Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Baked Angel Hair with Eggplant

Holy Goodness.

This is another recipe that we have Giada De Laurentiis to thank for.

I must admit to serious skepticism before trying it out though. I mean:

Puff Pastry...Heaven.

But all together in one dish? Not sure how that was going to work out (especially with the puff pastry on both the top and the bottom), and I was bummed that there wasn't a picture posted to go along with it (and sorry, I forgot to take one as well)...but it definitely did not disappoint! Its like a fantastic little spaghetti pie that you just want to keep eating and eating and eating :)

Baked Angel Hair with Eggplant
from Giada De Laurentiis


1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 to 6 Japanese eggplants (about 2 lbs total), cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 lb. mild Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1/3 cup dry red wine
3 cups marinara sauce
1 tsp. dried crushed red pepper flakes
8 oz. angel hair pasta
1 lb. mozzarella, diced
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 (17.25 oz) package frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed


1. 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. Saute the eggplant until it is golden and tender, about 10 minutes. Decrease the heat to medium. Add half of the garlic and saute until it is tender, about 2 minutes longer. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggplant mixture to a large bowl. Repeat with the remaining 1/4 cup oil and the remaining eggplant and garlic.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

5. Roll out 1 pastry sheet on a floured surface to a 13 1/2-inch square. Transfer to a 9-inch springform 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.

6. 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.

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