The Sicilian timbale, essentially a pie, makes a very dramatic appearance on the dinner table as the main event. It is traditionally an extravagant, time-consuming dish prepared for feasts and festivals (another name is timpano, so called for its distinctive drum shape; this was the dish prepared in the movie “Big Night”). Timbale can combine any number of components, including pasta, meatballs, sausages, hard-cooked eggs, cheeses, and red sauce, all inside a golden crust.
This weeknight version uses store-bought pizza dough to envelop chunks of eggplant simmered in a flavorful vegetarian Bolognese sauce with penne, which is served the night before. And while the impressive timbale may be made with leftovers, it seems just as guest-worthy as the first night’s dish.