Sunday, October 28, 2007

Beef and Spaghetti Surprise

This is a great way to use up that leftover cooked pasta.

  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing

  • 2 medium sized eggplants

  • 3/4 lb ground beef

  • 1 small onion, chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 Tbl tomato paste

  • 1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes

  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano

  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives

  • 1 bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped

  • 6-8 oz cooked spaghetti

  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan (or use Roman cheese for a little stronger flavor)

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • fresh parsley sprigs, for garnish

  1. Brush an 8 inch round cake pan with oil.

  2. Slice eggplants into 1/2 inch slices. Heat a little oil in skillet over medium heat, and fry eggplant slices for 3-4 minutes or until browned on both sides. Do this in batches, do not crowd slices. Drain on paper towels.

  3. Put ground beef, onion, and garlic in saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until beef is browned. Add tomato paste, tomatoes, Worcestershire, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add olives and bell pepper and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

  4. Add meat mixture to the cooked spaghetti, add cheese, and toss well.

  5. Arrange eggplant slices on the bottom, and around the sides of the cake pan. Add spaghetti, press down firmly, and cover the top with the rest of the eggplant. Bake in 400F oven for 40 minutes. Remove from oven, and let rest for 5 minutes, then invert onto a serving platter. Garnish with parsley sprigs and serve.

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