Recipes Claudia

Recipe of my Pasta timbale - in Vietri dinnerware

There are may recipes of Pasta with eggplants and, maybe, the most known is "Pasta alla Norma", typical of Sicily, that ask also sheep's ricotta inside.
It must be aged or ovened (in base of the Sicily zone).
In Campania, and especially in Naples, it is famous Pasta timbale with eggplants: a pasta that usually are Bucatin (as spaghetti, but thicker and with an empty inside), in the oven, mixed with mozzarella cheese (or smoked provola cheese), tomatoes sauce, and covered with layers of fried egglplants.

It is a Sunday pasta, when around the table it found again with family and friends, among laugh, buzzing and a good glass of red wine (if possible a sparkling Gragnano wine DOP), but it could be also a beautiful surprise to serve in an outing to the countryside.

My advices...
We start from the eggplants: for this recipe I reccomend Campania eggplants, slim and long, because it absorb less oil, it is sweet and its natural shape help us to cover the timbale. 
Fried or roasted? For health fanatic and for the figure I should tell roasted, but my advice is to do it only once but with fried eggplants. 
Pasta: typical recipe ask Bucatini, a kind of spaghetto, thicker and with empty inside, but my family don't like them, so I use short pasta, like rigatoni of Gragnano, that keep cooking. 
In the tomatoes sauce, if you use roasted eggplants, you will add Extravirgin Oil, if you use fried eggplants, you will avoid to use Oil. 
Last but not least: Use smoked provola cheese, aboundant basil and especially lots of Parmesan... they will give taste, smell and color!!
Ingredients for 4 persons
1 Kg of eggplants
1/2 onion
500 gr of Rigatoni or Bucatini of Gragnano DOP
2 lt of tomatoes sauce
1/2 Smoked Provola Cheese
200 gr of Parmesan or Grana Padano DOP
1 Lt of sunflower or corn oil  (to fridge)
10 leaves of basil 
salt and pepper 
Preparation of eggplants:
Wash and cut the eggplants for long with a thick of about 1 cm. Put them in a pot with wash and 2 or 3 teaspoon of salt. Let them inside the water for about 30 minutes. 
Later, dry them and put them on a clean rag to dry them.
Fry them in aboundant oil, taking care to let them soft and not crunch.
When they are fried, dry the excessed oil with blotting paper and put them in a colander... in this way the can lost their oil.
Preparation of tomatoes sauce:
This is a fast sauce, not too cooked and without oil because there is sufficiently oil in the eggplants. So you can cut 1/2 onion in slice and put them in a pot with a short glass of water. 
Whet it will be brown and the water will be dry, add tomatoes, salt and some basil leaves. 
Let it cook for 40-50 minutes.
Preparation of Pasta timbale
In a baking tray cover the bootm with tomatoes sauce. Then, cover the tray with the eggplants, taking care to put an half of the slice outside the tray for almost 4/5 cm (it will occur to close the timbale) and not to leave some empty space. Now take 1/2 pasta, 1/3 of provola, 1/3 of parmesan and a part of sauce and some basil leaves. 
Make a layer, again with eggplants and then add the rest of pasta, provola, parmesan, sauce and basil. 
Now fold the eggplant which cover the board of the tray in way to cover pasta. 
Add other eggplants in the middle and cover all with sauce, parmesan and basil. 
If you prefer, you can add also fresh pepper on all the tray. 
Put the baking tray in the oven and cook for 200° for almost 30 minutes + 5 minutes to brown the surface.

So, enjoy your meal with our Pasta timbale with eggplants which is served in the dish of CeramicaVietrese is better and more beautiful to see!