Timpana is the ultimate pasta pie. Macaroni or penne is cooked and added to a rich Bolognese-style sauce, often enhanced by chicken livers. With the addition of cheese and eggs, the pasta and sauce are spooned into a pastry case and cooked until golden.






Skill level

Average: 3.8 (42 votes)


  • 75 g butter 
  • 250 g onions, finely diced 
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed 
  • 150 g bacon, finely diced 
  • 150 g minced pork
  • 150 g minced beef
  • 150 g chicken livers, diced (optional) 
  • 250 ml chicken or beef stock 
  • 100 g tomato paste 
  • 125 ml tomato puree 
  • 250 g macaroni or penne 
  • 75 g parmesan, grated 
  • 75 g tasty cheese, grated 
  • 4 eggs, beaten 
  • salt and pepper 
  • 250 g puff pastry sheets


  • 1 egg
  • 2½ tbsp milk

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Heat the butter in a saucepan and add the onion and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add the bacon and pork, stirring well to separate, then add the beef and continue cooking for 10 minutes, stirring every so often. Add the chicken livers if using and cook for 5 minutes. Add the stock, stir well and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add the tomato paste and puree, simmer briefly and remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until just undercooked. Drain, then mix through the sauce. Stir in the cheeses and egg and season with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a buttered baking dish with the pastry, extending it up the sides. Spoon in the pasta and cover with another layer of pastry. Prick the timpana all over with a knife to let steam escape. Beat the egg and milk for the glaze and paint it over the timpana. Bake for 1–1¼ hours.