Victor spent the day in the kitchen whilst I was at work, today…

We harvested another seven eggplants, so he set to work creating spectacular foods utilizing the garden bounty. It’s rough being us…

First off was a vat of Little Gram’s Eggplant Appetizer. It’s our go-to for fabulous caponata.

Naturally, it came out perfect. It’s great as a bruschetta, a pasta sauce, hot, cold, room temperature… It’s eggplant perfection.

And then we had even more eggplant perfection in the form of a timbale. Victor really did spend the day in the kitchen!

A timbale is not difficult to make, but it does take a bit of time. There are lots of steps involved, starting with cutting and cooking – in this case – the eggplant.

Here’s a basic recipe. Amounts will vary depending upon how big you make it. Victor baked off a 10″ timbale. Your results may vary.

Eggplant Timbale

  • eggplant
  • pancetta
  • peppers
  • ground beef
  • peas
  • pasta sauce
  • penne pasta
  • shredded cheese
  • olive oil
  • bread crumbs

First step is to slice the eggplant and cook it. You can oven-bake, grill, or fry. Victor oven-baked it, today by brushing it with olive oil and cooking it in a 350°F oven for about 25 minutes.

Next, chop pancetta and peppers.

The peppers came out of the garden. they’re not really hot but have good flavor.

Saute the pancetta…

Add the peppers…

And the ground beef…

And then the sauce and peas… Cook the penne and mix it all well…

Oil and liberally coat a springform pan with bread crumbs. The breadcrumbs help to release the timbale when it’s cooked.

Line the pan with the cooked eggplant…

Add a layer of shredded cheese…

Next, a layer of the penne pasta mixture…

More cheese…

More pasta mixture…

More cheese and then fold the eggplant over the top, pressing down to compact and encasing everything.

A few crumbs on top…

And into a preheated 350°F oven for about an hour and 15 minutes. If you plan on inverting the timbale onto a serving platter, bake as-is. If you are not going to invert, add sauce and cheese to the top midway through.

Remove from the oven and let sit at least 20 minutes before serving or inverting onto a platter.

Cut into wedges, and enjoy!


This really is an awesome dish and one that anyone can make. Victor used just one eggplant for the entire dish, a half-pound of ground beef, maybe 2 oz of pancetta, a half bag of frozen peas, maybe 6oz of shredded cheese, 4 small peppers, a quart of sauce, and a pound of pasta.

It definitely needs to set for at least 20 minutes if not a bit longer, so plan accordingly.

If we were making it for company, we would have inverted it onto the platter and topped it with additional heated pasta sauce dripping down the sides for that dramatic effect. For the two of us, the springform pan liner was sufficient.

So get yourself an eggplant and get cooking!