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The Leopard’s macaroni pie

Timballo del Gattopardo – macaroni pie

  • Main
  • medium
  • Serves 10
  • 1 hour 30 minutes

PT1H30M

A grand, luxurious and filling dish of macaroni and meat encased in pastry, Timballo del Gattopardo translates as ‘The Leopard’s Pie’ and is named after Giuseppe di Tomasi di Lampedusa, a nineteenth century Sicilian prince who wrote Il Gattopardo, one of Italy’s most famous novels. The original recipe contained eggs from the ovary of a chicken, but hard boiled eggs work just as well today.

1
Preheat an oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
2
Before you start cooking, soak the dried porcini in hot water for 20 minutes, then drain and chop
3
First prepare the veal roasting juices. Add the oil to a casserole dish, place over a medium-high heat and once hot, add the veal. Caramelise all over for 2 minutes, pour in the wine and stir in the rosemary and vegetables. Place the lid on the dish and roast in the oven for 1 hour
4
Drain the vegetables and meat in a large sieve and collect the cooking juices in a jug. Keep the oven on at the same temperature to cook the pie. Reserve the meat for another meal
5
To prepare the filling, warm the olive oil in a large casserole dish and fry the onions until tender, for about 10 minutes. Add the chicken and cook for a further 7 minutes, then add the chicken livers, hearts and the soaked porcini
6
Cook for a few minutes, stirring regularly, then add the ham and wine and cook for 10 minutes, or until the wine has evaporated a little. Add the veal cooking juices and the hard-boiled egg yolks, stirring them very gently
7
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 5–6 minutes or until barely al dente. Drain and set aside
8
Lightly flour a clean work surface and roll out the shortcrust dough until about 4mm thick. Use about 3/4 of it to line a large greased dish of about 25cm in diameter, 12cm high. The remaining pastry should be enough for the lid
9
Mix the pasta with all of the filling mixture and add the Parmesan. Pour the mixture carefully into the pastry-lined pie dish. Cover with the pastry lid, seal at the sides and make a couple of holes in the centre
10
Brush with a little of the liquid from the sauce and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Serve hot

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