Spring Veggie Timballo

Spring Veggies Timballo

We know how much everyone enjoyed Danilo’s traditional Timballo recipe on the blog so here is his springtime veggie tweak to one of his family’s favourite recipes, and which will surely become a vegetarian classic in its own right!

The recipe is taken from Danilo’s second recipe book, ‘Mamma Knows Best?’  available as an ebook,  read our review here and find out how to buy!  £2 will be donated from every sale to Danilo’s favourite charity, Emergency that offers high-quality healthcare to victims of war, poverty and landmines, alongside building hospitals and training local medical staff.

Spring Veggies Timballo

Spring Veggie Timballo

Danilo Cortellini
Now, as we know, it’s hard to outdo my mum. But, inspired by a recent tweak my mum made to her own classic Tmballo recipe – which adds artichokes and removes the tomato sauce – I’ve done something I know she would never dream of doing and completely removed meat from my timballo and loaded it with copious amounts of greens. She might turn her nose up at first, but I believe it could become a new family favourite.
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 People

Ingredients
  

Spinach Crespelle

200ml of milk

100g of 00 flour

100 spinach, cooked and cooled down

and drained well (not squeezed)

4 eggs

20g of butter

Drizzle of oil to grease the pan

Salt (to taste)

    Bechamel Sauce

    200ml of milk

    100g of 00 flour

    100 spinach, cooked and cooled down

    and drained well (not squeezed)

    4 eggs

    20g of butter

    Drizzle of oil to grease the pan

    Salt (to taste)

      Crespelle Layer Filling

      100g of large rainbow chard

      500g of mix spring green veg

      of your choice (peas, asparagus,

      broad beans etc)

      300g of diced or shredded

      fior di latte mozzarella

      200g of grated Grana

      Padano cheese

      40g of unsalted butter

      150g of ricotta cheese

      A splash of vinegar

      Basil or sorrel leaves to garnish

      1 egg

      Salt and pepper (to taste)

        Instructions
         

        • Start with the spinach crespelle. The suggested ingredients will make about 20 crespelle. Blend together the eggs with the spinach, and then combine with the sifted flour, milk and melted butter and whisk well. Add a pinch of salt and pass the mixture through a fine sieve if there are lumps. Leave to rest for 15 minutes.
          Heat a small non–stick frying pan with a drop of extra virgin olive oil. Use kitchen paper to spread the oil evenly on the surface of the pan. Pour a ladle of crespelle mixture into the frying pan. Shake the pan quickly to allow the mixture to spread over the surface of the pan and cook 1 minute each side on medium heat. Turning the crespelle over in the pan is a gentle act, it might take a few tentative tries before getting it right, but don’t get discouraged – Rome wasn’t built in a day. Repeat until the mixture is finished. This should make approximately 20 crespelle. Allow the crespelle to cool down on a tea towel.
        • Now make the béchamel sauce. In a casserole pan fry the onion gently with the butter and a pinch of salt. Once golden (around 10 minutes), add the sifted flour and mix well with a wooden spatula while it cooks for three minutes to make a roux. Once the roux is brown, pour in the milk (best if warmed up a little first) and bring to the boil while mixing with a whisk to avoid lumps. Allow to boil for three minutes, season with salt, pepper and a touch of nutmeg and remove from the heat. Remove the mixture from the pot, pour it into a cold bowl or container, cover with film and set aside.
        • Prepare the veggies of your choice. I sauté my chard with a drizzle of oil and a pinch of salt, and I usually use asparagus and peas raw or simply blanched in boiling water for 30 seconds. I like my veg to be a little crunchy for extra texture and always well-seasoned.
        • Grease a large baking tray, skillet or roasting dish that’s at least 5cm deep with a knob of butter. Cover the bottom of the tray with a first layer of crespelle. Then proceed to layer with a couple of spoons of béchamel sauce, two spoonfuls of veggies, a handful of mozzarella, a spoon of fresh ricotta, and a sprinkle of grated cheese. Cover with a couple of crespelle, and repeat the motion until all the crespelle have been used, making sure you finish with a final layer of crespelle on top. Make sure you have a ladle or two of béchamel and a handful of veg leftover.To build up the layers, you can either cover the tray fully with the crespelle to build a lasagne-like bake like a traditional timballo, or set a single crespelle in the centre like in the accompanying image to create a more dramatic look to the final piece.
          Spread a couple knobs of butter over the top of the timballo. Pierce a few holes with toothpicks to allow the steam out of it and bake at 150°C for 35-40 minutes. Once ready, it should be slightly golden on the outside and firm to the touch. Leave to rest for at least 45 minutes.
        • Once rested, spread the leftover béchamel over and around the crespelle and scatter the leftover veg. Top with grated cheese and re-bake at 180°C for 5-8 minutes to create a crispy crust. Remove from the oven and top with a runny yolk poached egg and garnish with any fresh herbs you have before serving.
        Keyword recipes, Vegetarian, Spring
        Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
        Sam Dunham
        Author: Sam Dunham

        Sam is a very lucky midlife 'mamma' to A who is 12 and juggles her work as a self-employed freelance SEO food and travel copywriter and EFL teacher. She is the founder of the Life In Abruzzo Cultural Association, co-founder of Let's Blog Abruzzo. she is the founder of the 'English in the Woods' initiative, teaching English outdoors in a forest style school.


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