Based on a recipe from the cookbook Giada's Family Dinners, this recipe is a favorite in our household and makes a perfect dinner for guests. It is delicious, looks great, and it is easy to assemble in advance to you can be done when people arrive. It is great with or without the meat-- your choice.
1. In a large saute pan, heat 1/6 cup EVOO and add half the eggplant, tossing to coat. Saute until the eggplant is softened and begins to brown lightly and becomes tender. Add half the garlic, continuing to saute until the fragrance of the garlic is apparent, then remove from the pan and set aside. Repeat with the remaining eggplant.
2. In the same pan, saute the sausage with the red pepper flakes, breaking into bite-sized chunks and cooking until just slightly pink in the center. Add the red wine and deglaze the pan, reducing until the liquid is almost completely evaporated. Add sausage mixture to the eggplant, along with the marinara sauce. Toss to combine and allow to cool to room temperature.
3. While the eggplant and sausage are cooking, cook the angel hair pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water. Cook the pasta very briefly (~1 min), taking care to preserve a bit of bite (you don't want it to turn to complete mush once it bakes). Drain and rinse with cool water.
4. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Roll out one pastry sheet on a floured surface to a 13 1/2" square-- you need it to be big enough to cover the bottom and sides of a 9" springform pan, with a little excess hanging over the rim for sealing the timbale with the top.
5. In a large bowl, mix together the pasta, eggplant/sausage, basil and cheeses-- I find this is best accomplished using your hands to toss everything, which is partially why it is nice to let everything get down to at least tepid. Place the filling into the puff pastry-lined springform pan (it will be mounded up a bit, but that is fine). Roll out the second puff pastry sheet to about 13" and place on top of the mounded filling, turning it so the points of the top and bottom squares are not overlapping for easier joining. Join the top and bottom pieces of puff pastry. I do this by bringing the bottom up over the top pinching together and tucking in as I go around the pan, making a sort of braided pattern around the edge. However you make it happen, make sure you get a good seal so cheese and noodle don't come out the side. Cut a large slit or several artful small ones in the top of the pastry to allow steam to escape.
6. Pop that bad boy in the oven for about 1 1/2 hours, or until you think everything is hot and the pastry is nicely golden brown. In my experience, this takes a little less time, but we have a convection oven, so there you go.
7. Remove from the oven and allow to sit and cool for 20 minutes. This step is CRITICAL. The casserole needs some time for everything to cool down a bit from molten pasta lava to servable casserole.
8. Now, after all your hard work and patient waiting, serve it up like pieces of pie and enjoy!
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|Serving Size: 1 Serving (405g)|
|Recipe Makes: 8 Servings|
|Calories from Fat: 245 (45%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 27.2g||36 %|
|Saturated Fat 9.5g||47 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 11.6g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 4.2g|
|Cholesterol 104.2mg||32 %|
|Sodium 1141.5mg||39 %|
|Potassium 921.4mg||24 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 40.3g||12 %|
|Dietary Fiber 7.6g||30 %|
|Sugars, other 32.7g|
|Protein 32.2g||46 %|
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Calories per serving: 539
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