Food & dining

sunday supper

Eggplant Bolognese one night, Sicilian timbale the next

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.

Shopping list

(For eggplant Bolognese, timbale)


1 egg

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2 cups grated fresh Parmesan

1 cup frozen peas

1 pound pizza dough

2 large eggplant


2 medium onions

2 carrots

2 cloves garlic

Few sprigs fresh oregano

Few sprigs fresh thyme


Few sprigs fresh basil

Salt and black pepper

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

½ cup olive oil

1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes,

crushed in a bowl

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup red wine

2 pounds penne

½ cup flour

Molly Kravitz can be reached at