T I M P A N O !

If you’re a Foodie and you haven’t seen the movie “Big Night” I would highly recommend you watch it. It’s the story of two brothers from Italy who come to America and open up a restaurant, unfortunately they aren’t making much money at it and they become almost bankrupt, so they decide to risk everything they own for one “Big Night” that will either make or break them.
The brother’s, one who is a superb cook, and the other who handles the business side, decide to make all these elaborate dishes  along with the promise of singer Louie Prima for the entertainment, all this in hopes to lure people into their restaurant. Anyway, when the “Big Night” finally comes the chef prepares his famous “Timpano”.Stanley Tucci is the star in the movie, but to me the star is the “Timpano!” ( sorry Stanley).

Timpano ( as it is said in Calabrian dialect) ____or Timballo___ has been a tradition in the Tucci family for years, in fact, it was his Grandmother who brought this tradition over from Calabria, Italy and to this day his family still makes it. But after the Huge reaction of the “Timpano” that they recieved from the movie, He, along with his family wrote a cookbook, it’s called, Cucina & Famiglia. In that book is the famous Timpano recipe.

Needless to say, the book was bought, and I was hooked!. My family was also hooked!, and was just as excited as I was for me to make this! That was several years ago, and although I don’t make it for every X-mas, this year I did. But believe me, it is great for any party, picnic, or special occasion you might have. It feeds over 16 people, and it definitely has the” WOW” factor!

The most important thing is the pan! It’s all about the pan! You can’t just use any pan, they specify that in the book, I actually ordered mine a long time ago but I updated the source for you. Here is the updated link. It’s a 14″ Basin with a 6 quart capacity, this is the size that fits the recipe in the book.
The enamel pan cooks and browns the Timpano perfectly!!

Here are some of the ingredients… provolone, salami, your best homemade mini meatballs, hard boiled eggs, ziti pasta ( 3 lbs. cooked very al dente), Romano cheese, and homemade sauce. All the components can be cut up, cooked and ready to go before assembly, just bring everything to room temperature.

The dough is easily made in the food processor, just follow their recipe in the book and it comes out perfect every time! This too, can be made in advance and ready to go ahead of time, but this also needs to be at room temp.

Roll it out very thin and drape the pan, everything is going to be wrapped inside it.

Start layering everything , first the sauce…. pasta… provolone… salami…..

Meatballs…Romano cheese… more sauce… you get the picture!

It takes time, but remember there’s 3 lbs. of pasta here, and well worth the process!! not to mention, it’s going to feed lots of people!
Almost to the top, but not quite!
Filled to the brim!

Cover everything up and trim the excess dough. Now it is ready for the oven!!
It bakes for 1 1/2 hours, it has to rest for 30 minutes in the pan, see how golden brown it gets??
Then you invert it over on a board and let it rest for at least another 1/2 an hour, you can even go a whole hour. Because of the long resting time, you could see how great this would be to bring to a party, you won’t have to worry about it getting cold at all. In fact, I think the longer it rests the better it tastes.

I hope you give this a try for your next big event!

Buon Appetito!!!