After the pizza was well under control, the work area was set up for another true Italian specialty…TIMBALLO DEL CARDINALE
FOR THE STUFFING:
2.5 KG TOMATOES
300G BREAD CRUMBS
BASIL, PARSLEY, GARLIC, OREGANO
SALT AND PEPPER
FOR THE SAUCE:
FAVORITE HOME MADE TOMATO SAUCE
OR FAVORITE PRE-PACKAGED SAUCE
FOR THE PASTA
500G MACCHERONI STYLE PASTA
400G MOZZARELLA CHEESE
150G GRATED PARMESAN CHEESE
PARCHMENT PAPER, 28CM ROUND BAKING DISH or springform pan.
Cut the tomatoes in half, remove the seeds. Place the halves on a baking sheet. In a food processor, combine breadcrumbs, herbs, salt and pepper and olive oil to bind.
Preheat oven to 180^C.
With a teaspoon, divide the breadcrumb mixture to each tomato. Bake about 30 minutes, until they are well dried.
Cut the mozzarella into one inch cubes and mix with the Parmesan Cheese.
If preparing scratch red sauce, add basil, salt and pepper to taste.
Line the bottom of the springform pan with a round of parchment paper. Arrange the stuffed, baked tomato halves to line the base of the pan, with the stuffing facing inward. Make a regular pattern and stuff it tightly. Continue lining the pan up the sides, pushing the tomatoes to help them adhere to the sides of the pan.
Cook pasta for 4 minutes, drain and add to the red sauce. Cook in the sauce another 3 minutes more. Add the cheese and gently pour into the tomato lined bowl. Take care to carefully pack the pasta so it is tight with no gaps and will hold its form when un-moulded.
Bake at 180c for 45 minutes. When cooked,remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving tray. Serve immediately.