cookbooks

No. 95. Timballo Alla Romana Recipe

Recipe: Timballo Alla Romana

History:
Timballo Alla Romana is a traditional Italian dish that originated in the region of Lazio, particularly in the capital city of Rome. It is a classic example of Italian comfort food, known for its rich and hearty flavors. The dish has its roots in the Roman Empire and has been enjoyed by locals and visitors alike for centuries.

Fun Facts:
- The name "Timballo" comes from the French word "timbale," which refers to a cylindrical mold used to prepare this dish.
- Timballo Alla Romana is often served on special occasions or holiday gatherings in Italy.
- This dish is sometimes referred to as "Timpano," inspired by a similar dish featured in the popular movie "Big Night."

Now, let's dive into the recipe for Timballo Alla Romana:

Ingredients:
- Cold fowl, game, or sweetbread
- Butter
- Lard
- Flour
- Parmesan
- Truffles
- Macaroni
- Onions
- Cream

Instructions:

1. Prepare the pastry:
- Make a light paste by combining two ounces of butter, two ounces of lard, and half a pound of flour.
- Mix the ingredients until they form a smooth dough.
- Place the dough in the larder for two hours to chill and rest.

2. Cook the macaroni:
- Boil a small amount of macaroni according to the package instructions.
- Once cooked, drain the macaroni and allow it to cool completely.

3. Layer the pastry-lined mold:
- Take the chilled pastry dough from the larder and line a plain mold with it.
- Ensure the entire interior of the mold is evenly covered with the pastry.

4. Create the filling layers:
- Cut the cold fowl, game, or sweetbread into small pieces.
- Dice the truffles into small chunks.
- Finely chop some onions.
- Begin layering the ingredients in the mold in the following sequence:
- Start with a layer of cut-up fowl, game, or sweetbread.
- Add a layer of diced truffles.
- Sprinkle grated Parmesan over the truffles.
- Add a layer of chopped onions.
- Repeat the layering process until the mold is nearly full, ensuring each layer is evenly distributed.

5. Moisten the layers:
- After each layer, pour enough cream over it to moisten the ingredients.
- The cream adds richness and helps bind the layers together.

6. Seal the timballo:
- Roll out a thin pastry dough sheet for the top layer.
- Carefully place it over the filled mold.
- Press the edges of the top pastry layer firmly against the pastry-lined mold to seal the timballo.

7. Bake the timballo:
- Preheat your oven to a moderate temperature.
- Place the sealed timballo mold in the oven.
- Bake it for around one and a half hours, or until the pastry turns golden brown.

8. Serve and garnish:
- Once baked, remove the timballo from the oven.
- Gently turn it out of the mold onto a serving platter.
- Serve with a rich brown sauce on the side.
- Decorate the top of the timballo with bits of red tongue and truffles cut into shapes, or sprinkle chopped pistachio nuts for an added touch of flavor and visual appeal.

Similar Recipe Dishes:
- Timpano: As mentioned earlier, Timpano is a similar dish made popular by the movie "Big Night." It typically consists of pasta, meatballs, hard-boiled eggs, cheese, and tomato sauce, all encased in a pastry crust.
- Cannelloni: Another Italian dish featuring pasta rolls filled with meat or cheese, typically served with a tomato-based sauce.
- Lasagna: A classic Italian dish made with layers of pasta, meat, cheese, and sauce.

Enjoy the flavors of Timballo Alla Romana and embrace the rich culinary heritage of Italy in your own kitchen!

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