– an eclectic blog

The Creation of a Timpano

December 11th, 2011 by kimly

Met up with a few friends over the weekend and created a Timpano; a dish from the move the Big Night. Four of us created this masterpiece – needed at least 4 more people to consume this monstrosity. This is definitely a creation for a group. It is immense.

Basically, this is a full Italian dinner in a crust. Kind of like a huge calzone. There are numerous variations of the contents of this dish. Seems like it was originally made to use up left-overs. A number of others across the web have also given blow by blow descriptions of the contents and creation. See The Tipsy Cook, Food in My Beard or Angela’s Food Love.

We used penne pasta, a meat ragu, ricotta, meatballs, sopressata, romano cheese, sharp provolone, hard boiled eggs, and sweet italian sausage. I cooked off some chicken but we didn’t end up using it. For the crust we used store bought fresh pizza dough.

All ingredients need to be cooked/created and cooled to room temperature before assembly.

The Sauce
Dice small: 1 pepper (whatever color), 1 onion and a few cloves of garlic. Saute in olive oil in a large pot. Brown meats (I used some leftover strip steak ends, but any type of trimmed beef or pork, veal and/or chicken is good). Deglaze with red wine or water. Add one #9 can of crush tomatoes. Season with salt, fresh ground black pepper, basil, oregano and a couple of bay leaves. Once simmering, add the rinds of some parmesan. They add body and depth to the sauce. Cook for several hours. Smooth out sauce with a stick blender if hours and hours of cook time aren’t available.

The Fillings
Meat Balls: One pound ground beef, 1/2 pound ground pork, 1 1/2 cups italian bread crumbs, 2 eggs, 5-6 table spoons parsley (fresh or dried). Use fingers to incorporate all ingredients but do not over mix. Make small, 1 inch or so, meatballs for this application. Bake in a 400 degree oven, creating a nice crust, turn as necessary.
Chicken Brest: 2 breast, butterflied as needed and dredged in itaian bread crumbs. Bake in a 375 degree oven until brown on each side.
Sausage: Three links, browned and cooked thoroughly. Cooled and then sliced into discs.
Salami: Two cups in 1cm cubes.
Eggs: Six hard boiled eggs, quartered lengthwise.
Provolone Two cups in 1cm cubes or large grate or thick sliced. (not shown)
Romano: One – two cups, grated

Home Made Ricotta
This was surprisingly easy. I used whole milk (1 gallon) and low fat buttermilk (1 quart). Since true ricotta is made with whey (the leftover liquid from cheese making), low fat milk maybe able to be utilized since we are looking for the albumin and globulin to make the curds and not the casein which is used for the original cheese. I will need to do additional research to see if low fat milk can be used. Put all liquid in a very heavy bottomed. Use a candy thermometer to clock the temp of the milk. Set burner to medium high. As milk is heating, occasionally gently scrap bottom of pan with a rubber spatula. As the milk reaches about 150 degrees, curds should be visible rising in the liquid. Bring to 170 degrees and then remove from heat. Mix in 2-3 ice cubes and let sit for 10 minutes. Strain into a cheese cloth lined colander. Continue to let drain for 15-20 minutes.

The Ultimate Creation
Butter a large, oven safe bowl (be generous with the butter – it will help the dough/crust brown and also release from the bowl – also, receptacle needs to have curved sides to help the dough release) Roll out dough and drape over and into bowl. Begin with a layer of sauced pasta, then continue building up timpano by layering all other ingredients making sure to get about 3 layers of pasta throughout the bowl. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about an hour. Remove from oven and invert bowl over platter but do not immediately remove bowl. Let rest of at last a half hour. We were hungry and only lasted 15 minutes and the slice would not stay intact.

This was fun to make, especially with good friends. And was impressive to serve. It did take a bit of time but with different people making/cooking different parts before hand, makes it more manageable.

Next attempt: I will make this again, but will make a few changes. I will swap out the salami for some prosciutto and use chicken cutlets instead of sausage. And instead of coating the pasta with a ragu, I’ll use pesto and make a ragu to have at the table. I’ll also put some mozzarella in to help ‘glue’ all the stuff together.

Posted in Photos

One Response

  1. Liza Zajac Whitehead

    Holy Cow, this looks FANTASTIC! I’m going to try it with a bunch of italian-like leftovers. Yum-O! Liza

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