Eggplant and Pasta Incaciata

This is an amazing dish. You'll love it as much as we do!

TOTAL TIME: 4 hr 30 min
Prep: 30 min
Inactive Prep: 2 hr 15 min
Cook: 1 hr 45 min
 
YIELD: 8 to 12 servings pasta; about 8 cups red sauce
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

RED SAUCE:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • Two 28-ounce cans pomodori pelati tomatoes (whole peeled tomatoes), blended smooth
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Large handful fresh basil leaves, torn, optional
EGGPLANT AND PASTA INCACIATA:
  • Softened unsalted butter, for greasing pan
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano, plus more a
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
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Directions

For the red sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and onions and saute until tender, 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes and some salt and black pepper and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir the basil leaves into the sauce at the end of simmering, if using.

For the eggplant and pasta incaciata: Grease the bottom and insides of the springform pan with softened butter. Mix 1/4 cup of the breadcrumbs with 2 tablespoons of the Parmigiano cheese. Coat the inside of the pan well with the cheese mixture. Knock out any excess and discard.

Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the ground pork and sprinkle with salt and black pepper and saute until cooked through. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Stir in the red wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add 4 cups of the red sauce and bring back to a simmer. Cook for another 5 minutes and season with salt and black pepper. Reserve the remaining red sauce for another use.

Meanwhile, slice the eggplants lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick planks. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the eggplant with salt and black pepper and fry in a single layer, working in batches, until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining eggplant, using 3 tablespoons of oil per batch. Remove from the oil and drain on a paper-towel-lined baking sheet.

Combine the cooked pasta with the mozzarella and ragu in a large bowl.

To assemble, line the bottom of the prepared springform pan with a single layer of eggplant, then line the sides with the eggplant planks vertically, allowing the excess to hang over the outside. Fill the inside of the lined pan with the pasta mixture, pressing down gently. Fold the flaps of eggplant over the top of the pasta, using any remaining eggplant slices to cover the top. Cover with plastic and weigh it down with a plate. Refrigerate for a few hours and up to overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Sprinkle the top with the remaining Parmigiano and breadcrumbs. Cover the top loosely with foil, place on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until bubbling and the top is golden brown, an additional 15 minutes. Let rest for 15 to 20 minutes and cool slightly before unmolding from the pan. Slice and serve.

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Newest Ratings and Reviews

Read all 25 reviews

  • on March 23, 2014

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    Awesome recipe! It does take time, however well worth the effort. Great show.

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  • on December 24, 2013

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    Awesome recipe! Do agree that it takes some time to prepare so get your work done a day ahead of schedule. Tasty and elegant dish to serve any time during the year. As a matter of fact, getting it ready now for Christmas dinner. Great show.......nice to see a regular couple that enjoy each other, their family, friends and of course cooking!

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  • on December 10, 2013

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    I prepped this recipe yesterday and it definitely takes some time. Planning to make it for my son's girlfriend's family next week so tested it. Baked it tonight and after an hour at 350 degrees it still wasn't warm in the center. Noticed the review indicating the video shows 375 which I'll try next time and plan for a longer time. Glad I tested it in advance. I used Italian sausage which gave a bit more flavor. Was worried it wouldn't feed 10 people but didn't need to be. Portion sizes were large. I used an electric knife to cut it but mine didn't stand up as well as on the video. I'm really wondering if they used "fresh" mozzarella or not. Fresh has a high water content and I don't think as much flavor which might be why mine was a little loose. It is also next to impossible to grate or shred it so that made me more skeptical. Wish I could watch it again to see for sure. All in taste and presentation was awesome. Did everyone else use fresh mozzarella?

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