Il Timpano ~ For your Big Night, or any night...


There are films that make you laugh;  films that make you cry; films that cause you to take pause, reflect and meditate on your own life; and then there are some films that inspire you to express your love and passion through cooking ~ Babette's Feast, Like Water for Chocolate, Eat Drink Man Woman, and Chocolat to name a few.

After I first saw Big Night back in 1998, there was one thing I knew I must do:  make a Timpano!  As a busy, working mother of two my recipe has slowly evolved through the years to be a bit easier, quicker, and appealing to the kids, without sacrificing flavor and depth. 


What  I like most about this recipe is that it is versatile (you can add any ingredients that your family enjoys), fun for the kids to help make, and is always delicious.  The presentation never fails to garner "oohs" and "ahhs".

Rook No. 17 Big Night Timpano
serves 6

1 pound dry spaghetti
1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce (or homemade)
2 cups grated parmigianno reggiano
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
2 hard-boiled eggs, quartered.
1 cup cooked italian sausage, black olives, spinach ricotta filling, halved meatballs, or grilled vegetables
1 package frozen puff pastry, brought to room temperature
1 egg, beaten with 1 TB water
butter for greasing the pan

To begin, adjust oven rack to lower middle.  Preheat oven to 400.

Grease a 7" high-walled cake pan with butter (bottom and sides).  Insert a round of parchment, as you would for a cake, and butter that as well.  Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the spaghetti.  Cook to manufacturer's specifications for al dente.  Drain pasta and return to pot.  Toss with spaghetti sauce over low heat.  Add 1 cup mozzarella and 1 cup parmigianno and stir till spaghetti is completely coated and cheese starts to melt.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside to cool.


Lightly flour your work surface.  Open and unfold one sheet of puff pastry.  Lightly flour rolling pin, and roll the puff pastry to work out lines and wrinkles, and to extend it just far enough to fit in the 7" pan.  Place in prepared pan as you would a pie crust.  Let extra puff pastry hang over the sides.


Add a layer of spaghetti, about 1" high.  Using the bottom of a wide drinking glass, press down on the spaghetti to compact.  Top with 1/3 cup of each cheese.   On top of the cheeses, arrange a layer of one of your fillings. 


Next, add another 1" layer of spaghetti and compact.  Top with another 1/3 cup of each cheese.  Arrange egg quarters in a flower petal shape. 


Top with another 1" of spaghetti and compact.  Finish with remaining cheese.  You will have some pasta left-over.  Put it in the refrigerator for lunch the next day.  In my house, you can forget about the next day.  It usually disappears from the pot while my back is turned.  


On your lightly floured work surface, roll second sheet of puff pastry, just to soften the lines where it was folded.  Using a pastry brush, moisten the entire top rim of the puff pastry that is already in the pan (and filled with spaghetti) with your egg wash.  Gently lay the second sheet of puff pastry over the top.  Using your rolling pin, fuse both sheets together by rolling back and forth over the top of the pan until the extra simply drops off. 


Using a decorative cookie cutter, such as a leaf shape, cut pieces from the extra puff pastry and apply to the top of the timpano, adhering with a brush of egg wash.  Using a small biscuit cutter, cut a small hole in the middle of the puff pastry to allow steam to escape.  When decoration is complete, brush the entire top with egg wash.

Timpano likely got it's name from the Latin "Tympanu" meaning drum

Bake for 45 minutes, or until Timpano has risen and is a rich, golden brown.  Allow to cool for half an hour before inverting gently on a plate (it will be upside down), then gently flip back on to a serving plate.  Slice and Serve.


Has a cinematic experience inspired you
to create a new family favorite? 
Please share...


--------------------------------------------------------------------


This recipe has been linked-up with:

Tuesday Night Supper Club

Popular Posts