Discover Abruzzo

Discover Abruzzo


Timballo Abruzzese


dscn2394At the first taste of a Timballo, memories of nonna and mamma in the kitchen and families gathered around the table flood back to any Abruzzese living abroad.   Served for special occasions and made in the style of a lasagna but with thin crepes instead of pasta,  this version is classic, well-balanced and pure in taste.  As with many regional dishes they vary not only from region to region but from village to village.   Other regional versions may add spinach, artichokes and other local ingredients and the use of chicken and veal in the meat portion give this dish a delicate flavor.  This is the Scarpone Family recipe for Timballo Abruzzese that Nonna Lidia and Grazia Scarpone made for the Golden Glass and the Villa Italia 20th Anniversary celebration.    Please enjoy!

Timballo Abruzzese
(serves 8 people)

Ingredients to make crepes:
8 eggs
8 tablespoons of flour
water ( add enough water to make the batter thin & liquidy)

Heat a non-stick pan to medium heat. Add enough batter to cover pan, but the crepe should be thin. Use entire batter, then set aside.

Ingredients for the tiny meatballs:
11 oz. ground beef (for tiny meatballs)
4 oz. of bread crumbs ¼ tsp. nutmeg
4 Tbls. Parmigiano Reggiano salt & pepper

Mix ingredients, roll into ½ inch tiny meatballs and fry in vegetable oil until thoroughly cooked. Set aside.

Ingredients for the filling:
11 oz. ground pork
11 oz. ground chicken or turkey
11 oz. of ground beef
3 or 4 eggs
12 Tbls. of Parmigiano Reggiano
½ tsp. of nutmeg
18 oz. of bread crumbs
salt & pepper

Mix ingredients together then spread onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 250 Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. When done, cut meat mixture into ½ x ½ in. square sections. Set aside.

11 oz. of gizzards
8 oz. of white wine
4 Tbls. of olive oil
1 carrot (roughly chopped)
1 stalk celery (roughly chopped)
1 small onion (roughly chopped)
salt, pepper & nutmeg

Sautee the the vegetables with olive oil for about 2 minutes, then add the gizzards and white wine. Cook for about 25 minutes, until cooked. Cut the gizzards into tiny pieces. Set aside. Toss away the remaining ingredients.

Ingredients for the 1st phase of sauce:
1 small carrot
1 small onion
1 stalk of celery
2  24 oz. cans of tomato sauce
6 oz. of pork cut into pieces and some bones

Put ingredients into a blender or Cuisinart and blend or chop into tiny pieces. Sautee in vegetables in olive oil, then add the pork and cook for a 3 minutes. Add tomato sauce and cook for another 25 minutes, then set aside and let cool to room temperature.

Ingredients 2nd phase of sauce:
5 eggs
4 cups of milk

Whisk eggs and milk. Add tomato sauce and whisk together.
Mix the tiny meatballs and tiny squares of meat together in a bowl. Set aside.

Ingredients for filling:
22 oz. fresh mozzarella
6 Tbls. Parmigiano Reggiano

Cut mozzarella into ½ x ½ square inches and mix together with the meat and cheeses.

Assembling the timballo:
*Prepare a minimum of 6 layers.

Line a casserole dish with parchment paper and dot with butter.
Line the casserole dish with about 5 crepes, overhang half each crepe over the edges and around the casserole dish. (make sure there are no empty spaces).
Add about ¾ cup of tomato sauce onto crepes.
Add about a cup of meat mixture & cheese mixture onto the crepes.
Repeat for 5 more layers then fold over dampen edges with sauce onto the timballo. Dot timballo with butter and cover with aluminum foil.

Bake for 45 minutes at 250 degrees Fahrenheit. After 30 minutes, remove foil paper and let it bake to a golden brown. When finished, let the timballo cool for about 5 minutes. Place a platter over timballo in casserole dish and quickly turnover onto platter. Cut into 8 individual pieces.
Buon Appetito!
Grazia Scarpone


G8 Menu Translated

8 July 2009

First Course
Rigatoni con zucchini e pistilli di zafferano abruzzese
Rigatoni with saffron fronds from Abruzzo

Second course
Filetto di vitello alle erbe aromatiche
Veal Fillets with aromatic herbs

Gelato all’italiana con lingue di gatto
Italian gelato with homemade biscotti resembling lady fingers

9 July 2009 Dinner

Pomodoro Tiepido con giuncata di Rivisondoli e basilica
Tomatoes with soft cheese from the Rivisondoli Region with Basil

First Course
Maccheroncini alla chitarra con ragu all’abruzzese
Homemade spaghettini with regional Abruzzo sauce

Second Course
Vitello in crosta con tartufo estivo delle colline del Sangro
Veal in pastry truffles from the hills del Sangro
Formaggi Abruzzesi
Cheeses from Abruzzo Region

Cupola di Collemaggio
Dessert from Collemagio Region

Iole Ciammetti’s Homemade Ravioli

3 cups all purpose or “00” flour (Or use equal parts semolina and flour)
I tablespoon Olive Oil, pinch of salt, ¼ cup warm water on hand
4 eggs (room temperature)

Dough- Make a well with the flour on a flat surface – or a bowl -or large cutting board. Break the eggs into the well, and thoroughly beat eggs with a fork, add the salt and oil. Slowly incorporate the flour on the sides of the well into the egg, using the fork, while maintaining the well shape. As the eggs become more incorporated, slowly work in the last of the flour using the fork and your hands. Gently knead remaining flour into the dough.

– Bring the front forward over the bottom, and press with the heals of your hands. After 2 or 3 kneads, take the long piece and fold the 2 ends over the middle, and continue pressing. If it is too dry, add a teaspoon or two of water into the dry part of the dough, continue kneading by pressing and pushing. Occasionally fold the ends into the middle and continue kneading. The dough will become small and even. Continue kneading for about 10 minutes, until the dough is very smooth, and springy. Form dough into a ball, and let rest covered in plastic for 30 minutes.

Ravioli filling:
2 pounds ground beef**                                      ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 pound ground turkey                                        ½ cup white wine
Salt and pepper to taste                                       1 pkg. spinach, defrosted, drained dry
One small onion – chopped                                ½  cup grated Parmigianno cheese
3 cloves garlic – chopped                                     1 large egg yolk

Over medium heat, add meat, onions, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper, stirring continuously. When the meat is browned, add the wine, and continue stirring. Add spinach, continue stirring, and cook longer. Consistency should be fine and even. Remove from heat, add grated cheese and stir thoroughly. Let cool, then add egg yolks.  Set aside.

Now, take the dough, and cut a slice 3/8 inch thick, and put through your pasta machine starting at the thickest setting, reprocess all the way through to the second to the last thinnest setting.  The final product will form a long thin sheet of pasta suitable for stuffing one horizontal length. Place rolled out pasta on to a lightly floured surface, and put ½ teaspoon of filling down center of strip, approximately one fingers width apart. Fold dough in half pressing tightly with your fingers between the lumps of filling, and along the long edge to seal. Cut off excess pasta and set aside.  Cut in between each ravioli with the wheel. Set on a baking sheet until are all completed. These can be frozen flat, and then bagged, or eaten immediately!!!!!

When water is boiling, add salt, and add the ravioli.  Cook until they float – approx 5 – 7 minutes, until done. Have your sauce warm, ready to serve, and add a bit to the bottom of your serving platter.  As you move the ravioli to the platter, add more sauce, lots of grated Parmigianno cheese and enjoy!!!!

***Any ground meat can be used: veal, pork, chicken – and you may vary any of the filling ingredients.

Iole Ciammetti’s Homemade Gnocchi Abruzzese

gnocchi-32 large Russet potatoes
1 ½ – 2 cups all purpose flour
1 egg
About 1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon baking powder

Boil potatoes with the skin on until done. Peel as soon as you can handle, and put through a ricer. Spread out and let cool in a platter. When cool, make a round well with the flour on a hard, flat surface or large cutting board. Put the riced potatoes in the well, break the eggs into the potatoes, and beat the eggs. Add the oil. Start incorporating the potatoes into the eggs with the fork, until it becomes too stiff, and then begin kneading by hand, gently. You may not need to incorporate all the flour – leave it to the side, and it will be used for the cutting.

The dough should be formed into a long roll and cut into 2 inch sections, each section should be rolled into a log the size of your thumb. Cut the log into ½ inch pieces with a sharp knife, at an angle. Cut gently, don’t flatten. As you cut, place on a flat baking sheet or tray that will fit into your freezer. (If you decide to freeze them, they must be frozen this way, then placed in a freezer type container for use later).

Have a large pot of salted water boiling as you cut. Gently drop the gnocchi into the boiling water – and cover so that the pot immediately re-boils. Once boiling- and the gnocchi are floating to the top, they are ready!  Use a slotted spoon, a colander with a handle, or ravioli scoop to remove. Do not dump the water as you would with pasta!!!!

Have your sauce warm, ready to serve, and add a bit to the bottom of your serving platter.  As you transfer the gnocchi to the platter, add more sauce, lots of grated Parmigianno cheese and enjoy!!!!

Buon Appetito!!!
Serves 4 as a main course, or 8 as a primo…..