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mini eggplant timbales recipe

Written on Friday, August 19, 2016 | 4:11:00 PM

Serves : servings 

Ingredients : 
- Cooking spray or extra virgin olive oil for the grill pan
- 1 large eggplant (about 1.2 lb [545 g]), peeled and sliced lengthwise into ¼-inch (0.5-cm) thick slabs
- 2 cups (230 g) mini penne pasta or other mini pasta
- 1 cup (250 g) low-fat ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup (30 g) shredded mozzarella cheese
- ⅛ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup (5 g) fresh basil, chopped, plus more to garnish
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups (475 ml) marinara sauce
- Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

Preparation Method :
1) Lightly grease the inside of 4 small ramekins. Lightly spray or rub a bit of olive oil on a grill pan so the eggplant doesn’t stick. Place the grill pan on the stove over medium heat and add the eggplant slices. Grill until eggplant is tender and soft, about 3–5 minutes per size. You may need to do this in batches, depending on how large your grill pan is. The eggplant slices should be able to fold inside the ramekins so if the slices are too thick, slice them in half lengthwise.

2) Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the penne. Cook until al dente according to package directions. Drain and place in a medium bowl. Add the ricotta, mozzarella, crushed red pepper flakes, basil and pinch each of salt and pepper. Mix together.

3) Lay the eggplant in the ramekins so there is an overhang. I place one into the ramekin so that there is overhang over the side and continue in a clockwise pattern. Fill the eggplant ramekin with cooked pasta and then gently fold the overhanging eggplant over the filling to enclose. Continue to fill the remaining ramekins and lightly cover with foil. Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes.

4) The last 10 minutes of cooking, heat the marinara sauce. Remove the timbales from oven and place ¼ cup (59 ml) of marinara sauce on a plate. Invert the timbales onto the marinara sauce and top with another ¼ cup (59 ml) of marinara. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and basil.


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