was a huge hit and I received a lot of compliments. I've also made it in the spring form pan for a smaller crowd - it's always a crowd pleaser!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
FAB! loved the presentation and the flavor! quite an impressive meal for guests- they all loved it. i did cover bottom of springform pan with foil just in case it leaked but it didn't. i also let the timbale sit for about 15-20 minutes as other reviews said to do. turned out just perfect!! making again tonight for christmas eve dinner! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Though this recipe takes a little time, it is an awesome, easy recipe, which allows a home cook to get creative when layering the grilled (or roasted eggplant in the spring-form pan. I cut holiday designs out of the eggplant outer skin for the first layer in the pan, skin side down. Last week I cut out petals and berries to create a poinsettia design for a six-person holiday brunch. For a more festive look, use a mix of colored penne pasta (regular, sun-dried tomato, and spinach. When serving individual portions, have a gravy boat of sauce and grated cheese to garnish. As you present the end result at your dinner table, folks are totally surprised and run for their cameras before and after you serve the first slice. The end result is quite a conversation piece--so delicious and filling. Great for leftovers, heated in the oven with sauce as a base. In summary, a very versatile, fun, and surprisingly delightful recipe to add to any home cook's repertoire. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This receipe was awesome. It turned out absolutely beautiful. My guests were very impressed. It was not very hard to do, just a few more steps than most cooks would want to do. Thanks Giada for a great recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made it last night and it came out really well. I made it vegetarian. Smoked mozzarella added nice smoky flavor to the pasta. Presentation was wow! a show stopper. item not reviewed by moderator and published
i had lot of fun making this it was so easy for me and it seemed like i got to use all of my kitchen to do it. my stove,grill,gadgets,and oven. it turned out perfectly beautiful and delicious. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My husband saw the Neapolitan episode last night, so when he saw I'd brought home an eggplant with the groceries, he immediately wanted to make this. We had close approximations of the ingredients on hand; no pork, smoked mozzarella, Romano or Marsala but we had enough ground beef, shredded mozzarella, Parmesan and (drinking, not cooking) Sherry to make do. It took both of us working on it to put it together efficiently, but all the prep was worth it - marvelous! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Did not use marsala wine, it came out incredibly sweet anyway so I would suggest skipping it. I used homemade sauce. And regular mozzerella instead of smoked, I think smoked would taste funny with sauce... It's definitely messy, Make sure you watch this episode before doing It you have to completely layer the bottom before the sides (that's why I had so much leftover eggplant..) Two very big eggplants should definitely be enough. And unless you really like eggplant skin I'd say peel it off my fiance was choking on it :/ And cook it longer my mozzerella didn't melt. I'd say 45-60 min Although it was sweet it did taste good item not reviewed by moderator and published
So I made this yesterdayfor a girl's nite get--together. It came out perfectly. I didn't use store-bought gravy because I can own. But for those people who said it fell apart, the trick is after you add the meat, cook the gravy long enough to where it is super thick, almost like a chili consistency, so that when you remove the mold it won't fall apart. If, before you add the pasta you think it's too dry, add some of the pasta water a little bit at a time to thin it down some, but be sure to adjust the salt. I needed to add a bit more. Otherwise, everyone raved about it and asked me for the recipe. Thanks Giada, you always come thru! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this for the first time. It was a bit time consuming but definitely worth it. I followed the instructions after baking. But when I undid the spring pan, the timbale collapsed a bit. Maybe I need to let it sit a bit longer. I used smoked gouda instead. I think putting the gouda and the romano cheese was a bit much. Next time I'll just use the romano cheese. Overall, though, it was a really good dish. Would recommend it. By the way, you can find smoked mozzarella at whole foods. Also, anybody have any vegetarian suggestions to this timbale (such as what type of vegetable to add would be best??? item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this for the first time a couple of weeks ago. My guests loved it. I used two large eggplants and sliced them thin. It came out perfect. It does take a while to make and bake, but once it is done there is nothing leftover for the next nite. The secret is pre-heat your oven to 350 and once the dish is done let it rest in the spring pan and when ready to serve remove it on to a platter. item not reviewed by moderator and published
It lives up to the "difficult" rating for making- but so worth it if you have the time. We made a few substitutions- used rice instead of pasta (I always save those boxes of white rice that come with delivered chinese food, so put that in instead) and added garlic to the onion when sauteeing (because what doesn't taste better with garlic). It does need longer than 30 minutes- we cooked ours for 50. Then we also added egg to the mixture before putting it in the pan (after cooling it down a bit)- maybe that's cheating, but the first time we made it it fell apart. But this is one of those recipes that you can take the basics and put your own little twist on it! It tastes even better the second day after heating up again for lunch!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this the other night with my wife, except we made it all vegetarian, it turned out perfectly and I let it rest after I took it out of the oven and it didn't fall apart, even when I cut into it. We loved it and will make it again. Thanks for the recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this last night for my family-my husband was so impressed with the way it came out. It truly looked just like the photo and my daughter Rachel said Mom this is unbelievable!!!! I did add a bit more pasta to the mix and had a bit left over so I put the extra pasta mixture in a separate tupperware container to eat for a lunch or leftover meal. It served us last ngith and we will look forward to enjoying it tonight as we all watch "The Bachelor"!!!! Giada-I have made so many of your dishes and this one will definitely be made again. Everyone should try this if you want to impress family or friends. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was almost too pretty to eat once it came out of the pan! I agree with previous reviewers that you need 4 eggplants and be sure to slice them thick enough so that they don't fall apart as you are grilling them. I also decided to add some minced garlic to the onion in the pan as well as mushrooms. I used my own tomatoe sauce and had enough to put in a gravy bowl to place on top of the eggplant after you dish it out. Everyone in my family loved this dish and I will definately be making it again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
great and easy, great presentation, i would however use 3-4 eggplants, because the slices do not come out as perfect as giada's and you will not end up with enough slices, it also does need probably 45 min in oven to bake item not reviewed by moderator and published
I wasn't sure it would stay together one I took it out of the pan. I was surprised how well it came out. I will definitely make this again!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this tonight for dinner. My husband and I both loved it! It's delicious and very appealing to the eye. I saw Giada make it a few days ago and couldn't wait to try it myself. I will definitely make this one again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Delish!!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this with my mom the other day. It was INCREDIBLE! The tastes were magnificent. It sounds really difficult to make, but just make sure you have enough eggplant, or under-stuff it. Next time, I'd use three eggplants. I brought it to my apartment and my roommates loved it! I'd definitely make it again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Crowd stopping !!!!!!!! And it taste great too. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I saw Giada make this and I fell in love with it. I had trouble first with grilling the eggplant but I thought it wasn't that bad so finished it and baked it as directed and then I let it set for 10 min. amd then I inverted as she said on my stove and it fell every where on my stove it was one sloppy mess. I salvage some of it, and the part I salvaged the taste was delicious so the next time I will take the eggplant and cube it and saute and just add it to the finished mixture and bake it in a 9x13 in. pan. Like I said its a keeper but not with grilled eggplant. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I was never fond of eggplant, this receipe changed my view on eggplant. Made it just as the receipe calls, turn out great; I would add a bit more spice. item not reviewed by moderator and published
We prepared this dish tonight and it turned out perfectly. After reading all the comments we were a little leary about inverting it but decided we had to try it. It worked perfectly. We loved this and can't wait to make it again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My husband and I saw Giada make this today and he went right out and bought the ingredients. When it was finished we served it to our son and my nephew, two 21 year olds that are really picky eaters. They were at first put off with the eggplant but tried it anyway and they both loved it and ate every drop!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Saw Giada make this on TV. Just couldn't wait to try it. Our dinner guests loooved it! 'It is a keeper" was agreed to by all. I had no problem with inverting or cutting. I followed the recipe to the letter. It was just fantastic! I had no fear trying this for the first time for company accompanied with Antipasto and some garlic bread. Wonderful!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I followed this recipe to the letter and it came out fantastic! Everyone at the table agreed that this one is a keeper. I let it set for 10 minutes before inverting it and removing the spring form pan as dirceted, and it held its shape beautifully. Perhaps those that had difficulty were too impatient. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Very time consuming to make, but enjoyable. If I were to do it again I would not use the smoked cheese, The taste and aroma were overpowering. My family would not even take a bite. I took the obligatory bite and the dish went down the drain. Which is too bad because I love all the components of this dish, with the exception of the smoked mozzarella. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I watched Giada make this on her cooking show and thought it looked like so much fun! Lots of steps but its kind of like a fun puzzle for those of you who enjoy a challenge. I added mushrooms to the filling which made it delicious. In addition I covered the springform pan with aluminum foil due to other reviewers comments on the leakyness they encountered. It worked out perfectly! I took off the foil and found the excess liquid which I promptly threw away. I had never used a springform pan before and was nervous it wouldn't pop out but it did! I did not invert, really no need. When I cut into the pie, it was just like the picture! Parts of pasta revealed themselves along with yummy green peas! Make this recipe, its amazing! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was not a hard dish to make but it was time consuming. I used only the ingredients I had on hand so there were a lot of substitutions. I used all sausage and no beef, frozen basil, ommitted the peas, used parmesean cheese and a monterey/colby jack cheese mix. It came out beautiful and was delicious! Make sure you put foil or a cookie sheet under it while baking to catch the drips. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have made this recipe several times, always with great success. It works just as well with lasagna noodles instead of eggplant for the outside, but I admit that I really enjoy the eggplant best. Feel free to change the cheeses - parmesean works in place of the romano, regular motzarella in place of the smoked. It works best in a spring-form cheesecake pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Let it sit for more like 20-30 minutes before removing from the pan. The filling would also be excellent just cooked in a caserole dish (not worrying about the eggplant outside), but not nearly as impressive. I thinksubstituting texturized vegetable protein or zucchini for the beef and sausage would make a nice all vegetarian version. I think I'll try that next time... item not reviewed by moderator and published
I will admit grilling the eggplant was a lot of work and I added way too much salt but it turned out wonderful overall. The pasta to me was the best part, BEST pasta I think I've ever had!! I'm going to make just the pasta component again this weekend, it's truly amazing!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I really wanted to like this one. Just didn't work. I did the eggplant like she said and in the clip from the show, but it just didn't hold it's shape. I inverted it and it all fell all over the place. I had a pile of pasta and eggplant. If I knew I would wind up with such a mess, I would have just cooked the eggplant with the pasta and baked it that way with much less fuss. Thank God I tried it on myself before I tried to impress company with it. Was an embarrassment. Perhaps I should have heeded other reviewer's advice and not invert the dish. The pasta filling was tasty though, hence the 2 stars. But the recipe is the timbale, not the filling. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I'm giving this three start because I have only seen how good it looks in my Giada book. Anyone have any ideas on how to make this vegetarian? item not reviewed by moderator and published
I saw this by chance on tv one day and just had to try! Layering the eggplant looked fun! I had an issue with layering the eggplant because I simply cut it right at the smallest side, I should have cut the long edges so it would have made longer slices to layer. The grilling for me was a little time consuming because I didnt have a grill pan. It turned out really well, I substituted a lot of ingredients but the taste was great anyways! I used italian sausage with some added spices, garlic and onion, mushroom and white wine instead of marsala. I also only had ricotta cheese and parmesean so it ended up more like a lasagna. It was a HUGE hit and I was really surprised to see it actually stayed together. Thank you! item not reviewed by moderator and published
the dish wasdelicious,however, it did not come out looking pretty. we will try again....also,if you add some whole ricotta to it when serving , it really spruces up the dish. keep the recipes coming..... item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have to admit that I select meals to make for dinner parties based on how impressively they present - I'm just that kind of girl. So when I saw Giada make this on her show, the next day, I rushed off to do the same! As with everyone else, I didn't find it especially difficult, though the eggplant slicing and layering might be tricky for a beginner cook, I suppose. One thing I have learned about grilling eggplant is that it has to be left alone on the grill. I have a tendency to want to mess with it, but that ruins the grill marks. Also, for the prettiest lines, I place the eggplant in the pan on a diagonal. The ingredients were very easy to assemble here in Boston. My grocery store carries smoked mozz, so that wasn't hard to find. And I liked the smoked flavor a lot; it gave a wonderfully rich, deep taste. I'm not sure that I could imagine that being a problem, but we all have our own tastes. A few ingredient notes: I used dry marsala wine, left out the peas, (since I hate peas) and used very well drained & thawed frozen spinach, instead, and used both ground turkey and italian turkey sausages (out of the casing). The next time I make it, I will add mushrooms, too, since I love them with these ingredients. Adding garlic to the sauce also works well. Since the ingredients are pretty simple, I'd highly recommend playing with the recipe to make it your own. Then, just sit back and enjoy the oohs and ahs of your guests as you bring the inverted timbale to the table! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Loved this recipe. Made it last night for company, and not only was it fun to make, it tasted fantastic! The presentation was very unique, and the eggplant was delicious :) I can't wait to make this recipe again and again. Giada, you have done it again. I love, love your recipes! item not reviewed by moderator and published
My family LOVES this dish! It is absolutely delicious and a great dish to share with others at a potluck. But DO NOT INVERT this dish! It is MUCH more beautiful right out of the pan. Also, we didn't notice any difference in ease of cutting or serving if we inverted the dish. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have made this dish several times over the past few months because of it being "requested" by family and friends. The presentation and taste is always a hit! IF there are leftovers, the guests love taking them home because they claim it is still as delicious the next day. I have changed a few ingredients: no beef just the Italian Sausage (1/2 mild, 1/2 spicy); Dry Sherry instead of Marsala; 1 c. smoked Mozzarella, 1/2 c. regular Mozzarella. I let it rest for 15 minutes to assure a good safe 'flip', then add some whole fresh basil leaves on the top for an impressive presentation. Because my family elders are Italian, I serve some sauce on the side. The time to make this is so worth the end result! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've made this recipe before and really liked it, but didn't have any Marsala wine on hand so used something else. I plan to make it again this weekend and would like to use Marsala, but see that it comes in both a sweet and a dry variety. The recipe doesn't specify, but I'm assuming it should be the dry variety. I'd appreciate others' input as to what they used. Also, like others, I couldn't find smoked mozzarella so just used regular as well as regular romano -both worked fine. This is one recipe that turns out as pretty as the picture - very impressive! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I gave 4 stars instead of 5 only because it the eggplant does not taste well as leftovers. Other than that this is an amazing dish. I have made it a few times now. I prefer doubling the Italian sausage and omitting the hamburger. I have even made this with ground turkey instead of hamburger, very delicious. Takes a bit of time but worth the effort item not reviewed by moderator and published
I used ground turkey instead of beef and added asparagus, also couldn't find (didn't look that hard) smoked mozz, so i used regular instead and was delish anyway. i would highly recommend this recipe and makes for great leftovers! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this just last night and it was good and quite fun to make (I believe that cooking should be fun). It was a fine tasting dish however, the smoked mozzarella was a bit too overpowering. I would not use the full 6oz again. I would recommend cutting it, at least, in half and possibly leave it out entirely and substitute the smoked moz with plain. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Giada: This dish is absolutly tasty. However, I did have problems finding Smoked Mozarella, so, I used regular. Any suggestions?? The rating of the recipe had that its Difficult. I didnt find that. I just found it to be a little time consuming . I used my little George Foreman grill to grill the eggplants. It turned out exactly like you showed on TV, except for a little reddish greasy liquid seeping out. It stayed together also. THANKS AGAIN! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I love this recipe! In order to diminish the smokiness of the cheese, I used 1/2 smoked mozzarella and 1/2 unsmoked, and was very pleased with the results. I've made it twice, and both times my guests were hugely impressed with the look of the finished timbale. More importantly, it tastes fantastic. I do have two cautions: first, make sure you make enough filling to reach the top of your springform pan. The first time I made it, I used a larger pan and forgot to adjust the amount of filling. The added room made things difficult when it came time to flip the timbale over for plating! Also, be sure to slice the eggplant at least 3mm thick. If you slice it too thin, it will get too mushy during grilling and will "tear" and let some of the pasta filling escape! I can't wait to try this technique with some different fillings (e.g., penne with peppers, sausage and an alfredo sauce, or penne vodka with shrimp). item not reviewed by moderator and published
Giada is always a hit or miss in our household (5 adults). I thought this was really gross. The eggplant was limp and lifeless and the smoked mozzarella was way way way too overpowering. I'm sorry to say this was a definite miss in our household and we'll never make it again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I haven't made this recipe, yet, although I've made something similar with a crust and it was great. I'd like to make it this weekend for company, but there will be 10 of us, and the recipe says it serves 4 to 6. Did you find that the servings are accurate? Would I have to make two separate ones or should I use a larger springform pan? (Of course I don't have one twice the size, but I think I have an 11 inch pan). Any thoughts on how to do this without having to make two? Thanks. (BY the way, I had to select a rating or I couldn't post. I'm assuming it's excellent, like most of Giada's recipes!) item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is an excellent recipe and just a note to clarify something commented on by Karen from GA, Giada did not say that she invented the recipe. I just finished watching this for the 3 time and she said a timbale is a dish from Naples but that they make it encrusted in a dough. She changed up the recipe to make it lighter by using eggplant. So it is her recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was fabulous, and thanks to other readers, I let mine sit long enough and it came out looking great. I used regular mozzerella and all beef. Guests were most impressed. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I love this recipe....eggplants from the garden onto the grill and the filling is so easy. I too substitute regular mozzarella instead of smoked. It's great to entertain with because the presentation is beautiful. Always a hit. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I substituted moz for smoked moz. I knew my family would not like smoked moz. Everything went perfect until it was time to serve. It fell apart. I see by the other reviews, I will have to let it stand longer. It was fun to make and the flavor was fabulous! item not reviewed by moderator and published
My husband is in love with Giada and begs me to cook whatever he has seen on her show. Reading the recipe I knew it wouldn't be a major hit in the house. (though the dog loved it) The smoked mozz was over bearing in this recipe and it was an awful lot of work. Though it did look lovely. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this last night for my husband & friends and I was the star. It looked just like the picture, because I let it rest for at least 15 minutes. I will make this again. I did use my own sauce. It was so very good. Thanks Giada!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
My son made this during the holiday and it was fantastic! The flavors were fresh and the presentation looked like it should be on the cover of a gourmet food magazine. The key to the presentation is cooling at least 20 minutes in the springform pan before unveiling. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Giada, Thanks for the great recipe. Followed it to the tee, but with my own gravy to make it even more delectable. I would emphasize to anyone attempting this wonderful dish to let it cool after baking, much like a lasagna so it has a chance to hold its pie slice shaped form. Molto Buono!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I tried this recipe for the second time. It was not difficult, but time consuming and expensive to make. Unfortunately, the first time I made it, my timbale lasted about a minute before it fell apart. It looked just like the picture, then slowly started to fall apart. But it was still very good. The second I made it I left it in the spring form pan. The smoked mozzerella gave it a real good flavor. And the Pecorino Romano give it a creamy texture. I'm sure I'll make it again someday. Too bad the Mozzerella cheese is $8 for 6oz, and the Pecorino was $13.99/lb "ouch!" You also need 3-4 eggplants, not two. But thanks Giada! This is the 3rd or 4th entree I've made of yours and they all have been great. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My boss made this for our office potluck. It was a big hit! He made it the night before, then we reheated it and served it warm. It came out of the springform pan with ease, and made a beautiful presentation. It will easily make 12 servings. We're finishing up the leftovers, and they're even good cold. He used his panini press to grill the eggplant slices. When I make this myself, I think I'll substitute spinach for the peas. This is a lovely addition to any buffet. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Graziia ... This recipe has beceome a family favorite. I enjoy making it because I know the pleasure my family gets from this dish. When we have get togethrers, it is the first request everyone begs me to bring. It's like a taste from the past...a grandmothers comfort food filled with love. Thank you Giada for helping me blend old new traditions and tastes. mangiare bene vivere well live happy item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this dish for the second time last night and once again, it was a hit! As most have commented, it is time-consuming but certainly not difficult. Both times I made it, it turned out exactly like the picture. I do believe that allowing it to rest for at least the recommended 10 minutes is the key. I too, have had trouble finding the smoked mozzarella which is just fine because I don't normally care for smoked cheeses anyway. And instead of cubing the cheese, I use the grated type. For the meat, I used ground turkey instead of beef. I've only served it for my husband but I'm going to take the cue from some of the rest of you and serve it to company! item not reviewed by moderator and published
It drives me crazy that she said on the show when she made it that she just made this recipe up in her head... I have 2 very old Italian cookbooks that have the same recipe... Get real. Give credit to a region. Not yourself. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Took a lot longer than an hour to make. But the result was worth the time. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My boyfriend and I made this dish together. With the two of us it wasn't that difficult or time consuming. We grilled the Eggplant on a stove top grill pan. Since we are on a tight budget, we substituted the smoked mozzarella and Percorino Romano for an Italian Mozzarella cheese blend. To cut down on the fats from the meats we used ground turkey and Italian turkey sausage. We placed some aluminum foil under the pan to catch drips. The Timbale came out of the springform pan perfectly and looked wonderful. We both loved it. Brought in leftovers to the office the next day and it was a hit. Thanks Giada, I love your recipes! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Honestly, it was so tasty. In my opinion it was a little tough to make, but not impossible. I used homeade sauce which really made the difference. Highly recommended for anyone who wants a beautiful, tasty dish. It took a while but it was fun and worth the wait. item not reviewed by moderator and published

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