Sunday, May 29, 2011

Baked Angelhair Timbale

At the bakery I work at we try to have potlucks. For Christmas we had the "Very Merry Margarita" potluck and indulged in mexican food. This past one was our "Italian Stallion" potluck. I absolutely love potlucks but I always have a tough time deciding what on earth I want to make.

So I flipped through one of my Giada cookbooks (the first place I go when I want to make something Italian) and this timbale caught my eye. I was intriqued. I had never heard of a timbale, let alone made one....

If this isn't a recipe for disaster for me, I don't know what is.

I decided to make it because it was so different and I like to make things that are a little unexpected for potlucks. Well, a timbale takes over an hour to bake...which is fine. But I made the mistake of going to the gym while it baked...

As I returned from the gym, already short of breath and slightly hating my life because I really pushed myself (because I was anticipating the damage I would do to my body that night with all the carbs and meaty sauces). I opened my door to find an apartment filled with smoke....

My eyes instantly started to water and my heart dropped to me heels. "Oh my God I've burned it!" I was extra-panic stricken as I was supposed to leave for the potluck in an hour and had no back-up plans. I raced to the oven and yanked the door open, all the while inhaling pure smoke. As I waved the heat and smoke out of my face I got a peek at my timable and saw that is was fine...the floor of my oven on the other hand, was not.

The smoke was spiraling from the lovely black crusted liquid that was dripping from the springform pan...

Lesson learned; when using a springform pan, always line the outside with foil...Even now, a couple months later, when I turn on the oven you can smell the burning from the charred liquid. I can't seem to rid of it no matter how much cleaner or scraping I take to it...

On the bright side, the timbale turned out perfectly and everyone loved it. So there.

Baked Angelhair Timbale


1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 to 6 Japanese eggplants (about 2 pounds total), cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 pound mild Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1/3 cup dry red wine
3 cups marinara sauce
1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
8 ounces angel hair pasta
1 pound mozzarella, diced
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 (17 1/4-ounce) package frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed


Heat 1/3 cup of oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add half of the eggplant and toss to coat in the oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute the eggplant until it is golden and tender, about 10 minutes. Decrease the heat to medium. Add half of the garlic and saute until it is tender, about 2 minutes longer. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggplant mixture to a large bowl. Repeat with the remaining 1/4 cup oil and the remaining eggplant and garlic.

Add the sausage and wine to the same frying pan. Cook over medium-high heat until the wine evaporates and the sausage is brown, breaking the sausage into pieces with the back of a spoon, about 8 minutes. Add the sausage, marinara sauce, and crushed red pepper to the eggplant mixture, and toss to combine.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the angel hair and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until pasta is still slightly crunchy and undercooked. Drain. Toss the angel hair with the eggplant mixture. Cool completely. Add the mozzarella and Parmesan and toss to combine.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Roll out 1 pastry sheet on a floured surface to a 13 1/2-inch square. Transfer to a 9-inch springform pan, allowing the excess pastry to hang over the rim. Spoon the pasta mixture into the pan. Place the second pastry sheet atop the pasta filling. Pinch the edges of the pastry sheets together to seal. Trim the overhanging pastry edges to about 1-inch. Fold the pastry edges in to form a decorative border. Cut a slit in the center of the top pastry to allow the steam to escape.

Bake until the pastry is brown and puffed on top, about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Let stand for 20 minutes. Remove the pan sides and serve.


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