Anelletti pasta timbale with mozzarella and tomatoes

Anelletti pasta timbale with mozzarella and tomatoes

By 27/08/2015

I have been having pasta every day like a proper Italian this month. I had ordinary pasta and farro pasta which is Italian spelt. It makes a change to the classic wheat pasta and has an interesting and delicate flavour. Many people seem to have a problem with wheat these days and farro could be a good alternative to it.

Of course the sauce I use in the summer is always the same: made with fresh tomatoes, fresh basil leaves and olive oil. I could not ask for a better lunch! And it is light too.

Basil leaves are just like perfume: they leave you with a strong and powerful fragrance on your hands, infact better than real perfume! (at least more natural).

My recipe today is a revisited Sicilian anelletti timbale. The classic version of this recipe is with meat and fried eggplant. As it is summer time I have grilled the eggplant instead of frying it and substituted the meat for mozzarella and tomatoes so you get a lighter version of this beautiful and tasty dish.

Definetely worth a try, maybe for a dinner party!

  • Prep Time : 40 minutes
  • Cook Time : 25 minutes



To make this lovely dish first we collected the most ripe and juicy cherry tomatoes from the garden and a few basil leaves. The smell of fresh basil was incredible!

cherry tomatoes

Wash the eggplant, slice them into 1/2 cm thick slices, sprinkle them with salt and let them rest for 10 minutes. With a paper towel absorb the excess moisture they  have released.

Heat up a griddle pan and when it is really hot lay the slices on it pressing with a spatula and cook them for about 2 minutes each side.


Cut the cherry tomatoes into halves and let them drain on a colander.

cutting tomatoes

Cut the mozzarella into cubes

cutting mozzarella

Cook the pasta al dente in salty water, drain and mix it with the mozzarella cubes, 2 tbsp of olive oil, the tomato sauce, the torn basil leaves, the parmesan and the cherry tomatotes.

stirring mozzarella and tomatoes

When it comes to mixing, whipping and stirring children always like to get involved!

cooking pasta

Brush the eggplant slices with olive oil. Cover a small deep pot (measuring approx 17cm / 7 inch diameter) with parchment paper, brush it with olive oil and line the bottom and the sides of it with the eggplant slices. Leave 4 or 5 slices aside. Put the pasta mixture inside.

making anelletti timbale

Cover up with the remaining eggplant and drizzle with olive oil.

Sicilian Anelletti pasta timbale

Cook for 25 minutes at 180C or 350F.

Let it cool down a little then turn it upside down on a plate. Remove the parchment paper and serve with a drizzle of olive oil. Decorate with basil leaves and cherry tomatoes.

Sicilian Anelletti pasta timbale

Sicilian Anelletti pasta timbale

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11 Responses to Anelletti pasta timbale with mozzarella and tomatoes

  1. Dottie Sauchelli Balin

    Dear Alida,
    This dish is beautiful…I love the way it looks on the plate. I know that mine would fall apart, especially when you take some out. The ingredients are a perfect combination to this delicious recipe. I most enjoy that you substituted with the grilled eggplant and the mozzarella. That must be awesome! Your children always have a hand in your creations and that is wonderful…It is important to have them enjoy the food but also what it takes to make it. I can smell the aroma of the basil all across the ocean to Long Island..Have a wonderful day/night dear friend!
    Dottie 🙂

    • Alida

      Thank you Dottie!

  2. Angie@Angie's Recipes

    You are such a talented cook, Alida. The timbale looks so pretty and delicious.

    • Alida

      Hey thank you Angie, I am pleased you like it!

    • Alida

      Thank you Kate.

  3. Elisabetta

    Another scrumptious traditional Sicilian dish and worth making. I’ve just dragged myself home after another magical holiday in sunny, happy Sicily, this time in Taormina. Highlights, Il Volo concert at the Greek Amphitheatre and my birthday!! And more!! Want to live there! 🙂

    • Alida

      Oh I can imagine how you are feeling! Taormina is a magical, beautiful, overwhelming place. What a treat for your birthday. You must have had lots of fabulous food..!

  4. Michael

    Love this! But Mine falls apart. Can we add some egg to bind it so it will present better when cut?

    • Alida

      Yes of course 🙂

  5. Pingback: Anelletti Pasta Pie from Carmela Sereno | My Little Italian Kitchen

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