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Small Pasta Molds - {Timballini Di Pasta}


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  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 3/4 cups diced leeks
  • 1/4 pound pancetta or bacon diced
  • 1/3 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 package frozen petite peas - (10 oz) thawed
  • 3 cups Tomato And Basil Sauce (see recipe) (or prepared tomato sauce)
  • Fine sea salt to taste
  • Coarsely-ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pound capellini or angel hair pasta broken into thirds
  • 2 cups freshly-grated Asiago or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese - (5 oz)
  • 20 aluminum foil cupcake cups (3" wide and 1 1/2" deep)


Servings 20


Step 1

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the leeks and pancetta or bacon and cook over medium heat until the leeks begin to wilt and the pancetta starts to brown. Add the parsley and cook for 1 minute. Add the peas and cook for 1 minute. Add 2 cups of the tomato sauce and stir well. Add the salt and pepper, cover the pan and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil the aluminum foil cups. Bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil in a large pot. Add the pasta and cook just until al dente. Drain the pasta well and place it in a bowl. Add the leek mixture and cheese and mix well with a wooden spoon. Add the remaining 1 cup tomato sauce and mix again.

Divide the mixture among the foil cups, making sure to distribute it evenly. Press down the pasta lightly with the back of a spoon to compact the ingredients. Place the cups on cookie sheets. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the timballini are heated through.

To unmold, using a potholder or oven mitt, carefully invert the molds onto a large platter or onto individual dishes.

Variation: Instead of making timballini, use the leek mixture to sauce 1 pound of farfalle bow ties or other pasta for a simple supper for four.

This recipe yields 20 timballini.

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