Fresh pasta timpani

Timpano is a complicated dish but this is an easier version shared by Poderi Crisci restaurant and vineyard for you to enjoy with family and friends. Recipe by Luca Villari & Antonio Crisci. Photography by Todd Eyre.

  • 3 hrs cooking
  • 1 hr marinating
  • Serves 8
  • Print


Fresh pasta
  • 400 gram flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 300 gram beef mince
  • 300 gram pork mince
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon whole fennel seeds
  • 150 gram white bread, torn into pieces, soaked in milk and drained
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • olive oil, for drizzling
Tomato sauce
  • 3 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 kilogram tomato passata
  • 10 gram basil, torn
  • 250 gram ricotta cheese, strained
  • 100 gram parmesan, grated
  • 250 gram rigatoni or other short shaped pasta
  • olive oil, for brushing
  • 250 gram mozzarella cheese, torn
  • 250 gram italian salami, sliced
  • 4 eggs, hard-boiled and cut into eighths


Fresh pasta timpani
  • 1
    To make the pasta, mix the flour and a pinch of salt in a mixer. Add the eggs and the oil and mix slowly until it comes together. Knead on a floured work surface for 10 minutes until silky smooth, cover in plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for at least 1 hour.
  • 2
    Meanwhile combine meatball ingredients and roll into about 65 small balls using around 1 Tbsp of meat for each one. Place on baking trays lined with baking paper, drizzle over a little olive oil and bake at 160°C for 10 minutes.
  • 3
    To make the tomato sauce, fry the garlic briefly in a dash of oil over medium heat, then add the passata and cook for 8 minutes. Season and add almost all the fresh basil (reserve some to garnish).
  • 4
    Roll out pasta on a lightly floured surface into two sheets about 2mm thick to fit a deep baking dish approximately 35cm x 25cm. Make one sheet bigger so it will hang over either end of dish. The second sheet will form the timpano’s top.
  • 5
    Mix the ricotta with three-quarters of the tomato sauce, three-quarters of the parmesan and a little black pepper.
  • 6
    Cook the rigatoni until al dente, drain, refresh in ice water then drain again. Mix with the ricotta sauce.
  • 7
    Preheat oven to 180°C. Blanch pasta sheets separately in a large pot of salted, boiling water for about 60 seconds (you want the pasta al dente but malleable so it will fold into the dish). Refresh in ice water and dry on a tea towel. Line base and sides of the baking dish with baking paper and brush with olive oil, then line the dish with the bigger sheet of pasta and pour in half the rigatoni mixture.
  • 8
    Lay in the mozzarella, meatballs, salami and egg then finish with the remaining rigatoni. Place the smaller pasta sheet on top and fold the overhanging flaps of the base sheet over the top to create a good seal. Brush with olive oil and cover tightly with tinfoil.
  • 9
    Bake the timpano for 45 minutes, remove the foil and bake for 25 minutes more. To check if it is done, make a small hole in the top with a skewer. If steam comes out, it’s done; otherwise cook for another 8-10 minutes.
  • 10
    When done, remove from the oven, wait 10 minutes then carefully turn upside down onto a large plate. Cover with the remaining hot tomato sauce, parmesan and reserved basil. Slice it at the table and serve.


You can shorten the preparation time by buying fresh lasagne sheets and meatballs from the supermarket. This recipe is sufficient for eight people because if you are going to the effort of making this dish, you’ll want to share it with friends or at least freeze a few portions for another day.

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