Timpano (Timballo) Recipe
In one of the best “foodie” movies ever made, The Big Night, Stanley Tucci and Tony Shaloub (“Monk”) try to save their failing restaurant by putting on the feast of all feasts to impress Louis Prima, who they have heard is coming to visit. One good word from him, they figure, and all will be right with the world.
One of the dishes they create is the “timpano”, a traditional holiday feast in Italy, featuring pasta, meat, cheese and sauce baked in a pastry shell.
Here’s my version:
- 1 ball pizza dough
- 3 Italian sausages (cooked), thin sliced on a bias
- 36 meatballs (cooked) sliced in half
- 32 oz shredded Italian cheeses
- 1 c tomato sauce (toss the cooked pasta in it)
- 1 package of salami or prosciutto
- 10” glass or steel pan, preferably domed
- ½ cup melted butter
- ½ package dry ziti
- Fresh basil leaves (optional)
Preheat oven to 350. Cook the pasta and drain while you are waiting for the oven to preheat.
Roll out pizza dough, large enough to cover the bottom and sides of the pan, reserving enough to make a cap. Butter the dish and the outside of the dough.
Now you are going to layer the ingredients as if you were making a parfait, beginning and ending with the pasta. Pasta, meat, sauce, cheese. Repeat, ending with a layer of pasta. Place the dough cap on the timpano, cover, and bake for 45 minutes. Remove cover and bake another 45 minutes.
Remove from oven, let cool in pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a plate. Let cool another ten minutes before slicing like pieces of cake. Drizzle additional tomato sauce and decorate slice with basil leaves.
Variants: Some recipes use a layer of quartered hard boiled eggs; others use layers of peas or other vegetables.
Shortcuts: I made everything from scratch here (except the pasta) but you don’t have to. You could purchase pre-cooked meatballs. You might also try the pre-cooked lasagna noodles in criss-crossed strips in the pan in lieu of the pizza dough for an interesting effect.