Timballo Siciliano

La Pasta - Pasta dishes
SERVES 4-6

Ingredients

For the Pasta

For the Filling

The Timballo Siciliano or Pasta ‘Ncasciata is a form of baked pasta, baked inside a Timbale mould which gives its name and its shape. Typically made with Pasta anelletti (little rings) it has a filled centre of fried aubergine or beef ragu. It’s hearty, delicious and is a showstopper of a dish.

This dish is best made in 1 day or over 2 days.

Method

To start make the Ragu filling. In a large frying pan, heat up a few tbsp’s of olive oil and begin to fry both the mince meats until golden brown. Once browned season with salt and lots of ground black pepper and transfer to a bowl.

In the same frying pan, add a few tbsp’s of olive oil and fry the sliced onion until lightly golden and translucent. Once cooked add in the picked and roughly chopped parsley and fry with the onion for a good 30 seconds.

Transfer the cooked mince meats back into the pan with the onion and parsley and mix well together along with adding in the peas. At this stage you can either add in the 400g chopped tomatoes or the sugo di Pomodoro; mix well and season with a pinch of salt.

Bring the ragu to a gentle simmer and cover with a lid and cook on a low flame for 30 minutes using chopped tomatoes or 15 – 20 minutes using the sugo di pomodoro, until the mix becomes quite dry.

Once the ragu is cool, add in the finely chopped mozzarella and grated pecorino cheese and mix well and leave either overnight in the fridge to assemble the Timballo the next day or keep in the fridge until required later in the day.

To cook the pasta, heat up a pan of water and bring to the boil and season with plenty of sea salt. Once boiling add in the Pasta Anelletti Siciliani, 500g and cook for 4 minutes under the recommended cooking guidelines. Once cooked, drain and place the drained pasta into a bowl, add in the butter and grated pecorino cheese whilst hot and mix well and then finally add in the 200g of sugo di pomodoro and mix altogether.

To assemble the Timballo have the Ragu cold and ready in a bowl, 4 x whole boiled eggs cold see Tip 1*, the cooked seasoned pasta and an 8 inch round tin with removeable base.

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees and in the meantime build the Timballo.

Take the cake tin and transfer ¾ of your pasta making sure it lines the base and the sides well, leaving a gap in the centre to place inside ½ the ragu mix and the 4 eggs. Add the remaining ½ of the ragu mix to cover the eggs and then place the remaining pasta on top of the ragu/eggs to ensure it is well covered during cooking. Cook in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes until golden and leave to stand for 15/20 minutes before turning out on to a serving platter see Tip 2*

Tips

1* To cook the eggs, bring a pan of water to the boil, once boiling gently place in the eggs and cook for 7 minutes. Once cooked place immediately into running cold water and peel.

2* If you demould the Timballo straight away it will fall apart, it needs some time to rest to allow the pasta to slightly firm up. Run a small knife around the edges of the tin to help loosen up the pasta and place the serving platter on top and turn upside down to release the Timballo out of the tin, remove the base and serve!

Buon Appetito!