Pasta ‘Ncasciata or Pasta Incaciata is a Sicilian baked pasta. What we offer, from Messina, is one of the many versions of this unique dish that, with more or less sensitive differences between the ingredients, is widespread throughout the island.
Generally can use short pasta shapes, such as maccheroni or penne. The important thing is that the pasta is drained halfway through cooking: the passage in the oven will bring it to an end.
The eggplants are the undisputed protagonists of the Pasta ‘Ncasciata, which must be strictly fried, and the Caciocavallo. For Caciocavallo, however, here we mean the Sicilian type of cheese that is soft, fresh and stringy. Hard-boiled eggs and cooked ham or salami or mortadella diced, complete the work.
Why “Incaciata”? Perhaps for the typical pot in which it was assembled in layers and then cooked slowly or due to the presence of the cheese.
If you like eggplant try the Parmigiana recipe!
Wash the eggplants and cut them into not too thin slices. Arrange the eggplant slices in a colander, sprinkle each layer with salt, place a weight and let it rest for about 30 minutes to eliminate the water of bitter vegetation. After the time, remove the salt residues, wring them well and fry them in abundant frying oil of seeds until they are very golden on both sides. Remove them from the oil and place them on kitchen paper.
Pour a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil into a saucepan, fry the chopped onion, add the minced meat and cook over high heat until it is well browned, taking care to mix often. Add the tomato puree, salt and cook for about 30 minutes over low heat. Add the basil leaves over low heat.
Boil the peas in boiling salted water, drain and add them to the sauce.
Cook the eggs in a pan full of water and calculate about 15 minutes from the boil to obtain hard-boiled eggs cooked to perfection. Drain them, pass them under cold water and shell them
Boil the pasta and drain it al dente.
Put the pasta back in the saucepan and season it with a few ladlesful of sauce.
At the bottom of a non-stick pan, pour a little sauce and distribute it evenly, proceed with a first layer of pasta (half the quantity of pasta), add the meats, peas, egg slices, caciocavallo or stringy cheese in cubes, plenty of grated cheese, arrange the slices of fried eggplants, a few ladles of sauce and cover with the remaining pasta.
Season the pasta with sauce and grated cheese.
Bake in preheated oven at 180 ° C for about 20/25 minutes. The surface of the pasta that is incaciata or incasciata must be golden with a delicious crust.
Remove from the oven, wait a few minutes and serve. It is also good cold but can be heated in the oven for a few minutes to let the cheese spin again.
Once assembled you can also freeze and cook as needed.
Other version of this kind of pasta do not have minced meat but only tomato sauce seasoned with basil.
As mentioned before you can use different kinds of meat: salami or cooked ham or mortadella.