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Gluten Free Pasta and Aubergine Timbale Bake

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40 minutes Dairy,Egg,Nuts,Gluten,Wheat Vegetarian,Vegan

About this recipe:

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Create this appealing timbale with pre-cooked maize and rice pasta and sauce packed into an aubergine lined baking tin. The timbale is then oven baked before serving warm as a lovely centrepiece.  The cooked timbale can also be made a day in advance and chilled to serve at a buffet or picnic. To make a vegan show stopper of this classic dish, use a plant-based mozzarella and parmesan.


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20cm/8” round, deep baking tin, large 2lt saucepan, colander, baking tray and saucepan or large frying pan


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3 aubergines
1 onion
3 garlic cloves
4 tbsp olive oil
50g mushrooms
1 red pepper
400g tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp marsala wine (or apple juice)
200g FREEE Organic Maize and Rice Fusilli Pasta
100g frozen peas
150g mozzarella
75g parmesan, grated
salt and pepper
oil, for frying
fresh basil leaves, to serve


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180°C, Fan 160°C, 350°F and Gas 4

Aubergine layer

  1. Peel the aubergines and cut into 1cm/¼” slices. 
  2. Sprinkle the aubergines with salt, transfer them to a colander standing on a plate and leave for at least an hour. 
  3. Dry the aubergine with kitchen paper and brush the slices lightly with oil.
  4. Lay the aubergines on a baking tray and put them under a hot grill until the tops start to soften.
  5. Turn the aubergines over and grill the other sides until soft and cooked.
  6. Rub some oil around the inside of a 20cm/8” round, deep baking tin.
  7. Line the base and sides of the dish with aubergine slices.
  8. Cover and set aside.

Tomato Sauce 

  1. Finely dice the onion and garlic cloves into a saucepan or large frying pan.
  2. Add the olive oil and put the pan over a gentle heat, stirring occasionally until they become translucent.
  3. Slice the mushrooms and red pepper, add them to the pan and cook for a few minutes until they soften.
  4. Chop the tomatoes and add them to the pan.
  5. Add the wine or apple juice, stir, cover and simmer very gently for 10 minutes. 

Cooking Maize and Rice Pasta

  1. Three-quarter fill a large 2lt saucepan with water.
  2. Add a little salt and bring it to a rapid, rolling boil. 
  3. Add the pasta and stir to avoid it sticking.
  4. Boil uncovered for 7 minutes.
  5. Add the peas, bring the water back to the boil and cook for a further 2 minutes
  6. Carefully remove a piece of pasta and cut it with the side of a fork. If the pasta resists, continue to boil and repeat the fork test every minute until it is ‘al dente’ and just cuts through the pasta.
  7. Drain the pasta and peas into a colander over the sink. 
  8. Tip the drained pasta and peas into the pan of tomato sauce.

Gluten Free Aubergine and Pasta Timbale Bake

  1. Pre-heat the oven.
  2. Chop the mozzarella into cubes and finely grate the parmesan.
  3. Add the mozzarella and parmesan to the pan of pasta and sauce, season with salt and pepper and stir gently to combine.
  4. Tip the pasta into the aubergine lined baking tin and smooth the top.
  5. Stand the tin on an oven tray and bake for 40 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and stand for 15 minutes or leave overnight before turning out the timbale onto a serving plate. 
  7. Scatter with basil leaves and serve.

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