Friday, July 10, 2009

Baked Angel Hair with Eggplant

Last night I could not fall asleep! So I decided to see what I had saved on my DVR. I was happy to find that some old episodes of Everyday Italian had recorded and decided to watch one so that I could get sleepy. This show was called "Pasta Potluck" where Giada made her own version of Italian Mac & Cheese, Chicken Carbonara and my favorite of the three, Baked Angel Hair with Eggplant. The unique thing about this recipe is that it's like a "pasta pie". I'm only familiar with this concept because I own all of Giada's cookbooks and there is a similar recipe in one of them. But this one was a little different and looks absolutely delicious! I wish I had a photo to post but sadly there was not one included with the recipe, nor was there a clip of this dish being made. I did, however, find a photo of the finished dish on a fabulous blog called Culinary Infatuation. I hope you don't mind me swiping your photo - your blog is great by the way ;) Here is the recipe courtesy of Food Network

Baked Angel Hair with Eggplant
Courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis via Food Network

~ 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 Pepper
~ 1 TB 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 (not the kind that's soft and soaked in water/milk)
~ 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
~ 1 (17 1/4oz) 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. 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 of 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 slightly crunchy and undercooked (you will be baking it so you don't want to cook any longer). Drain. Toss the angel hair with the eggplant mixture. Cool completely. Add the mozzarella and Parmesan and toss to combine.

Preheat the over to 375 degrees F.

Roll out 1 pastry sheet on a floured surface to a 13 1/2 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 on top of the pasta filling. Pinch the edges of the pastry sheets together to seal. Trim the over hanging 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 hr and 30 minutes. Let stand for 20 minutes. Remove the pan sides and serve.

I know what I'll be making this weekend! Enjoy!!


  1. I love Giada, pasta, and everything Italian. That sounds fabulous! I tried a stuffed shells recipe of hers once and it was sooooo good (except for the insane amount of time it took to make it and mess I made of my kitchen)! I may have to try this one. :)

  2. This looks wonderful! Giada is so great to watch, and most of her dishes are relatively easy & light! (This angel hair "pie" has officially been added to my "to-try" list!)

    p.s. thank you for stopping by my blog! I LOVE yours, and am a new follower!