A while back, knowing I was a foodie, my friend recommended me to watch “Big Night“, a movie from 1996 about two Italian brothers, one chef, one manager, trying to make their restaurant work in America.
The movie was a lot about food, and one of the dish showcased in the movie was Timpano — a baked pasta dish that looked amazingly stunning and interesting, decided to test the recipe.
In my opinion, Timpano is best described as a pasta cake: an outer pasta sheet encasing more pasta, meatballs, salami, eggs, cheese and sauce.
Initial glance at the recipes looked so daunting, with many elements to make from scratch: outer pasta skin, meatballs, sauce; I settled with store bought meat balls and tomato sauce to save some time for this test of concept, and I made half the recipe in case of disaster.
Pasta and hard boil eggs were cooked.
I was amazed that half a dozen egg was still required for the half recipe, plenty of cholesterol.
Placing the thin sheet of outer pasta into the bowl was a bit nerve-wrecking.
Certainly did not want any holes in the thin pasta sheet; once any part of the sheet was dropped into the well-greased bowl, it was stuck, it just seemed so fragile.
The filling part was easy, I forgot to buy cheese aside from Parmesan; definitely an oversight that had cost the Timpano to be less gooey and creamy inside.
To close, the pasta sheet had to be layered and cut to fit without overlapping as that would result in unevenly thick dough.
Once the bottom was properly sealed up, 45 minutes at 350F.
It was even more nerve wrecking when it was time to take the Timpano out of the bowl.
Luckily, the bowl was greased well enough with no leakage, and the Timpano came out in a jiffy.
Hmmm, taste test: We like it! It felt like a full meal in a slice with lots of protein and carbs.
It was definitely a fantastic party dish — looked great and tasted great.
Made from scratch is definitely the best way to go, but if needed, many components can be store-bought and would significantly reduce prep time for an impressive wow dish!