Timballo Siciliano

  • 4 Servings
  • 30mPrep Time
  • 60mCook Time
  • 90mReady In
  • Category : Food
  • Subcategory : Cereals, grains and pastas
  • Main Ingredient : pasta
  • Chef : Vince Geraci

A timballo is an Italian molded dish, typically of pasta or rice, with a filling of meat or vegetables. Although there are many versions of timballo Siciliano, it’s typically a pasta dish containing eggplant, similar to Greek moussaka.


Ragu: 1/2 cup olive oil 2 green onions, diced 1 carrot diced 1 stalk of celery, diced Dried basil to taste 3/4 cup red wine 6 ounces tomato paste 3/4 cup pureed tomatoes flavored with basil 1 pound lean ground beef and pork mixture Salt and pepper to taste 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon Bechamel sauce: 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons flour 1 cup milk, warmed Salt and pepper to taste Timballo: Salt 2 baby eggplants, cut in 1/4-inch slices 2 tablespoons olive oil Softened butter Breadcrumbs 1 pound O-ring pasta 3 cups tomato sauce flavored with basil 1 10-ounce package frozen petite peas, sauteed 2 bunches green onions, chopped 1/2 pound fresh pecorino, cut in small cubes 2 tablespoons grated parmesan Pepper to taste


Make the ragu:

  • Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat and saute the onions, carrot, celery and dried basil until fragrant.
  • Add the pork and beef mixture and saute until browned.
  • Add the red wine, tomato paste and pureed tomato.
  • Stir and blend.
  • Season with salt and pepper, cloves and cinnamon.
  • Reduce the heat and summer for about 1 hour.

Make the bechamel sauce:

  • In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter.
  • Sprinkle in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture turns a sandy color, 6 to 7 minutes.
  • Slowly whisk in the warm milk and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Prepare the timballo:

  • Salt the baby eggplant slices and let stand 1/2 hour.
  • Rinse and pat very dry.
  • Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and fry the eggplant on both sides until soft.
  • Drain on paper towels.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spread butter in a 12-inch diameter casserole and dust with breadcrumbs.
  • Cook the pasta in salted boiling water for 2 minutes and drain.
  • Toss the pasta with the tomato sauce and grated parmesan, pour half into the casserole, and layer the fried eggplant across the top.
  • Combine the bechamel and the ragu sauce; pour over the top.
  • Mix the sauteed peas with the green onions, layer on top and then add the pecorino.
  • Complete with the remainder of the pasta, dust with the grated parmesan and about 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs and dot with butter.
  • Bake for 1/2 hour.
  • Let stand 10 minutes to firm up, unmold onto a platter and serve.