Introduction: TIMPANO..EGGPLANT WRAPPED PASTA
As labor intense as this might seem, it can be acomplished over a few days, rather than doing all at once. That said, this is a wonderful dish and well worth the effort...
Step 1: INGREDIENTS
1 lbs of Zitti or Rigatoni
2 red peppers
3 plum tomatoes
1/2 cup of peas
1 1/2 cups of dice mozzerella cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated pecorina cheese
1 cup of freshly made tomato sauce
the besciamella sauce...
1 tablespoon of butter
2 tablespoons of unbleached flour
1 cup of cold milk
2 large eggplants
2 tablespoons of butter
2-3 tablespoons of breadcrumb
Step 2: GRILLING THE EGGPLANT
After slicing the eggplant vertically, brush with olive oil, salt and pepper them and place flat on a cookie sheet. One trick to getting the eggplants to maintain their shape, is to cut them into slices and place them into a colander sprinklered with kosher salt for about two hours prior to baking or grilling them. (As you can see, I did not do this step)
Put them in the oven for about 5-8 minutes per side on 425 degrees F, make sure you turn them over and repeat.
Step 3: MAKING THE BESCIAMELLE SAUCE
In a small saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter set over medium heat, when this has melted, whisk in the 2 tablespoons of flour and gradually add in 1 cup of cold milk. Continue this for another 8 minutes, whisking regularly until it thickens.
Step 4: SAUTE THE VEGETABLES
In a large saucepan, heat some olive oil on a high temperature, lightly brown the onions then add in the red peppers, carrots, broccoli, and then the tomatoes. Let this cook for about 20 minutes or until all the vegetables are browned. At this point, add in the 1 cup of tomato sauce.
Step 5: COMBINING THE INGREDIENTS
Once the vegetables are cooked, then add in the Besciamella Sauce with the peas. Fully incorporate this by turning with a rubber spatula, as we do not want to lose the texture of the individual ingredients.
Step 6: PREPARING FOR THE OVEN
Take a 10 inch springform pan and butter it with 2 tablespoons of butter all around. After buttering the pan, sprinkle plain bread crumbs and place in the center, start by tilting the pan and letting the bread crumbs adhere to the sides. More bread crumb might be needed but just a thin layer is sufficient.
Step 7: LINING THE SPRINGFORM WITH THE EGGPLANTS
Step 8: FILLING THE SHELL
After layering the eggplants around the pan, take all the pasta mixture and firmly place in the pan. Then, take the remaining eggplant slices and layer them across the top.
Step 9: BAKING AND PLATING
Wrap the Timpano with aluminum foil, and place in the center of the oven for 20 minutes @ 350 degrees F. Remove the foil and increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F and cook for another 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes before removing the outer ring of the springform. Place a plate on top of the Timpano and turn over onto the dish below. This cuts much better when you allow it to cool, but if you are like me, I cannot wait so I cut it as soon as it comes out, not as pretty a picture but the taste is fantastic....