Serves 6, and is as attractive as it is tasty.
Free of: All top allergens except wheat and sulphites (wine vinegar); optional dairy.
- 2 large eggplants
- 2 cups (475 mL) cooked orecchiette (or macaroni)
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) frozen sweet corn
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) frozen peas
- 200 grams of spinach cooked and diced
- 5 cups (940 mL) tomatoes, diced (may substitute canned)
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) fresh basil, chopped
- 2 eggs, beaten or equivalent egg replacer, stirred till frothy
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) cheddar cheese, grated [Optional]
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 8 tbsp (125 mL) olive oil
- 4 tbsp (60 mL) white wine vinegar
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 tbsp (90 mL) fresh basil, chopped
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) sugar
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Cut eggplant lengthwise into thin strips using a mandoline or a potato peeler. Place strips in a bowl of salted water and let stand for 4 minutes. Remove and pat dry.
- Lightly oil six 4-inch ramekins and line with 6 to 8 overlapping slices of eggplant, leaving ends draped over the sides.
- In a large, high-sided pan, heat oil and sautée onion and garlic for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add sweet corn and peas and sauté an additional 2 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat and stir in cooked pasta, spinach, eggs or replacer, tomato, basil and cheese (if using).
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Fill each eggplant-lined ramekin with mixture and fold draped ends up to cover the filling.
- Place ramekins in a bain-marie* (see Technique) and cook for 25 minutes or until firm to the touch. Meanwhile, combine sauce ingredients in a small pan and heat.
- Turn timbales out onto individual serving plates. Spoon sauce over top and serve.
*Technique: A bain-marie (or water bath) is a gentle method of cooking evenly. Place ramekins in a roasting pan, and carefully pour boiling water around the ramekins (not over top) until water reaches halfway up their sides. Bake as instructed in recipe.
Recipe by Food Editor Simon Clarke
Photography Chris Gonzaga
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