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Eggplant Casserole with Linguine

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Dinner
Cuisine European
Servings 2 people

Ingredients
 

For the vegetables:

  • 2 medium sized Eggplant, purple
  • 4 medium sized Tomatoes, red, fully ripe
  • Olive oil

For the brine:

  • 1 liter Water
  • 2 tbsp Salt
  • 1,5 tsp Citric acid, crystalline

For the sauce:

  • 25 g Bacon, mixed, smoked
  • 4 small Onions, red
  • 2 medium sized Cloves of garlic, fresh
  • 150 g Minced beef, fresh or frozen
  • 2 medium sized Tomatoes, red, fully ripe
  • 2 medium sized Celery leaves, fresh or TK1
  • 80 g Tomato juice
  • 50 g Pasta cooking water, (see preparation)
  • 1,5 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp Paprika powder, mild
  • 1 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 2 g Chicken broth, Kraft bouillon
  • 1 tbsp Corn starch (e.g. Maizena)

For the pasta:

  • 100 g Linguine
  • 300 g Water
  • 6 g Chicken broth, Kraft bouillon

Also:

  • 150 g Pecorino, alternatively mountain cheese
  • Butter, for greasing the form

To garnish:

  • 4 Grapes, black
  • 2 tbsp Celery leaves

Instructions
 

  • Mix the ingredients for the brine until everything is dissolved. Wash the aubergines, cap both ends and cut across into 5mm thick slices. Immediately add the slices to the brine and use a suitable plate to ensure that they remain submerged. Let the brine act for 30 minutes, moving the slices every now and then. Then strain, drain well and lay out on a fresh tea towel to dry and cover with it.
  • In the meantime, wash the tomatoes, remove the stems, peel them, quarter them lengthways, remove the white-green stems and the grains. Halve the quarters crosswise and keep them ready.
  • For the sauce, cut the bacon into small cubes. Cap the onions and the cloves of garlic at both ends, peel and cut into small pieces. Wash the tomatoes, remove the stems, peel them, quarter them lengthways, remove the white-green stems and the grains. Chop or cut the quarters into small pieces.
  • Wash the fresh celery, shake dry, pluck the flawless leaves and chop. Use 1 tbsp of it immediately and freeze the remaining leaves together separately from the chopped stems. Measure frozen goods and allow to thaw.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a sufficiently large pan and fry the diced bacon in it until they are fragrant. Add the onions and the garlic cloves and roast well until translucent. Add the finely chopped tomatoes and stir-fry for another 2 minutes. Deglaze with the tomato juice. Take it off the stove and have it ready.
  • For the linguine, bring the water to the boil, dissolve the chicken stock in it and cook the linguine al dente according to the instructions on the package. Better a bit too firm than too soft. Strain and DO NOT quench with cold water. Complete the sauce with the stock and the remaining ingredients. Briefly bring the sauce to the boil.
  • Fry the aubergine slices in a pan with plenty of olive oil until light brown on both sides and drain on kitchen paper.
  • For the linguine, bring the water to the boil, dissolve the chicken stock in it and cook the linguine al dente according to the instructions on the package. Better a bit too firm than too soft. Strain and DO NOT quench with cold water. Complete the sauce with the stock and the remaining ingredients. Briefly bring the sauce to the boil.
  • Fry the aubergine slices in a pan with plenty of olive oil until light brown on both sides and drain on kitchen paper.
  • Grease a baking dish and spread 4 tablespoons of the sauce on the bottom. Cover with half of the linguine. Sprinkle a third of the pecorino over the pasta. Cover with the aubergine slices. Sprinkle with another third of the pecorino. Spread the tomato pieces on top and drizzle with almost half of the sauce. Spread the remaining pasta over it, drizzle with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with the remaining pecorino cheese.
  • Drizzle with 4 tbsp of the noodle broth. Place the 4 grapes and bake them on medium heat at 180 degrees. Garnish in the baking dish and serve.
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Written by John Myers

Professional Chef with 25 years of industry experience at the highest levels. Restaurant owner. Beverage Director with experience creating world-class nationally recognized cocktail programs. Food writer with a distinctive Chef-driven voice and point of view.

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