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Is Timballo The Same As Timpano?

Timballo is an Italian baked dish 

The dome-shaped dish features a wide variety of ingredients, and it is traditionally served during the Christmas and Easter holidays. 

It typically includes pasta, cheese, sauces and vegetables. The exterior of this baked dish may also be made from pastry dough. 

In some regions of Italy, this drum shaped dish known as timpano.

Timballo and Timpano are both the same dish, the only difference is the dialects of the regions where this dish is made.

Timpano or timballo

While this dish may be known as timballo worldwide, it could be referred to as timpano in south of Italy especially in the region of Calabria.

The name timballo is derived from a French word “timbale” which means kettledrum. “Timpano” is derived from an Italian word that also means “drum.”  

This dish is often described as being dru- shaped, hence its name. It can also be called bomba or tortino, 

How is timballo made

The dish is simple to make. Timballo is a molded dish just like a casserole  

Traditionally, timballo consists of pasta, cheese, meat, eggs, and a variety of sauces.

Short cut pasta varieties are typically used to make timballo. They include pasta varieties such as ziti and macaroni. 

Rice could also be used in place of pasta.  It is baked with a filling, potatoes, crêpes, eggs, cheese, meatballs, sausage, and vegetables.

The eggs and cheese act as a binder to hold the filling together

The dish also may contain tomato sauce, mushroom sauce or béchamel.  

The ingredients are mixed together in a baking pan or layered.

The pasta is also used to line the exterior of the dish, while the other ingredients are used as the fillings. 

The pasta is first boiled and when it is ready, it is poured into the base of the pan, as well as used to line the sides to form the walls of this dish. 

The dish may be topped with pasta and then baked in an oven. The different fillings for this dish could be covered with pastry 

When baked, the dish forms a crust in its exterior while the dish cakes the fillings are encrusted within a hardened exterior made from a variety of ingredients 

The dish could be taken out of the baking pan and then slices are cut from the casserole and served.

Flavor depends on the choice of ingredients but it is typically a savory dish.


Timballo and Timpano are different names for the same dish.

While this dish is popularly known as timballo worldwide, Timpano is used to refer to the same dish in southern Italy 

 It consists of pasta, meat, cheese tomato sauce, and a variety of other ingredients

There are also regional variations; Sartù is a Neapolitan timballo made with rice and tomato sauce, eggplant timbale is made with slices of eggplants.