Molded Macaroni Casserole – Timballo di Maccarun

There are so many commonly prepared and predictably tasting macaroni casseroles and then comes along this timballo di maccarun. Timballo is a word that means drum: in this case. a beautifully molded casserole made in a spring form pan to give a drum effect. Maccarun is a southern dialect word for macaroni. The casserole is fun, easy to assemble, and makes an impressive statement. Put it together all at once or in stages.



  • 4 cups cooked elbow macaroni (2 cups dry)
  • 1 1/2 cups diced mozzarella cheese (firo di latte)
  • 1/2 cup diced sharp provolone cheese
  • 2 1/2 cups tomato sauce, plus extra to pass
  • 7 slices prociutto (or 1/4 lb pancetta cut into thin round)
  • 3/4 lb ground chuck
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 2 slices stale white bread, crust removed
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 tbsp minced basil
  • 1/4 cup minced Italian flat leaf parsley
  • 2/3 cup grated Pecorino cheese
  • To taste salt and pepper


  1. Combine the macaroni, mozzarella and provolone cheeses, and the tomato sauce in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Spray a 9-inch spring form pan with olive oil. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan. Cover the bottom of the pan with the prosciutto or pancetta slices,overlapping them. Set aside.
  3. Combine the ground meats in a large bowl. Dip the bread slices quickly in a small bowl of water and squeeze out the excess. Crumble the bread over the meats. Add the eggs, basil, parsley, salt, pepper, pecorino cheese and garlic. Mix gently with your hands to blend the ingredients. (Can be prepared and refrigerated a day ahead)
  4. Preheat the oven to 350F
  5. Wet your hands and pat about 2/3 of the meat mixture evenly over the prosciutto or pancetta. Be sure to spread the meat to the edges of the pan so there are no gaps.
  6. Carefully spread the macaroni mixture over the meat. Pat it down firmly with your hands or a wooden spoon.
  7. Use a rolling pin to roll out the remaining meat between two sheets of wax paper into a 9 1/2-inch round to fit the top of the pan.
  8. Carefully pull back one sheet of the wax paper and invert the meat over the top of the pan. Pull back the remaining sheet of wax paper.
  9. Neatly press the meat along the edges of the pan to form a seal.
  10. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and bake 15 to 20 minutes longer or until the top is nicely browned.
  11. Remove the pan from the oven. Run a knife around the edges of the pan. Let the pan cool for 5 minutes.
  12. Place a round serving platter larger than the pan over the top and invert the casserole onto the platter.
  13. Use a pot holder to release the spring and carefully lift off the sides. Remove the bottom of the pan and the parchment paper.
  14. Serve the timballo cut into wedges and pass extra tomato sauce on the side.

This recipe was featured on Season 19 - Episode 1902.

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