This section is from the book "Simple Italian Cookery", by Antonia Isola. Also available from Amazon: Simple Italian Cookery.
Take ten medium-sized fresh tomatoes and cut them in two crosswise. Put a layer of these into a baking-dish with the liquid side touching the bottom of the dish. Now put, another layer with the liquid side up, sprinkle on salt and pepper. Break the raw vermicelli the length of the baking-dish and put a layer of it on top of the tomatoes. Now add another layer of the tomatoes, with the skin side touching the vermicelli, a second layer with the liquid side up, salt and pepper, and another layer of the raw vermicelli, and so on, the top layer being of tomatoes with their liquid side touching the vermicelli. Heat three or four tablespoons of good lard (or butter), and when the lard boils pour it over the tomatoes and vermicelli; then put the dish into the oven and cook until the vermicelli is thoroughly done. After cooling a little while, turn it out into a platter.
This timbale is made in the same way as the preceding one, only substituting rice for macaroni. One-half cup of rice.