The Pasta Brisè Dough

It seems there might be a confusion in your request. “Pasta brisè dough” isn’t a common term in culinary language. “Pasta brisè” is actually an Italian term for what English speakers would call “shortcrust pastry” or simply “pie crust.” This type of dough is typically used for making pies, tarts, quiches, and other similar baked goods.

Shortcrust pastry, or pasta brisè, is made from a simple mixture of flour, fat (such as butter or lard), a little bit of sugar and salt, and some cold water. The fat is “cut” into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs, then just enough water is added to bring the dough together. This dough is then rolled out and used to line a tart or pie dish, or to cover a pie filling.

If you’re looking for a specific recipe or more information about pasta brisè dough, please let me know!



– 7 1/2 cups (900g) all-purpose flour

– 4 sticks (450g) unsalted butter

– 6 tbsp ice water

– Salt

Cut the butter into small chunks and keep refrigerated until you are ready to mix the dough.

Mix flour, butter, water and 2 pinches of salt. If you’re making a large quantity like we did, you’ll want to to this by hand and use a dough scraper to fully chop and blend the butter into the flour. If you decide to make a more modest quantity, you can pulse the mixture in a food processor.

Quickly knead the dough until it is smooth and uniform, you don’t want any chunks of butter remaining. Cover in plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge until it’s time to roll, but at least for 30 minutes.

The Meatballs:

– 2/3 lb (300g) ground pork

– 2/3 lb (300g) ground beef

– 50g (about 1/2 cup) grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

– 50g (about 1/2 cup) grated pecorino cheese

– 100g (about 1 cup) bread crumbs

– 3 eggs

– 1 clove garlic, minced

– Chopped parsley to taste (we used about 1/8 cup)

– Salt

– Fresh black pepper

– Vegetable oil (you need just enough to cover a submerged meatball in a small pot)

Mix all ingredients (except vegetable oil) together by hand. Roll into 1-inch balls.

Bring frying oil up to a high temperature. We don’t use a thermometer, we simply drop a small piece of meat in to make sure the oil is hot enough. A small test piece should crisp up quickly.

Working in batches or one at a time, use a slotted spoon to ladle the meatballs into the oil. Stir very gently as they cook and remove when they have turned golden brown. Place on a paper towel to cool.

The Eggs:


– 8 eggs

Place eggs in a large saucepan and cover completely with cold water. Turn heat to high and bring water to a rolling boil. Remove pot from heat, cover and eggs to cook for about 12 minutes. Remove from water and set aside to cool before peeling and slicing them.

The Peas:

– 1 1/2 cup (250g) peas (frozen is fine)

– 1/4 yellow onion, diced

– 2 tbsp olive oil

– 1.5oz. (50g) chopped pancetta

– Salt

– Fresh black pepper

In a medium pan, add olive oil and onion and sautèe for about 3 minutes over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add peas and cook for a further 4 minutes before adding a 1/2 cup of water. You want to reduce the water until it has completely evaporated and the peas are soft. If the peas need more time, continue adding small amounts of water while reducing.

Salt and pepper to taste, then allow to cool for later.

The Pasta:


– 1.5kg (a little over 3 lbs) ziti pasta – use your judgement here, depending on the size of your pot.

– Salt

Bring a very large pot of water to a rolling boil. Salt LIBERALLY. As they say in Italy, the water should taste like the sea which, in the case of such a large pot, means a lot of salt. 3-4 small handfuls are a recommended starting place.

Add the pasta and cook for 3 minutes. The pasta will bake further so it shouldn’t be completely cooked at this point. Drain and mix with a few ladles of your ragù in a large mixing bowl and set aside to cool for later.

The Cheese


– 400g (about 1 1/2 cup when chopped) provolone cheese

– 50g (about 1/2 cup) Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

– 50g (about 1/2 cup) pecorino cheese

Chop the provolone into small chunks and grate the Pramigiano and pecorino cheeses. Keep separate and set aside for later.

Rolling the Dough

When all of your components are prepared, it’s time to roll the pasta brisè dough! This is the trickiest part of the process, as the buttery dough can melt quite easily. We recommend doing this in a cool environment.

Cut off about 1/4 of the dough before rolling and keep refrigerated until ready to seal the timpano shut.

Butter the inside surface of your timpano pot (we used a large dutch oven) completely.

Remove the dough from the fridge and place on a well-floured counter. Working quickly, roll it out with a large rolling pin until it is quite thin, about 1/10-inch (3mm). The dough will be very firm and difficult to work at first. Sprinkle flour on the dough surface and counter beneath as necessary if it’s sticky.

Once the dough is thin and even, drape it over the pot. You might find it useful to roll it up partially on the rolling pin and then unroll it over the pot. Gently press it down until it completely molds into the curves of the pot.

The Assembly

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F (200 C).

Ladle a thick layer of pasta into the bottom of the timpano, then spoon some ragù sauce over the ziti. Don’t go overboard with the sauce, just enough for flavor. If the timapano is too liquid, it will collapse! Layer the other components in the following order: sausage slices, peas, sliced eggs, provolone cheese, meatballs, grated Parmigiano and pecorino. Then add another layer of pasta and ragù and repeat the other layers. You can repeat this as much as you


Leave a Comment