Baked Angel Hair with Eggplant
Giada De Laurentiis,

Difficulty: Intermediate
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
Yield: 8 servings


1/3 cup plus ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 to 6 Japanese eggplants (about 2 pounds total), cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1-pound mild Italian turkey sausage, casings removed (Kiy Note: I may not use, to have a non-meat night)
1/3 cup dry red wine
3 cups marinara sauce
1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
8 ounces angel hair pasta
1-pound mozzarella, diced
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 (17¼ ounce) package frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed

Heat 1/3 cup of oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add half of the eggplant and toss to coat in the oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté the eggplant until it is golden and tender, about 10 minutes. Decrease the heat to medium. Add half of the garlic and sauté until it is tender, about 2 minutes longer. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggplant mixture to a large bowl. Repeat with the remaining ¼ cup oil and the remaining eggplant and garlic.

Add the sausage and wine to the same frying pan. Cook over medium-high heat until the wine evaporates and the sausage is brown, breaking the sausage into pieces with the back of a spoon, about 8 minutes. Add the sausage, marinara sauce, and crushed red pepper to the eggplant mixture, and toss to combine.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the angel hair and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until pasta is still slightly crunchy and undercooked. Drain. Toss the angel hair with the eggplant mixture. Cool completely. Add the mozzarella and Parmesan and toss to combine.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Roll out 1 pastry sheet on a floured surface to a 13½-inch square. Transfer to a 9-inch spring form pan, allowing the excess pastry to hang over the rim. Spoon the pasta mixture into the pan. Place the second pastry sheet atop the pasta filling. Pinch the edges of the pastry sheets together to seal. Trim the overhanging pastry edges to about 1-inch. Fold the pastry edges in to form a decorative border. Cut a slit in the center of the top pastry to allow the steam to escape.

Bake until the pastry is brown and puffed on top, about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Let stand for 20 minutes. Remove the pan sides and serve.

Comments (1)

On May 27, 2008 at 9:23 AM , Sharon said...

This recipe sounds so good, but for various reasons I would like to use brown rice pasta instead and leave off the pastry. Do you think that would work okay?