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Baked Fusilli (timballo)

Baked Fusilli also called timballo di fusilli is made with layers of pasta flavored with a scrumptious Bolognese sauce, boiled eggs and mozzarella cheese.

Baked fusilli with bolognese sauce.

What is baked fusilli?

Baked fusilli with meat sauce is a typical Italian dish that falls into the timballo category, which are pasta that once cooked and coated with tomato sauce, will be arranged in layers in a baking dish with one or more ingredients such as mozzarella cheese, bechamel sauce, vegetables, meat, etc.

The variety of timballi in Italy is large and each family has a particular recipe. There are Neapolitans recipes, Sicilians, Laziali, etc. Each region can be said to have several recipes and variants of this delicious dish.

Timballi are perfect to feed a crowd and since they’re very easy to make, they always make it to sunday’s lunch, gatherings, etc.

Freshly baked timballo with fusilli pasta, mozzarella and eggs.

The step by step recipe

Prepare the bolognese

Clean and peel onions, carrots and celery. Chop them finely. This preparation is called soffritto and it is a staple in Italian cuisine.

In a medium braise pan, heat a little olive oil and fry the vegetables over low heat until they are slightly translucent.

Sauteeing soffritto.

Add the meat and mix well, sauté for 5-6 minutes or until the meat changes color evenly.

Meat cooked on the pan.

Add the tomato sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste, add 1 cup of water and mix. Raise the heat and bring to a boil.

Mixing meat with tomato sauce.

When the sauce begins to boil lower the heat and simmer for 1 and half hour. Uncover the casserole and let the sauce reduce, there should be little juice left but not completely dry. Season with salt and pepper.

The bolognese sauce ready on the stove.

Cook the eggs in water. Let them cool and peel them, cut them into slices. Grate the mozzarella cheese. Set everything aside.

Prepare the pasta

Cook the pasta al dente (it will finish cooking in the oven). Drain it and place it into a large bowl. Add the bolognese sauce and mix throughly for 2 minutes so that sauce coats perfectly all the pasta.

Mixing pasta and bolognese sauce on a bowl.

Make the timballo

Grease a 6.5 “x 9” (17x23cm) baking dish with olive oil. Place half of the pasta and distribute it well.

Sprinkle half the mozzarella on top, place half the eggs and finally 1/2 of the Parmigiano cheese.

Layering ingredients on a baking dish.

Repeat with another layer of pasta and at the end, after adding the parmigiano, add a drizzle of olive oil.

You can also add some Italian bechamel sauce between layers and on top of pasta, but this is totally optional.

Timballo ready for the oven.

Heat the oven to 390 ° F (200 ° C), pop the timballo in and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese layer on top begins to bubble.

Notes

  • Baked Fusilli can be prepared with any store-bought ragù, which can save you lots of time in the kitchen.
  • You can make this dish a day or two before and instead of baking it just store it in the refrigerator to make it later.
  • The only “rule” to keep in mind is to leave the pasta very al dente so it will finish its cooking in the oven.
  • You can add bechamel sauce between the layers of the timbale and on top along with the mozzarella, it is delicious!

Watch How To Make It

Baked fusilli

Baked Fusilli also called timballo di fusilli is made with layers of pasta flavored with a scrumptious Bolognese sauce, boiled eggs and mozzarella cheese.
PREP 15 minutes
COOK 2 hours
TOTAL 2 hours 15 minutes
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Servings: 4

Equipment

  • A 6.5 “x 9” (17x23cm) baking dish

Ingredients 

For soffritto

  • 1 small onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 small carrot (finely chopped)
  • 2 small celery sticks (finely chopped)

For the bolognese sauce

  • ½ lb (280g) minced pork meat (or beef)
  • 1 can plain tomato sauce (17oz/500g)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

For timballo

  • 7 oz (200g) fusilli pasta
  • 5 oz (150g) mozzarella cheese (cubed)
  • 4 Tbsp parmigiano cheese (gratted)
  • 3 boiled medium eggs (cut into slices)
  • 1 cup (200g) bechamel sauce (optional)

Instructions

Prepare the bolognese sauce

  • In a medium braise pan, heat a little olive oil and fry onions, carrots and celery over low heat until slightly translucent.
  • Add the meat and mix well, cook for 5 minutes or until the meat changes color evenly.
  • Add tomato sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste, add 1 cup of water and mix. Raise the heat and bring to a boil.
  • When the sauce begins to boil lower the heat and simmer for 1 and half hour, covered.
  • Uncover the casserole and let the sauce reduce. Adjust with salt and pepper.

Make the timballo

  • Cook pasta al dente according to the package instructions. Drain it and place it into a large bowl.
  • Add the bolognese sauce and mix throughly.
  • Grease a 6.5 “x 9” (17x23cm) baking dish with olive oil. Layer half of the pasta.
  • Sprinkle half the mozzarella on top, place half the eggs and finally 1/2 of the Parmigiano cheese. *You can also add bechamel sauce between layers.*
  • Repeat with another layer of pasta and add a drizzle of olive oil.

Bake

  • Heat the oven to 390°F (200°C), pop the timballo inside and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese layer on top begins to bubble.

notes

  • Baked Fusilli can be prepared with any store-bought ragù, which can save you lots of time in the kitchen.
  • You can make this dish a day or two before and instead of baking it just store it in the refrigerator to make it later.
  • The only “rule” to keep in mind is to leave the pasta very al dente so it will finish its cooking in the oven.
  • You can add bechamel sauce between the layers of the timbale and on top along with the mozzarella, it is delicious!
Nutrition
Calories: 567kcal
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