An Eggplant Timbale is a very traditional Italian dish that has been around as long as spaghetti and meatballs. It is like a big meat and pasta pie with an eggplant crust. . . I guess that's the best I can do to describe it. But yes, normally it's like a large pie that your slice up. I've been thinking about how to change up this dish forever and it finally hit me this morning when I was thinking about romantic food for Valentines Day. I was going to make them mini! Well, individual portions that is. They are so much prettier when you plate them! And of course I left out all the meat. (which if you like you can add back in) One of the best things about this recipe is that you can make them ahead of time, keep them in the frigde and pop them in the oven when you are ready for dinner : )
It's like a little present you get to unwrap for dinner!
Makes 4 (10 oz.) ramekins
What you'll need:
1/2 lb. pasta
marinara sauce (homemade or your favorite)
about 1 cup of ricotta cheese (store bought or homemade)
a small handful of shredded mozzarella
a few handfuls of shredded parmesan
What you'll do:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Slice the eggplant thinly lengthwise, sprinkle with salt and lay in a colander. Let it rest for about 15 minutes. Using a grill pan, grill the eggplant. While the eggplant is grilling, cook the pasta according to the package. Drain the pasta and toss with enough marinara sauce to coat it. Ok, now for assembling.
Grease the ramekins with cooking spray. Lay the eggplant in the the ramekins so they hang over the lip like this:
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and place a plate upside down on top of the ramekin. Carefully flip over. Tap the ramekin and pull it off. The timbale should slide right out. Garnish with some marinara sauce, parmesan and fresh basil.
Tools I used: