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Timballini di Melanzane -

Timballini di Melanzane


  • For the sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans chopped tomatoes (or use about 45 pounds fresh tomatoes, peeled and seeded)
  • A few tablespoons tomato paste
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium eggplant
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • 1 pound ground pork (substitute with meat of your choice)
  • 1 ball fresh mozzarella, chopped into little squares
  • Fresh basil leaves, slivered
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Make the tomato sauce:Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add in the onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is soft and translucent, about 5-10 minutes. Add in the red wine and simmer for a few minutes. Add in the chopped tomatoes. Bring sauce back to a simmer and cook until thick, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. While sauce is simmering, prepare the eggplant: Cut off the top and bottom of each eggplant to flatten. Using a mandolin or sharp knife, cut the eggplant lengthwise into thin 1/4 inch slices. (You should have approximately 10-15 slices per eggplant, depending on the size.) Layer the slices in a colander, sprinkle with salt and let stand for about 30 minutes. Rinse the slices and pat dry.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Warm a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Drizzle in a bit of olive oil. Add in the ground pork and and cook until evenly browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer pork to a bowl and stir in about 1 cup of tomato sauce. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. Set aside.
  5. Wipe out the skillet and place back on medium low heat. Place 3 or 4 slices of eggplant in the skillet and allow to soften and slightly brown on each side, approximately 1 minute per side. Lay the softened eggplant slices on a board or sheet pan while cooking the remaining slices.
  6. Grease six (4 inch) ovenproof ramekins. Line with eggplant slices. Fill about 2/3 of the way with the pork. Lastly, add the mozzarella and basil.
  7. Cover with the top with the overhanging eggplant slices. Place the ramekins on a baking tray and place in the oven. Bake until the hot and bubbling, about 20-25 minutes.
  8. Remove fro the oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Carefully invert the ramekins on to plates, spoon tomato sauce around the base of the timberline. Drizzle with your best extra virgin olive oil and serve with plenty of extra Parmigiano!