Legendary Dishes | Timballo / Timpana (pasta bake with pastry crust)


A traditional timpana is made with a breadcrumb-butter base, carrots and celery, eggs, large macaroni, mushrooms, onions, hard cheese (usually parmigiano), pork fat, tomato sauce (passata) and a puff pastry top.

The vegetables, with the exception of the mushrooms, are fried in the fat to produce a sauce.

The macaroni is dressed in the cheese and eggs.

The mushrooms are added to the vegetable sauce, folded into the pasta mixture and baked in a slow oven.

Meat has made its way into the dish over time.

In Malta, with a Sicilian influence, they make this version.

Puff Pastry Version

  • 500 g onions, finely diced
  • 500 g tomato passata
  • 300 ml chicken stock, hot
  • 320 g puff pastry
  • 300 g bacon, finely diced
  • 250 g beef mince
  • 250 g macaroni / penne
  • 250 g pork mince
  • 200 g carrots, diced
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 10 g dried porcini mushrooms reconstituted in 150 ml mineral water
  • 125 g grano padano cheese, grated
  • 100 g mushrooms, diced
  • 75 g parmigiano cheese, grated
  • 45 ml olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper


  • 1 egg 
  • 30 ml milk / water

In a deep saucepan fry onions and garlic in olive oil over a medium heat for 15 minutes.

Add bacon, stir and fry until the mixture begins to stick to the pan.

Add pork mince, stir to separate. Reduce liquid.

Add beef mince, stir to separate. Reduce.

Add carrots, fry and stir for a couple of minutes.

Add mushrooms including soaking liquid.

Pour the stock into the mixture, stir and bring to boil. Reduce.

Add tomato passata and seasonings.

Over a medium heat reduce until the mixture begins to resemble a sauce.

Cook pasta al dente, drain, leave to cool a little, place in a large oven-proof dish.

Add cheeses, leave to cool.

Preheat oven to 180˚C.

Stir beaten eggs into the pasta mixture.

Pour the meat mixture onto the pasta mixture, gently fold in the pasta.

Arrange the pastry on top with some overlap.

Glaze the pastry.

Bake for 45 minutes at 180ºC. Reduce heat to 160ºC, bake for 15 minutes.

Other Pasta Bakes

Fırın Makarna TURKEY baked macaroni
Imqarrun il-forn MALTA pasta bake
Macaroni Pastitsio CYPRUS GREECE macaroni bake / Pastitsio CYPRUS GREECE pasta bake
Makaronia Tou Fournou CYPRUS macaroni bake 
Minestre Asciutte SARDINIA macaroni bake
Orecchiette alla Materana ITALY Matera pasta bake
Timballo di Maccheroni ITALY macaroni bake