Loretta Sebastiani

Loretta Sebastiani
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Neapolitan macaroni pie
( Timpano di maccheroni )

Authentic Italian recipe

difficulty: laborious recipe

time: 3 hour

calories: 831 (kCal)

Ingredienti / Dosi per 8

  • For the pastry
  • 300 g (10 1/2oz) white flour
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 liqueur glass of Marsala
  • Salt
  • For the stuffing
  • 400 g (14 oz) Italian macaroni
  • 200 g (7 oz) chicken breasts
  • 200 g (7 oz) minced veal
  • 100 g (3 1/2oz) raw ham, chopped
  • 250 g (8 1/2oz) fresh turkey sausages
  • 1 200 g (7 oz) can peas
  • 300 g (10 1/2oz) frozen or fresh mushrooms
  • 200 g (7 oz) mozzarella cheese
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs
  • 2 fresh little onions
  • 250 ml (8 fl oz - 1 C) vegetable stock
  • 9 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, if you like
  • 4 tablespoons plain dried breadcrumbs or more
  • 1 egg
  • 500 ml (16 fl oz - 2 C) puréed tomatoes
  • Dried chives
  • Dried bay leaves
  • Dried tarragon
  • 100 ml (4 fl oz - 1/2 C) dry white wine
  • Soy sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper, if you like
laborious recipe
preparation: 120 minutes
plus resting time for dough
cooking: 90 minutes
total time: 3 hour
How many calories in a serving?
Calories: 831 (kcal) 42 % - 3476 (kJ)
Protein: 38.7 (g) 78 % GDA
Total fat: 36.5 (g) 53 % GDA
Total carbohydrate: 80.2 (g) 30 % GDA
Sugars: 9.5 (g) 11 % GDA

Download free PDF version (233 download).

Prepare pastry

You have to prepare the pastry for lining your timbale 2 hours before you use it.
Put flour in a bowl or on a work surface. Make a well in the center and put egg yolks, olive oil, salt and Marsala (Sicilian fortified wine). At this point draw in flour from the edge of the well slowly, stirring and adding warm water only if necessary, until a soft dough forms. Knead the dough on the floured work surface for few minutes until it is smooth and elastic and there is no trace of the dough on your fingers. Cover with a napkin and allow to rest for at least 2 hours.

Prepare the sauce with meatballs and peas

Prepare little meatballs with minced veal. Put meat with an egg, 3 tablespoons of plain dried breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon of chives and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and knead by your hands. The dough must be soft. Prepare little meatballs with it. Every meatball must have the size of an olive.
Let them fry lightly in a non-stick frying pan with 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Then add the peas, 1 teaspoon of chopped bay leaves and a ladle of stock. Season to taste with salt and pepper (if you like) and keep on cooking over a gentle flame for about 20 minutes or until cooking juice is well reduced. Few minutes before the end of cooking, add raw ham, finely chopped.

Prepare fresh sausages

This recipe should be done with a particular kind of Neapolitan sausages called "cervellatine". They are long and thin sausages made with low fat pig meat and bacon fat; they are dressed with salt, pepper and chilly pepper. We use turkey fresh sausages because it's difficult to find "cervellatine" far from Neapolitan region and this kind of sausage has low fat.
Boil turkey sausages in water for about 10 minutes for removing fat. When cooked, drain very well and cut into little pieces.

Prepare mushrooms

If you use fresh mushrooms, clean and slice them. Cook the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of olive oil in another saucepan with a ladle of vegetable stock and one teaspoon of chopped bay leaves. Season to taste with salt and let cooking juice retire.

Prepare the sauce with chicken breasts

In the authentic Neapolitan recipe you should prepare meat sauce and then cook chicken breasts in this sauce. On the contrary we prepare a light tomato sauce. Pour into a saucepan the puréed tomatoes, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of chives, 1 teaspoon of tarragon, white wine and chicken breasts, cut into little pieces. Season to taste with salt and cook over a gentle flame, half-covered, until meat is tender. Add water only if necessary.

Prepare macaroni

Cook macaroni in a large kettle of salted boiling water until al dente stage. Be careful! don't cook pasta too much, you have to bake it too! Drain macaroni very well and toss them with the chicken sauce, grated Parmesan cheese and meatballs and peas sauce.

Final steps

Cut mozzarella cheese crossways and hard-boiled eggs into slices.
Oil a timbale mould and sprinkle with the remaining plain dried breadcrumbs. Take a portion of pastry (2/3) and roll it out on a floured work surface. Do the same thing with the remaining pastry. Line bottom and sides of the mould with the major pastry, allowing it to flow over the edges.
Begin arranging mushrooms, sausages, hard-boiled eggs and mozzarella cheese on the bottom followed by a deep layer of tossed macaroni. Continue layering until all the ingredients have been used up. Close up the timbale with the remaining pastry. Seal it at the edges with moistened fingers. Prick the top over.
Bake in the oven at 180°C (350°F) for about 40 minutes.
Remove from the heat, allow to rest 5 minutes, turn out of the mould. Wait for other 5 minutes, slice and serve.


  • - This recipe is laborious and you can realize it in advance (the day before).
  • - We have modified the original recipe (this is an authentic recipe from Neapolitan region) except because too rich in fat. We didn't use lard; we tried not to fry lightly all the ingredients meatballs; we removed some fat from sausages, boiling them and we choose turkey sausages instead of pig ones. If you like traditional recipes from Italy, you can find the original one at this page.
  • - This timbale, rich in ingredients, can be served as one-plate meal in a special occasion; you can accompany it with some appetizers, before and seasonal vegetables, after. The menu can be completed with seasonal fruit and a cake. This Neapolitan timbale can be also served in a very important lunch together with other courses; in this case you have to cut it into thin slices and the doses will be enough for a greater number of people.

What's the right wine for " Neapolitan macaroni pie "?

My husband and I suggest to match Dolcetto d'Asti (red wine of Piedmont)