Meat and pasta pie

Meat and pasta pie

Trullo di zitoni

Laura Edwards

This dish is a tribute to Puglia, and particularly to those ancient Pugliese stone buildings, the trulli. These are conical in shape, and were built without cement in order that they could be taken apart and re-erected elsewhere by their nomadic farmer-owners. The zitoni is a long tubular pasta, ideal to build a timbale, in this case in a trullo shape. This pasta, slightly wider than ziti, is available at very good Italian delicatessens.


Quantity Ingredient
400g dried long zitoni pasta
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil, for brushing


Quantity Ingredient
2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
200g carrots, peeled, cooked until soft, and finely chopped
50ml olive oil
350g minced lean lamb
200g chicken livers, cleaned and coarsely chopped
300g button mushrooms, halved
3 tablespoons dry white wine
6 fresh basil leaves
300g aged caciocavallo cheese, finely cubed
3 medium eggs, beaten


  1. Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water for 10–12 minutes or until just al dente: you want the shape to remain intact. Drain and sprinkle with a little olive oil to prevent the pasta strands from sticking together.
  2. Start to prepare the filling by first frying the onion, celery and carrots in 50ml olive oil. When soft, after about 5 minutes, add the lamb mince, the chicken livers and the mushrooms. Fry for a few minutes until the mince has browned nicely. Add the wine, basil and salt and pepper to taste, and cook it all together gently for 15 minutes. Finally, just before using, stir in the cheese and beaten eggs. Set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  4. Line a pre-oiled, round and deep ovenproof bowl – about 15cm high and 25cm across – with the pasta, covering the entire surface, stacking each coil of the pasta on top of another (as if you were making a coiled basket). Put the filling into the cavity, cover with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then very carefully invert the bowl on to a large flat, ovenproof plate. (You may have to do a little ‘mending’!)
  5. Heat your oven grill to near its maximum. Brush the outside of your pasta trullo with oil, and return to the hot oven to grill for 10 minutes or until the top of the pasta is crisp and a wonderful golden brown in colour. Serve hot.


  • Any of the sauces in the book, so long as they are not too liquid, could be used. The egg is important as a binder.
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