This is one of those “all in one” type recipes, somewhat like a casserole where everything is contained in one package. Here, eggplant acts as a shell to contain a filling of cheese, pasta, vegetables and TVP. If you don’t like TVP, you can use any kind of vegan crumbles you like, just skip that part of the preparation steps and toss the crumbles in when you are preparing the filling.

You’ll want to keep this in your make ahead or weekend recipe file. Grilling the eggplant takes a little work but when you open the springform pan at the end and have a beautiful dish to serve, it is all worth it. And really, grilling eggplant slices is not that hard. Just be sure the eggplant slices aren’t too thick, you need them to be bendable after they are grilled. You also don’t want them too thin or they will fall apart. If you have a mandolin, now is the time to break it out. I find 1/4 inch to be the perfect thickness for the slices.


Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 70 minutes
Servings 6-8


2 cups dried TVP chunks
4 cups water, divided
2 TBL soy sauce 2 medium eggplant, sliced lengthwise ¼ inch thick
¼ cup plus 2 TBL olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
½ pound penne pasta
1 medium onion, diced
¼ cup Marsala wine
1 cup frozen peas
2 cups marinara sauce
¾ cup mozzarella style shreds
1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped


1. Add TVP and 3 cups of water to saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  Drain TVP in a colander and squeeze out as much water as you can.

2. Return TVP to pan and cover with cold water. Let sit for 10 minutes, drain and squeeze out as much water as you can.

3. Combine remaining 1 cup of water and soy sauce in s sealable plastic bag. Add the TVP to the bag and seal it, removing as much air as you can. Let sit for 15 minutes. Drain the TVP and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Set TVP aside.

While the TVP is cooking and soaking, prepare the eggplant and pasta:

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add some salt and cook the pasta until al dente. Drain as set aside.

2. Place a grill pan over medium-high heat. Lightly brush the eggplant slices with the ¼ cup of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill the eggplant on both side until tender, about 3 minutes per side. Set aside.

Make the filling;

1. Heat the remaining 2 TBL olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 6 minutes. Add the drained TVP and sauté 3 minutes to slightly brown it. Add the Marsala wine and cook until the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes.

2. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the peas and marinara sauce and stir to combine. Add the mozzarella style shreds, basil and cooked pasta, season with salt and pepper and stir to thoroughly combine.

Assemble the Timbale:

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Line a 9-inch springform pan with the eggplant slices. Make sure the slices overlap one another , completely cover the bottom and sides of the pan and hang over the edge of the pan. Reserve a few slices for the end.

3. Fill the lined pan with the pasta mixture. Press it down to make sure it is evenly distributed in the pan. Fold the eggplant slices over the top of the pasta and top with the reserved slices to completely cover the Timbale.

4. Put filled pan on a baking sheet (to catch any drips) and place in the preheated over. Cook for 30 minutes.

5. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

6. Invert the Timbale onto a serving plate and remove the pan.

7. Slice and serve.