Food tip: Timballo di Maccheroni

$19, Tiberio's

1395 Boston Post Road, Old Saybrook

When this arrives at your table, it looks like a brick of food - a brick with cheese and tomato sauce. Okay, not so visually enticing. But cut into the slab, take a bite, and you'll find yourself in Italian-food nirvana. The list of ingredients in this traditional Neopolitan dish don't give a hint of just how delicious it is. I mean, pasta, meat, ricotta and mozzarella, baked in a crust? Aren't those the makings of most run-of-the-mill pasta dishes? Some otherworldly alchemy, though, turns all that into ... this! There's a reason why the preparation of timballo di maccheroni was a big part of "Big Night," the 1996 movie about an Italian restaurant. All I can say is: mangia!


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