Tailgate Timballo

Tailgate Timballo | | Nine layers of fabulous flavors: meat sauce, kale bechamel, fresh cheeses, and pasta. Serve slices during the big games and WOW your guests! Fun with any shaped pasta!

5 from 5 reviews

A wonderful layered dome of pasta…nine layers of a tomato meat sauce, kale bechamel, fresh cheeses, and fun pasta! A “wow” for entertaining and fun for any holiday or occasion! I used Tailgate Pasta…but any shape can be substituted like penne, Christmas Trees, etc.




  1. For Tomato Meat Sauce:
  2. Heat olive oil to med-hot in a large saute pan, and cook sausage, breaking it into small pieces, approximately 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add chopped onions and bay leaf, and saute until onions are translucent, approximately another 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add carrots, celery, and saute until veggies soften, about 4-5 minutes.
  5. Add tomato paste and stir for one minute.
  6. Add red wine, and turn heat to to high until you have a boil, and scrape up any brown bits, an until almost all liquid is evaporated, about 1-2 minutes.
  7. Add tomato puree (after whole tomatoes have been run through food mill), sugar, red pepper flakes, stirring frequently until sauce thickens, approximately 8-10 minutes. Remove bay leaf and set sauce aside to cool. (can be made ahead and stored in fridge).
  8. For Pasta:
  9. Cook pasta according to directions, drain, and rinse with cold water, and toss with 1 T. olive oil. Set aside or store in zip lock in fridge until ready to assemble. (can be made one day ahead).
  10. For Kale Bechamel Sauce:
  11. Cook kale in pot of simmering water, for 5 minutes, until tender. Transfer to a bowl of ice water. Drain kale and squeeze out excess water. Chop again if needed.
  12. Melt butter in large sauce over medium heat, add garlic, and stir for one minute.
  13. Add flour and whisk for one minute. Add milk slowly while whisklng.
  14. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, until sauce begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.
  15. Add kale, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and 2 T. Parmesan. Stir and remove from heat.
  16. For Timballo Assembly:
  17. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  18. Spray souffle pan (mine measured 8 3/4′ x 3 12″, approx 2 quarts) with cooking spray, then line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper, and spray the parchment round as well.
  19. Cover bottom of pan with a single layer of pasta. Make a pretty design, as this will be the top of your Timballo!
  20. Spread 1 cup mozzarella cubes and 3 T. Parmesan over pasta layer.
  21. Spoon 1/2 the meat sauce carefully over the cheese.
  22. Add about 1/3 of pasta left over the meat sauce.
  23. Add all kale mixture on top of meat sauce.
  24. Add another layer of pasta (1/3)
  25. Top with remaining mozzarella and another 3 T. Parmesan.
  26. Spread the rest of meat sauce evenly over cheeses.
  27. Top with remaining pasta. (You may have some pasta left over!)
  28. Place another round of parchment with oiled side down on top of pasta layer.
  29. Cover dish with foil and press down gently on layers.
  30. Bake dish in a water bath (I put mine in a large roasting pan, water should come up to about 1/2 of souffle dish) for approximately one hour. insert a metal skewer or thin knife into center, and if hot to touch when removed, dish is done!
  31. Remove from oven and water bath, and let dish stand for 15-20 minutes.
  32. Remove parchment and run thin knife around edge of dish to loosen Timballo.
  33. Cover dish with slightly larger serving platter and carefully invert dish and platter with gloved hands (it will be hot, and you don’t want to drop it).
  34. Carefully remove souffle pan and parchment.
  35. Jump up and down – you did it!!
  36. Slice pieces of Timballo like you would a pie, and serve with fresh Parmesan and chopped fresh basil.