Timbali means drum and this recipe is a stuffed drum looking dish with a great presentation and a high wow factor. Long slices of grilled eggplant act the form for a mixture of pasta, meats, veggies, cheese mixed together. You can vary the internal contents based on your tastes, just be careful with your veggies as some can release lots of water and make your shell soggy.
Not everyone enjoys the flavor of smoked mozzarella. If you aren't comfortable with the smoky flavor, substitute regular mozzarella and enjoy.
- Springform pan
- Grill pan
- 3 lbs Eggplant (may vary based of length and thickness of slices)
- 1 lb Rotini Pasta (or other short pasta)
- 26 oz of pasta sauce (with meatballs and sausage included if desired)
- ½ lb cubed smoked mozzarella
- ½ lb cubed mozzarella
- Parmesan - Grated
- 1 bag frozen peas
- Bread crumbs
- Salt & pepper
- Olive oil
Time: 1 hour prep time. This can be done up to 24 hours before baking. 30 minutes baking time
Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes.
Peel and slice eggplant lengthwise about ¼ inch thick. About 15-20 pieces around 10 inches in length is usually enough.
Start grilling eggplant on oiled grill pan and add salt and pepper to your slices. Grill for about 3 minutes on each side, but careful not to let the slices get to soft. This takes some time, so get water boiling for pasta.
When the pasta is al dente, drain and put in a large mixing bowl. Add in sauce, meat, peas, smoked mozz, mozz , and parm. Mix thoroughly.
Butter the inside of the springform pan and sprinkle breadcrumbs liberally on the pan. As the eggplant slices cool, you can start lining the pan with eggplant. Lay a few smaller slices on the bottom of the pan acting as the bottom of the drum. Next start lining the pan with the longer pieces, overlapping the edge of the pan so the extra can fold over the filled “drum” and act as a top. Continue grilling and lining trying to leave any gaps or openings.
Once the form has been lined you can add the pasta mixture and fold ever the edges of the eggplant slices. You may need to add a few extra slices to fully enclose the Timbali. Once enclosed, sprinkle bread crumbs on top distribute about a tablespoon of olive oil to top.
Bake at 375 degrees for about an hour, 30 minutes covered with foil, and 30 minutes with foil removed.