Timballo di Melanzane

La Pasta - Pasta dishes

When you delve into the traditions of Sicilian cuisine you will soon discover dishes like no other.

You may feel baked pasta is nothing special to be shouted about because it has been made so many times with several recipes and all over the world; but when you delve into the traditions of Sicilian cuisine you will soon discover that this dish is not like any baked pasta you have made before, so we want to share with you one of our typical Sicilian recipes,, Timballo Siciliano.

The Timballo Siciliano 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.

In the Strazzanti household, we have many food traditions like most Italian families, and we make our Timballo with either aubergine inside and then layered with extra fried aubergine slices on the outside or our classic beef ragu with peas and boiled egg. We tend to make Timballo for celebratory occasions like New Year’s lunch rather than Easter as we have Grandad’s Lamb dish!

Remember, every family have their own versions of recipes, passed down from generations. So, if there is something in our recipe that someone else might not use then that’s ok, cooking is personal and comes from the heart.

Recipes develop over time with what ingredients were available, they will always be unique with similarities to any individual or family household. For instance, we add butter to our pasta mix in the Timballo recipe, simply because that’s what our Nonna started to add when she moved to the UK when she was 28. This was because at the time in 1954, she had limited availability to cheese like pecorino or parmesan, so to make the pasta tastier she would add butter!

We share this, as well as other traditional recipes, in the first of our dedicated Recipe E-Books with this Easter Special Edition

A £2 donation from each purchase will be donated to The Trussell Trust Foundation, supporting food banks across the UK.

Photo credit: from our recipe feature in Woman & Home Magazine