TIMPANO: A centerpiece-worthy Italian dish, not all that common, but highlighted and made more popular by the Stanley Tucci movie, The Big Night. Timpano is an Italian pastry crust filled with pasta and ragu, meatballs and genoa salami, cheeses and boiled eggs and at times even peas and chicken. It’s carefully layered so that when the strata is sliced, it is a perfectly lined work of culinary art, delicious and beautiful.
Stormie made one for Tristan for his 29th birthday. We serve additonal sauce (tomatoes, onions and basil from the garden) and cheeses on the side, along with a ceasar salad. It is so satisfying! In red, find Stormie’s recipe and tips:
I know this looks like an impossible feat and you are thinking it will take you all day…trust me, it is easy peesy and so good, it will prove itself completely worth it! You can tell your family and friends you slaved all day, (I’ll keep your secret:)
*With prep, baking and cooling – this should take about 3.5 hours total but give yourself some extra time the first time you try it (and believe me, you WILL make this more than once).
Timpano recipe alla “Big Night”
4 cups all purpose flour
1 t salt
3 T extra virgin olive oil(I mean seriously…is there any other kind of olive oil?)
3/4 cup water
Olive oil to grease a 6 quart timpano baking pan. (I use a type of dutch oven but professionals use enamel wash basins which you can find on ebay:
2 cups 1/4 x 1/2 inch sharp provolone cheese cubes or slices
2 cups 1/4 x 1/2 inch Genoa salami slices
12 hard boiled eggs, shelled and cut into chunks
3 cups meatballs
8 cups tomato sauce (add 1 lb cooked ground beef)
3 lbs ziti pasta, cooked very al dente
2 T extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup finely grated Romano cheese
4 eggs, beaten
1. Combine the flour, eggs, salt and olive oil in a stand mixer with the dough hook.
2. Add 3 tablespoons of water and process.
3. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture comes together and forms a ball.
4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead to make sure it is well mixed. Set aside to rest for 5 minutes.
5. Flatten the dough out on a lightly floured surface. Dust the top of the dough with flour and roll it out, dusting with flour and flipping the dough over from time to time, until it is about 1/16 inch thick and is the desired diameter(you will get major muscles while rolling it out!).
6. Generously grease the timpano baking pan with olive oil. Fold the dough in half and then in half again, to form a triangle, and place it in the pan. Open the dough and arrange it in the pan, gently pressing it against the bottom and the sides, draping the extra dough over the sides(You will need enough dough on top to cover the whole thing so make sure you roll it out VERY large). Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
1. Have the salami, provolone, hard-boiled eggs, meat balls, and tomato sauce at room temperature.
2. Toss the drained pasta with the olive oil and 2 cups of the tomato sauce. Distribute 4 generous cups of the pasta on the bottom of the pan.
3. Top with 1 cup of the salami, 1 cup of the provolone, 6 of the hard-boiled eggs, 1 cup of the meat balls, and 1/3 cup of the Romano cheese. Pour 2 cups of the ragu (tomato/meat sauce) over these ingredients.
4. Top with 4 cups of the remaining pasta(I always have left over pasta to serve on the side, it just depends on the size of your pan so you probably won’t use it all in the timpano).
5. Top that with the remaining 1 cup of salami, 1 cup meat balls, and 1/3 cup Romano cheese. Pour 2 cups of the ragu over these ingredients. (the ingredients should now be about 1 inch below the rim of the pot).
6. Pour the beaten eggs over the filling. Fold the pasta dough over the filling to seal completely. Trim away and discard any double layers of dough.
1. Bake until lightly browned, about 1 hour.
2. Then cover with aluminum foil and continue baking until the timpano is cooked through and the dough is golden brown (the internal temp. will be 120 degrees F) about 30 minutes.
3. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 30 minutes or more. (the resting time is VERY important for the timpano to set and not fall apart when you are cutting it later so make sure you give it AT LEAST 30 minutes after baking to sit in the pan)
4. The baked timpano should not adhere to the pan. If any part is still attached, carefully detach with a knife. Grasp the pan firmly and invert the timpano onto a serving platter.
5. Remove the pan and allow the timpano to cool for 20 minutes. (This is also important for the setting of the timpano…don’t cut corners! From my own experience it is messy if you do!)
6. Using a long, sharp knife, cut a circle about 3 inches in diameter in the center of the timpano, making sure to cut all the way through to the bottom. then slice the timpano as you would a pie into individual portions, leaving the center circle as a support for the remaining pieces.
And it’s as easy as that!!
Buon appetito! With love from Stormie Dae Rhoades