Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
A decadent dish combining pasta and pastry, Maltese Timpana is little known outside of the Mediterranean archipelago where it is a delicacy, though some may note it's resemblance to Italian Timballo.
Typically incorporating various meats, egg and cheeses, it's hard to imagine a less vegan friendly dish than Timpana, but thanks to the availability of meat and cheese substitutes this need no longer be a problem. For those unfamiliar with Maltese cuisine, it's a chance to try something different, whilst vegans with Maltese heritage may enjoy the opportunity to partake in tradition with a clear conscience.
- 500g Penne, Rigatoni or other tubular pasta
- 300g vegan minced "meat"
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 500g vegan ready-made puff pastry sheets
- 5 strips of vegan bacon, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 150g vegan cheese, grated
- 400ml vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 200g tomato paste
- 2 x 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
- 150g dairy-free butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Handful chopped parsley
- 3-4 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup soya milk
- Heat oil in a large pan and add the onion and garlic, frying on medium heat until the onion is transparent.
- Add the vegan bacon, frying for a couple of minutes before adding mince and frying for a few more minutes.
- Add the tomato paste, 1 & ½ tins of chopped tomatoes, bay leaves, curry powder, vegan butter and parsley, mixing well. Simmer for fifteen minutes, adding vegetable stock gradually as the mixture reduces. Once all the stock has been added, cook for five minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste.
- Whilst the sauce is simmering, preheat the oven to 220°C or 430ºF and cook pasta in a large pan of salted water until almost ready – aim for slightly harder than al dente. Drain and combine with sauce.
- Grease a large casserole dish. Roll out the pastry and line the sides of the casserole dish with strips of it. Then place the mixture in the dish, and cover with a layer of grated vegan cheese, followed by another layer of pastry acting as a ‘lid’ to the whole mixture. Brush the pastry with soya milk, and prick all over with a knife.
- Bake for forty minutes, cutting into squares when ready as if serving a pie.