Timbale (food)

Last updated
A timbale of salmon and sole The Ladies' home journal (1948) (14580579308).jpg
A timbale of salmon and sole

In cooking, timbale (French:  [tɛ̃bal] ) derived from the French word for "kettledrum", also known as timballo, can refer to either a kind of pan used for baking, or the food that is cooked inside such a pan.


Timbale pans can be large (such as that used to bake a panettone), or they can be small enough to comprise a single portion (like a tartlet pan). Timbales typically narrow toward the bottom. Bundt pans, angelfood cake pans, and springform pans can be substituted for purpose-made timbale bakeware. Timbales can also be steamed or baked in a water bath. [1]

As a dish, a timbale is a "deep dish" filling completely enclosed in a crust. The crust can be sheet pastry, slices of bread, rice, even slices of vegetable. Sartu di Riso is a rice crust timbale. Timballo di Melanzana uses overlapping strips of eggplant to enclose the filling, which can be a wide range of pre-cooked meats, sausages, cheeses, vegetables, and shaped pastas combined with herbs and spices and red or white "gravy", thickened with breadcrumbs if necessary. The assembled dish is then baked, to brown the crust and heat the filling to serving temperature. [2]

Cultural references

There is a detailed description of a rich macaroni timbale in Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa's novel The Leopard : [3]

"The burnished gold of the crusts, the fragrance of sugar and cinnamon they exuded, were but preludes to the delights released from the interior when the knife broke the crust first came a smoke laden with aromas, then chicken-livers, hard-boiled eggs, sliced ham, chicken, and truffles in masses of piping-hot, glistening macaroni, to which the meat juice gave an exquisite hue of suède."

Timbales are also mentioned in P. G. Wodehouse's Jeeves in the Offing (1960).

"And now if you would show me to my room, I will have a bath and brush-up so as to be all sweet and fresh for the evening meal. Does Anatole still do those Timbales de ris de veau toulousaine?" [Timbales with Toulousain veal sweetbreads]

"And the Sylphides a la crème d'écrevisses." [Creamed sylphides of crayfish ]

"There is none like him, none," said Kipper, moistening the lips with the tip of the tongue and looking like a wolf that has just spotted its Russian peasant. "He stands alone." [4]

Related Research Articles

Pie Baked, filled pastry

A pie is a baked dish which is usually made of a pastry dough casing that contains a filling of various sweet or savoury ingredients. Sweet pies may be filled with fruit, nuts, brown sugar, sweetened vegetables, or with thicker fillings based on eggs and dairy. Savoury pies may be filled with meat, eggs and cheese (quiche) or a mixture of meat and vegetables.

Meatloaf Dish of ground meat formed into a loaf shape

Meatloaf is a dish of ground meat that has been combined with other ingredients and formed into the shape of a loaf, then baked or smoked. The final shape is either hand-formed on a baking tray, or pan-formed by cooking it in a loaf pan. It is usually made with ground beef, although ground lamb, pork, veal, venison, poultry and seafood are also used, sometimes in combination. Vegetarian adaptations of meatloaf may use imitation meat or pulses.

Moussaka Eggplant- (aubergine) or potato-based dish

Moussaka is an eggplant- or potato-based dish, often including ground meat, which is common in Egypt, the Balkans and the Middle East, with many local and regional variations.

Baked potato Potato dish

A baked potato, known in some parts of the United Kingdom as a jacket potato, is a preparation of potato. The ideal baked potato has a fluffy interior and a crispy skin. It may be served with fillings, toppings or condiments such as butter, cheese, sour cream, gravy, baked beans, and even ground meat or corned beef.

Casserole Variety of cooking pot and general category of foods cooked inside it

A casserole is a variety of a large, deep pan or bowl used for cooking a variety of dishes in the oven; it is also a category of foods cooked in such a utensil. To distinguish the two uses, the pan can be called a "casserole dish" or "casserole pan", whereas the food is simply "a casserole". The same pan is often used both for cooking and serving.

Korokke Japanese croquette

Korokke is the Japanese name for a deep-fried yōshoku dish originally related to a French dish, the croquette. Korokke is made by mixing cooked chopped meat, seafood, or vegetables with mashed potato or white sauce, usually shaped like a flat patty, rolling it in wheat flour, eggs, and Japanese style breadcrumbs, then deep-frying this until brown on the outside.

Boxty Traditional Irish potato pancake

Boxty is a traditional Irish potato pancake. The dish is mostly associated with the north midlands, north Connacht and southern Ulster, in particular the counties of Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Donegal, Fermanagh, Longford, and Cavan. There are many recipes but all contain finely grated, raw potatoes and all are served fried.

Pastitsio Greek baked pasta dish

Pastitsio is a Greek baked pasta dish with ground meat and béchamel sauce with variations of the dish found in other countries of the Mediterranean Sea.

Gratin cooking technique of creating a browned crust

Gratin is a culinary technique in which an ingredient is topped with a browned crust, often using breadcrumbs, grated cheese, egg or butter. Gratin is usually prepared in a shallow dish of some kind. A gratin is baked or cooked under an overhead grill or broiler to form a golden crust on top and is often served in its baking dish.

Meat pie Pie filled with meat

A meat pie is a pie with a chunky filling of meat and often other savory ingredients. They are popular in Australia and New Zealand, Canada, Europe and the United Kingdom, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

Neapolitan cuisine has ancient historical roots that date back to the Greco-Roman period, which was enriched over the centuries by the influence of the different cultures that controlled Naples and its kingdoms, such as that of Aragon and France.


Timballo is an Italian baked dish consisting of pasta, rice, or potatoes, with one or more other ingredients included. Variations include the timballo Alberoni, combining macaroni, shrimp sauce, mushrooms, butter and cheese, and named for Giulio Alberoni, and the Timballo Pattadese.

Macaroni pie

Macaroni pie is a casserole dish based on baked macaroni and cheese. Primary ingredients include elbow macaroni, cheese and milk. Various regional variations exist; for example, some recipes from 19th century American cuisine include various meats. In Scotland it is typically prepared using a hot water crust pastry, while in other areas the dish may not have any crust.

Breaded cutlet

Breaded cutlet is a dish made from coating a cutlet of meat with breading or batter and either frying or baking it. Breaded cutlet is known as schnitzel in German-speaking countries, cotoletta alla milanese in Italy, escalope in France, filete empanado in Spain, filete empanizado in Cuba, milanesa in Latin America, katsu in Japan and Korea, kotlet in Poland, řízek in Czech Republic and kotleta in post-Soviet countries.

Swabian cuisine German regional cuisine

In comparison with the more French-influenced Baden cuisine, Swabian cuisine is rather simple and rustic. It is native to Swabia, which comprises great parts of Württemberg and the Bavarian part of Swabia, as well as the Allgäu which has parts lying in Austria.

Dumpling Food that consists of small pieces of dough

Dumpling is a broad class of dishes that consist of pieces of dough wrapped around a filling, or of dough with no filling. The dough can be based on bread, flour or potatoes, and may be filled with meat, fish, cheese, vegetables, fruits or sweets. Dumplings may be prepared using a variety of methods, including baking, boiling, frying, simmering or steaming and are found in many world cuisines.

Sartù di riso typical dish of Naples

Sartù di riso is a typical dish of Neapolitan cuisine. It is prepared with rice seasoned with ragù, peas, pancetta, mushrooms, fior di latte or provola, meatballs, sausages, boiled eggs and, traditionally, with chicken livers. The whole is baked and then turned out before being served.

Indo cuisine Fusion of Indonesian and European cuisine

Indo cuisine is a fusion cooking and cuisine tradition, mainly existing in Indonesia and the Netherlands, as well as Belgium, South Africa and Suriname. This cuisine characterized of fusion cuisine that consists of original Indonesian cuisine with Eurasian-influences—mainly Dutch, also Portuguese, Spanish and British—and vice versa. Nowaday, not only Indo people who consume Indo cuisine, but also Indonesians and Dutch people.


  1. J. Pham- Haute Potato: From Pommes Rissolees to Timbale with Roquefort, 75 Gourmet Potato Recipes. (2012) 192 pag. ISBN 144054395X, ISBN 9781440543951
  2. J.Child, L.Bertholle, S. Beck -Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I: 50th Anniversary Edition: A Cookbook. (2001) 684 pag. ISBN 0375413405, ISBN 9780375413407
  3. Simeti, Mary Taylor. "At the Prince's Table: Food in The Leopard".
  4. Wodehouse, P. G. (March 26, 2009). Jeeves in the Offing: (Jeeves & Wooster). Random House. ISBN   9781409035138 via Google Books.