Timbale in chicken stock with chicken meatballs, wild cardoons and caciocavallo

Marcello Spadone

For 4 people

For the chicken stock
½ a free-range chicken
2 sticks of celery
1 carrot
1 ripe tomato
1 onion
salt and peppercorns

For the dough
1 kg of plain flour
200 g of semolina
6 eggs
8 egg yolks
50 g of water
50 g of olive oil

For the chicken meatballs
100 g of minced chicken breast
50 g of sausage
1 slice of bread, crumbled, without the crust
40 g of cream
chopped parsley
½ a lemon (the grated rind)
1 egg
extra virgin olive oil
salt and peppercorns

For the filling
150 g of boiled, boned and skinned chicken pieces
200 g of cubed cow's milk mozzarella
80 g of grated caciocavallo cheese
1 egg
60 g of boiled wild cardoons with the thorns removed

For the caciocavallo crisp
50 g of grated caciocavallo cheese

For the garnish
dill leaves


For the stock
Boil the chicken in 2 l of cold water, skimming when necessary. After about an hour, add the vegetables with the pepper and simmer gently for another hour; add salt to taste. When cooked, cool the meat and cut into 1 cm cubes.

For the dough
Mix all the ingredients, roll into a ball, wrap in cling film and leave to rest for 30 minutes. Roll the pasta out to a thickness of 1 mm, cut out square lasagne sheets measuring 15 cm along the side and round ones with a diameter of 8 cm. Scald them in plenty of boiling salted water, drain and dip them into water and ice; then lay them on a linen cloth to dry.

For the meatballs
Mix all the ingredients and make 1 cm diameter balls. Fry them in extra virgin olive oil and leave them to cool.

Grease some individual aluminium moulds with butter and place a piece of square lasagne inside, cover with the boiled meat, broken mozzarella, grated caciocavallo, meatballs, boiled wild cardoon strips, nutmeg, parsley and beaten egg. Then cover with the round lasagne and add more filling. Fill to the brim with the stock and fold over the edges of the pasta. Bake in the oven at 170° C for 20 minutes.

Pour the chicken stock into some bowls. Place the timbale in the centre of the plate and decorate with dill and a caciocavallo crisp, made by sprinkling grated caciocavallo cheese on a sheet of baking paper greased with butter and cooking on maximum power in the microwave for two minutes.