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Timballo is an Italian dish consisting of baked pasta, rice, or potatoes, usually with one or more other ingredients (cheese, meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit for example) included.[1][2] Variations include the timballo Alberoni named for Giulio Alberoni. It combines maccaroni, shrimp sauce, mushrooms, butter and cheese.


The name comes from French word for kettledrum (timbale).[1] Varieties of Timballo differ from region to region, and it is sometimes known as a bomba, tortino, sartu (a Neapolitan interpretation) or pasticcio (which is used more commonly to refer to a similar dish baked in a pastry crust).[1] It is similar to a casserole and is sometimes referred to in English as a pie or savory cake.[1]


The dish is prepared in a dome or springform pan and eggs or cheese are used as a binder.[1] Rice is commonly used as an ingredient in Emilia-Romagna, where the dish is referred to as a bomba and baked with a filling of pigeon or other game bird, peas, local cheese and a base of dried pasta.[1] Crêpes are used as a base in Abruzzo, and other regions use ravioli or gnocchi.[1] In Sicily, it's typically made with pasta and eggplant.[3]

Mushroom sauce or fonduta, a rich Piedmontese cheese soup and sauce, are sometimes used, and Anna Del Conte wrote that Béchamel is the most consistently used ingredient in timballos.[1][4]

In popular culture[edit]

Timballo featured prominently in the 1996 film Big Night, although the dish there is referred to as timpano (a regional or family term).[1] The movie seems to have increased the popularity of the dish.[5][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Schrambling, Regina (January 11, 2006). "With timballo, any night is big". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 4, 2009. 
  2. ^ McKeon, Nancy (September 25, 1996). ". . . And in the Starring Role: The Timballo!". Washington Post. Retrieved August 4, 2009. 
  3. ^ Zeldes, Leah A. (2010-12-01). "Eat this! Timballo Siciliano, something different to do with pasta". Dining Chicago. Chicago's Restaurant & Entertainment Guide, Inc. Retrieved 2011-05-18. 
  4. ^ Del Conte, Anna (2004). Gastronomy of Italy. Pavilion Books. ISBN 978-1862059580. 
  5. ^ Marchetti, Domenica; Susie Cushner (2008). Big Night In: More Than 100 Wonderful Recipes for Feeding Family and Friends Italian-Style. Chronicle Books. p. 99. ISBN 978-0-8118-5929-5. 
  6. ^ Kasper, Lynne Rossetto; Susie Cushner (1999). The Italian Country Table: Home Cooking from Italy's Farmhouse Kitchens. Simon and Schuster. p. 100. ISBN 978-0-684-81325-7. 

External links[edit]