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Pasta Timbale

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ready in: 2-5 hrs
serves/makes:   8

recipe id: 43974

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Béchamel Sauce

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup whole milk, scalded
salt, to taste
freshly cracked black pepper
1 pinch freshly ground nutmeg

Tomato Basil Sauce

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can (14 oz size) crushed plum tomatoes
4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
salt, to taste
freshly cracked black pepper

Fresh Pasta

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs

Timbale Assembly

olive oil, for coating mould
2 baby Italian eggplants
1/2 pound rigatoni, cooked al dente
3 ounces Mozzarella cheese, sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
salt, to taste
freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated


Béchamel Sauce directions: In a small saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes until it starts bubbling but does not colour. Gradually whisk in the hot milk. Continue whisking for about 4 minutes until it thickens. Season with salt and pepper. Add nutmeg.

Pour the sauce into a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Make sure to place wrap directly on the surface of the sauce so a skin does not form. Set aside.

Tomato Basil Sauce directions: Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for about 4 minutes until soft. Add the tomatoes. Partially cover and simmer for about 45 minutes or until sauce is very thick. Stir in the basil. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Fresh Pasta directions: Put 1 1/4 cups of the flour into a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour and crack the eggs into the well.

With your hands, gradually mix the flour into the eggs until dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough a few times until you have incorporated as much of the remaining 1/4 cup of flour as possible. The dough will appear lumpy and dry.

Cut the dough in half and put one ball under a slightly damp towel. Flatten the other piece with your hand. Set a pasta roller at thickest setting and feed dough through rollers. Fold dough into an envelope shape and feed through machine again. Repeat 3 or 4 more times or until your dough looks smooth.

Reduce the pasta setting by one mark and pass through again. Reduce setting by one mark for each pass through until dough has passed through all settings.

Cut the sheet of dough in half and put the 2 sheets of dough under a sheet of plastic wrap. Repeat the entire process with the second dough ball. You now have 4 sheets of pasta under plastic.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta sheets in the boiling water for about 1 minute each or until al dente. Lay them on a well-oiled baking sheet. Do not over-lap the sheets. Spread some more olive oil on top of each pasta sheet.

Timbale Assembly directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Put one pasta sheet in the center of a 5 inch deep, 8 inch circular baking dish. Drape the edges of the pasta over the sides. Press pasta sheet into the corners of the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining pasta sheets. The entire bottom and sides of the baking dish should be covered with pasta and the sides of the pasta sheets should be hanging over the sides of the baking dish. Cover and set aside.

Cut eggplant into 1/4 inch thick diagonal slices. Brush with oil and grill. Season the eggplant with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl toss the cooked rigatoni with the tomato basil sauce and parmigiano regiano cheese. Spread half the rigatoni on top of the fresh pasta sheets in the baking dish. Overlap half of the eggplant slices over the rigatoni. Spread half the béchamel on the eggplant slices. Top the béchamel with the rest of the rigatoni.

Place the mozzarella slices on top of the rigatoni. Sprinkle with chopped basil. Layer with remaining eggplant slices. Pour over remaining béchamel sauce.

Fold the overhanging pasta sheet ends over on top of the dish to seal. Brush the top with more olive oil.

Bake for about 30 minutes until golden and cooked through. Remove from oven and let the timbale rest for 15 minutes. Flip timbale onto a platter and unmould. Cut the timbale into wedges to serve.

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