• 2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2–3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 8 oz / 230 g lean pork, minced or finely chopped
  • 8 oz / 230 g lean beef, minced or finely chopped
  • ½ pt / 280 ml meat stock or red wine
  • 12 oz / 340 g canned plum tomatoes
  • 8 oz / 230 g chicken livers
  • 1 lb / 455 g macaroni or bucatini
  • salt
  • 1 lb / 455 g flaky or puff pastry freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 oz / 60 g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated


Fry the onions in the olive oil until soft and golden. Add the garlic, pork and beef to the onions, and fry until browned all over. Add the stock or wine, and cook on a fairly high heat until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the tomatoes. Bring to the boil, and simmer gently for 1–1½ hours. (You can prepare the sauce to this point the day before required.) Trim the chicken livers, separate the lobes and cut each in half. Quickly fry the chicken livers in a non-stick frying pan until just sealed all over and firm. Remove and put to one side. Boil the pasta in lightly salted water until barely tender. (It should be ‘fearlessly undercooked’ for the finished timpana to cut correctly.) Drain the pasta and refresh it under cold running water. Roll out 12 oz / 340 g pastry to line an 8 in / 20.5 cm diameter cake tin or ovenproof dish, about in / 6.5 cm deep. Mix the pasta with the meat sauce, season it, and stir in the eggs and grated cheese. Put half the mixture in the lined tin, and arrange the chicken livers on top. The rest of the pasta and sauce should be poured on top. Roll out the remaining pastry to make a lid. Cover the pie, seal the edges, and make one or two slits in the top to allow steam to escape. Put the dish or tin on a baking sheet, and bake in a preheated oven at 180°C / 350°F / Mark 4 for 1–1½ hours. Allow the timpana to stand for 30 minutes after removing it from the oven, and then carefully turn it out on to a plate before slicing it.