Serve the timpano with risotto and pasta and soup and duck, and a couple of other Italian dishes ...
Okay, okay, just kidding. But speaking of Timpano, did you see the movie "Big Night"? All of that stuff listed above is representative of what these two Italian brothers served on the "Big Night" that turned out to be a "Big Dud”. Funny movie! And, just the timpano itself is enough to feed a small army!
Anyway, this is a traditional Italian dish that you won't see all that often on a menu. It's a kick to have a party with some close friends that like Italian food as much as you and we do, and serve timpano as the centerpiece dish, though. Chef Dave of New Italian Recipes in a professional restaurant chef and restaurant manager. He's done it. And, it did make a "Big Night" for he and his guests!.
This one is a bit of a challenge, but not for a budding gourmet Italian cook like you! Capische?
The recipe below comes from the "Cucina & Familia: Two Italian Families Share" cookbook. Enjoy.
Big Night Type Timpano
4 cups all purpose flour
1 t kosher salt
3 T e. v. olive oil
1/2 cup water
Butter and Olive oil to grease a 6 quart baking pan. (This is like a round, three layer deep cake pan)
2 cups 1/4 x 1/2 inch sharp provolone cheese cubes
2 cups 1/4 x 1/2 inch Genoa salami slices
12 hard boiled eggs, shelled and quartered lengthwise, and each quarter cut in half to create chunks
2 cups (meatballs)
8 cups meat-based tomato sauce (add 3/4 lbs cooked ground beef)
3 lbs ziti pasta, cooked very al dente (about half)
2 T e. v. olive oil
2/3 cup finely grated pecorino (ewe’s milk) Romano cheese
4 eggs, beaten
To make the dough, place the flour, eggs, salt and olive oil in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add 3 tablespoons of water and process. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture comes together and forms a ball. 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.
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.
Generously grease the baking pan with butter and 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. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
To prepare the filling, have the salami, provolone, hard-boiled eggs, meat balls, and tomato sauce at room temperature. Toss the drained pasta with the olive oil and 2 cups of the tomato sauce. Distribute 6 generous cups of the pasta on the bottom. 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. Top with 6 cups of the remaining pasta. 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. Top with the remaining 2 cups of ragu over the pasta, (the ingredients should now be about 1 inch below the rim of the pot). Spoon the remaining 2 cups of ragu over the pasta. 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.
Bake until lightly browned, about 1 hour. Then cover with aluminum foil and continue baking until cooked through and the dough is golden brown (the internal temp. will be 120 degrees F) about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 30 minutes or more. 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. Remove the pan and allow to cool for 20 minutes. 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, that's all there is to it. Whew! I'm tired just thinking about it. I'd say, save this for a really "Big Night", huh? And do make a cooking party out of it, you know? Say, with a bottle or two or three of good vino, huh? Yeah, I think I'm getting in the mood to make another great big Italian timpano pie. I really do. Guess I'd better go out and lay in a good supply of Italian wine before I tackle this "simple" recipe.
Buon appetito always!
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