Dec 10, 2010

Sformato di Capellini ~

 This is a very showy dish. Baked pasta always looks elaborate, when in fact it's not.

I often make this angel hair timballo for important multi-course dinners and every time it's a success, always guaranteeing a bella figura.

When serving yours, don't let the compliments and moans of pleasure lure you into revealing it's made with few simple (and cheap) ingredients.

Essential equipment needed for this recipe:
  • 1-quart capacity ring mold
  • Double boiler (or 2 stacked pots) for baking en bain marie


150 gr (3/4 cups) capellini d’angelo (angel hair pasta)
1 lt (1 quart) whole milk
1 egg + 1 yolk
50 gr (1/4 cup) Parmigiano, grated
50 gr gr (1/4 cup) butter, softened
More butter and 2 fistfuls of breadcrumbs to coat the mold


Preheat the oven at 180° C (350° F).

Boil the pasta in the milk until all the liquid is absorbed (al dente rules don't apply here), and set aside to cool.

Once the pasta is lukewarm, stir in the egg and additional yolk, butter, and Parmigiano. Adjust seasoning, and pour in a greased mold, coated with breadcrumbs.

Bake en bain-marie (double boiler, the bottom pot filled with water) in the oven for 35-40 minutes until a golden crust forms on top.

Remove from the oven and allow the flan to cool completely, then flip it onto a platter and serve garnished with either a thick ragù, stewed peas, or a porcini and tomato sauce, overflowing from the hollow middle.

Hardly ever a let down.

Image ©


  1. Hardly ever? I would say NEVER a let down. I won't tell if you won't.

  2. that would be good...esp with all the goodness int he middle...

  3. If you liked Baked Pasta you should try the Maltese dish .. Macaroni with a Shortcrust pastry wrapped either just on top or all around .. there are lots of recipes for it.. It is soooo tasty.

  4. I love the look of this dish and can't wait to try it. Thanks so much!

  5. Oh my! What a beauty! It is so much simpler than I remember. Elegant, simple, and the star dish on any holiday table.

    You did it again, cara bella!

  6. CChuck~
    Happy you enjoy!

    Remember, if you make it, I want to know details on the results!

    Yeah, the accoutrements sure add gusto.

    I didn't know the origin was Maltese, I've only had the Ferrara variety! Thank you for reminding me of this delicious dish!!

    Please come back and let us know how it turned out!


  7. Rosaria~
    cara amica, your words always remind me why I started blogging in the first place. Grazie!

  8. What an elegant, yet simple to make sidedish. Will try this one soon.

  9. Sarah~
    I'm happy you enjoy this recipe. It is however intended as a starter, like any other pasta dish... :)

  10. OMG!!!!

    i am enthralled with this recipe. i HAVE to try this SOON!

    how simple. i never would have guessed.

  11. What a delightful dish, Eleonora! :-) I'm sitting here smiling away because I never thought of serving pasta like this. But it's perfect. :-)

  12. KJ~
    And when you do, be sure to get back to me with results, comments, tips to improve it, etc!


    Rambling Tart~
    Aw, thank you!! I'm sitting here smiling at *you*

  13. Your timballo looks great! Easy or not (I am sure I will need some exercise, before getting your results!), it's a great tasty idea :)) Thanks for sharing!! :)

  14. Such a lovely and elegant dish, Lola, with simple ingredients, done to a perfection!
    Thank you for sharing, and thanks so much for your kind words and condolences on my blog!

  15. I making this in the next 24 hours. Don't even need to get out my sled and go to the store - everything here. And everything is in that comforting dish.

  16. This looks amazing! Will try out the recipe tonight, wish me luck

  17. Questionedigusto~
    Thank *you* for your lovely comment. Hope you give it a try.




    Did you make it? How was it? What did you garnish it with?? ;)


    RSA Now~
    No luck, all you need is love (and a good oven)! How was it????


    Ahmad Jo~
    Yummy indeed!


    Thank you! How are you?! Ciao

  18. The stuff angels dream of! :-)nic

  19. Merisina~
    He he he! È vero... baci

  20. Eleonora, it does look elegant despite its simplicity but then again aren't the simples things the most elegant?

    I'm tempted to try it.

  21. Nisrine~
    Indeed. Understatement is sophisticated. And so sexy!

  22. So I've learnt something tonight, the bath-mary can actually go in the oven?Please call me if I've got the wrong end of the breadstick again, otherwise, glass shattering all over my kitchen... This recipe sounds delicious, my carbonara always ends up scrambled egg, I hope this doesn't end up scrambled egg in a mould under my supervision..I'll give it a go... Thanks SuperEl.


  23. Ciao! This looks soo good! I invite you to check out my cookie recipe if you would like.

    Hope you have a great week!

  24. SuperAli~
    As long as your bath-mary (har har) pots are oven-proof! The double boiler concept works in this case to cook uniformly, since the lower pot filled with simmering water cooks underneath without scorching. As far as scrambled Carbonara, email me and I'll send you the (foolproof) recipe!

    Thank you for visiting and for your kind invitation. I'll swing by asap, in the meantime happy holidays!

  25. Dear Eleonora,

    Just popping by to wish you Happy Holidays & Happy New Year!

    Off now - *see* you again in the New Year!

    XOXO Lola & Nora:)

    PS Exquisite recipe - as always!

  26. El - does it slice like a bundt cake? And the first photo looks like a souffle pan compared to the ring mold - can you use either?

    I may just try this for the next potluck meal - and for vegetarians. Thanks for the ideas.

  27. Nora~
    Thank you dear, and to you too wishes for a splendid holiday season!


    The baked pasta sformato comes out compact, so the slices remain quite firm. Pour over each slice a spoonful of whatever dressing you're making. Peas and carrots are nice with it too.
    The first photo was single-portions baked in little soufflé pots. But for the potluck, the ring mold is better, especially more suited for the bain-marie finish.

    Happy baking!

  28. Wow, that's a stunning dish. I would love to present that to my family and guests.

  29. This is why I love eating and cooking. Thanks for this post. I'm contemplating on trying the recipe myself and have a hearty
    dinner with my love. We can really learn alot of things by just exploring the web. :)

  30. glad I found this post. I do have a question though.. I understand that water goes in the bottom pot, does the mold rest on this or on an empty pot over the water pot?


  31. Geri~
    The mold can rest in the bottom boiler, provided the water level be low enough so that when bubbling it dosn't spill inside the mold. Remember, cooking time greatly depends on your oven: mine needs about 40 minutes, but yours may require a slightly different amount of time.