Ditalini Timbale with Spring Vegetables

ditalini timbale

In case you’re wondering what a timbale is, think of it as a mold. Food can be cooked inside it or food can be placed inside it to form the shape of the mold, that’s what I did in this recipe with my ditalini shaped pasta timbale.

ditalini timbale

Cooked ditalini along with some of my favorite spring veggies like asparagus, zucchini and peas get folded into the mix together, then pressed into a bowl lined and coated with toasted breadcrumbs, after it cools down a bit it takes the shape of a dome.

It’s a fun way to serve up a pasta dish and it’s a nice presentation on your buffet table.


I posted a similar pasta timbale a few years ago using smaller pastina shaped pasta, see how it’s pressed tightly into the bowl? You’re going to want to do the same thing with this version using the ditalini shape.

Small pasta shapes work best for this recipe so you can be as creative as you like by picking your favorite shape. You can add in some marinara  as I did in my previous post or not, add veggies like I did or even meat if you choose.

ditalini timbale

Cookout season is upon us with many outdoor picnics and BBQ’s coming up, this is the perfect side dish for you, no need to worry about it sitting out on the table because it’s delicious and safe at room temperature.

Easy to make with a fun presentation and it tastes really good!

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Ditalini Timbale with Spring Vegetables
You can very the amounts of the ingredients, change things up to your liking and be creative!
  • 1 lb. ditalini pasta or other small pasta of your choice
  • 2 zucchini, diced small
  • ½ lb. chopped asparagus
  • a good sized handful of peas
  • 6 or 8 cherry tomatoes quartered
  • ¾ cup grated pecorino romano, ( or Parmigiano Reggiano) plus extra for breadcrumb mix and garnish
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 heaping tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup good breadcrumbs
  • fresh basil and parsley
  • olive oil
  1. In a skillet drizzle 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, add 1 grated garlic clove and over medium heat, saute till golden then pour in the breadcrumbs stirring until lightly toasted, 3 to 5 minutes. remove from heat, let it cool then add ¼ cup each of parsley and around 2 tablespoons of grated cheese, then drizzle 2 more tablespoons of oil, toss and mix.
  2. Brush a round bowl with olive oil, mine was 9 inches.
  3. Press breadcrumb mixture along the sides and bottom of the bowl evenly. Set aside. ( you might have some mix leftover)
  4. In a large skillet on high heat add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and then toss in the zucchini until you see it crisp up a bit, then toss in the rest of the veggies, asparagus, peas and tomatoes along with the other grated garlic clove. Keep stirring and watching it only takes a few minutes, then set aside.
  5. Boil your pasta according to package directions, don't overcook it then let it drain.
  6. When drained, toss it into a different bowl and add the heaping tablespoon of butter and the ¾ cup of grated pecorino, stirring fast till it melts and gets "sticky".
  7. Fold in all of the veggie mixture, some chopped parsley and basil, check taste for salt and pepper.
  8. Spoon the finished pasta mixture into the breadcrumb lined bowl, evenly distribute it along the sides and bottom, pressing down lightly so it's nice and tightly packed in.
  9. Let it rest for 15 minutes.
  10. Un-mold it onto a nice platter and decorate with basil, parsley and a little more grated cheese.
  11. Enjoy!