Stanley Tucci’s Big Night Timpano recipe

big night timbale, the big night timballo, big night timpano recipe
The Big Night Timpano recipe is not your usual baked pasta dish

You’re a foodie and a film fan who’s seen Big Night. You were wowed by the Timpano. You’ve wanted to make it ever since but find the idea of recreating Stanley Tucci’s Timpano recipe daunting. Intimidating. Don’t be silly.

The Big Night Timpano is just a pasta bake. The ultimate pasta bake. I had wanted to make this since I had seen the movie in the late 90’s.

As my daughter’s 1st birthday was approaching, and intended as more of a party for adults, this seemed as special occasion as any to finally get round to making this.

Also known as a Timballo, this Big Night Timpano recipe is based on a family recipe of co-star, co-writer, and co-director Stanley Tucci.

It is a dish that any foodie and/or film fan should make at least once in their life. Everything you need is likely available from your local butcher, deli, or supermarket – except, the 14″ Timpano Bowl. It’s the best thing for baking this in.

I had to order this enamel basin in from US Amazon, and it was perfect for this. timpano recipe, big night movie menu, big night timpano recipe, timballoTake your time with this dish. To get it right, I would give yourself two days.

Analyse this Stanley Tucci Timpano recipe. Spend a long afternoon shopping for ingredients. Make the sauce ahead of time. Prepare the eggs, cheese, and salami a day before. Early morning, boil the pasta and cool it ready for assembly. After baking let it rest. And rest.

A good hour will allow this settle nicely and let the treasure trove of flavours be absorbed by pasta inside. But don’t leave it to rest in the kitchen. Have it on display to your guests. Let the anticipation build about what delights await inside.

This is a dish that deserves to be eagerly anticipated, not least because of the effort you’ve put into it. As this ‘Big Night’ Timpano was adapted from Tucci’s American recipe, I’ve attempted to update the imperial measurements with metric ones. Also, confession time – I used meatballs made by the butcher. If you want to be REALLY authentic, you can use Stanley Tucci’s meatball recipe.

The Big Night Timpano recipe

RAGU

  • 60 ml olive oil
  • 450 g stewing beef, trimmed of fat and cut into pieces
  • 450 g spareribs (pref. meaty shoulder ribs), trimmed of fatmand cut in half Onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 20 ml red wine
  • 170 g can tomato paste
  • 2 x 1kg can plum tomatoes, sieved or blitzed in processor OR 2l passata (much easier!)
  • 3 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried

1. Warm olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Brown beef until coloured on all sides, about 10 minutes. Set aside in a bowl.
2. Add spareribs to pot and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove and set aside in bowl with beef. (If your pot is big enough to hold all the meat in a single layer, it can be cooked at the same time.)
3. Stir onions and garlic into pot. Reduce heat to low and cook until onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in wine, scraping bottom of the pot clean. Add tomato paste. Pour 125ml cup warm water into tomato paste can to loosen any residual paste and then pour into pot. Cook to warm the paste through, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes along with additional 250ml warm water. Stir in basil and oregano. Cover with lid partially on and simmer about 30 minutes.
4. Return meat to pot, along with any juices that accumulated in bowl. Cover partially with lid and simmer, stirring frequently, until meat is very tender and tomatoes are cooked, about 2 hours. Warm water may be added to sauce, in 125ml portions, if it becomes too thick.

DOUGH:

  • 450 gram 00 flour, more for dusting
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, more for greasing bowl Butter (for greasing bowl) Timpano case ready for filling

1. Mix flour, eggs, salt and olive oil in mixer bowl with a dough hook. Add 3 tbsp water and mix – add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until mixture comes together and forms a ball. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead to make sure it is well mixed, about 10 minutes. Set aside to rest for 5 minutes. (The dough may be made in advance and refrigerated overnight; return to room temperature before rolling out.)

2. Flatten dough on a lightly floured work surface. Dust top 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. (To calculate the diameter for the dough round, add the diameter of the bottom of your timpano basin the diameter of the top of the pan and twice the height of the pan.)
Grease the baking pan generously with butter and olive oil. Fold dough in half and then in half again, to form a triangle, and place in pan. Open dough and arrange it in the pan, gently pressing it against the bottom and the sides, draping extra dough over the sides. Set aside.

FILLING:

  • 450 g thick Genoa salami pieces, cut into small squares
  • 450 gram sharp provolone cheese, evenly diced
  • 12 hard-boiled eggs, shelled and quartered lengthwise, each quarter cut in half
  • 450 gram small meatballs
  • 1.8 l Ragu sauce (meat removed and reserved for another use)
  • 1.4 kg ziti or similar pasta, cooked very al dente (about half the time recommended on the package)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 115 gram finely grated Pecorino Romano
  • 6 large eggs, beaten

1. Heat oven to 180c. Have salami, provolone, hard-boiled eggs, meatballs and ragù sauce at room temperature. Stir 125ml water into sauce to thin it. Toss pasta with olive oil and allow to cool slightly before tossing with 500ml sauce. Layering the Timpano IMG_5294 IMG_5295 Filled Timpano IMG_5297

2. Layering the filling: Distribute 4 generous cups of pasta on bottom of timpano. Top with 1 cup salami, 1 cup provolone, 3 eggs, 1 cup meatballs and 1/3 cup Romano cheese. Pour 2 cups sauce over ingredients. Repeat process to create additional layers until filling comes within 1 inch of the top of the pan, ending with 2 cups sauce. Pour beaten eggs over the filling.

3. Fold pasta dough over filling to seal completely. Trim away and discard any double layers of dough. Make sure timpano is tightly sealed. If you notice any small openings cut a piece of trimmed dough to fit over opening. Use a small amount of water to moisten these scraps of dough to ensure that a tight seal has been made.

4. Bake until lightly browned, about 1 hour. Cover with foil and continue baking until the timpano is cooked through and the dough is golden brown (and reaches an internal temperature of 120c), about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 30 or more minutes to allow timpano to cool and contract before attempting to remove from pan. The baked timpano should not stick to the pan.

To test, gently shake pan to the left and then to the right. It should slightly spin in the pan. If any part is still attached, carefully detach with a knife. The finished Big Night Timpano, stanley tucci, timbale, Stanley Tucci Timpano recipe

5. To remove timpano from pan, place a baking sheet or thin cutting board that covers the entire diameter on the pan on top of the timpano. Grasp the baking sheet or cutting board and the rim of the pan firmly and invert timpano. Remove pan and allow timpano to cool for at least 30 minutes. Using a long, sharp knife, cut a circle about 8cm in diameter in the center of the timpano, making sure to cut all the way through to the bottom. Then slice timpano as you would a pie into individual portions, leaving the center circle as a support for the remaining pieces. The cut pieces should hold together, revealing the layers of filling you built up earlier.

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For more great recipes from Stanley Tucci, check out The Tucci Cookbook: Family, Friends and Food (with the Timpano recipe) and his most recent book The Tucci Table: Cooking with Family and Friends.

Delicious Crab Linguine with Chilli Recipe

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Crab linguine with chilli

Unlike actual sea water, dishes that taste of the sea are amazing. There are many ways to infuse your food with the essence of the ocean, such as using stocks or anchovies, but for this sumptuous seafood pasta recipe the key is using the brown crab meat as well as the white.

While white crab meat gives you the expected fresh and delicate flavour, it’s the brown meat where all the seafood flavour is. You must, MUST, include it in this dish. It’s cheaper too.

This seafood pasta recipe has a generous amount of crab. It could probably stretch to twice the amount of servings (while doubling the other ingredients). But this way is the culinary crabilicious treat you deserve…

Crab Linguine with Chilli recipe

Serves 2

  • 200g linguine
  • olive oil
  • Glass dry white wine
  • Punnet of sweet cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 100g brown crabmeat
  • 100g white crabmeat
  • Small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium-low heat and fry the shallot, garlic, chilli and fennel seeds for a couple of minutes.

2. Add the tomatoes, let them sizzle a little, the pour in the wine and cook for about 10-15 mins, then stir in the brown crabmeat.

3. While the tomatoes are sizzling, cook the pasta in salted water until al dente.

4. Drain the pasta, reserving a few spoonfuls of the slightly salted cooking water.

5. Stir pasta into sauce along with the white crabmeat, squeezed lemon, and parsley. Add the extra water if the dish seems a little dry.

6. Divide between 2 warmed pasta bowls and serve your crab linguine with chilli immediately.

Linguine with Clams and Cherry Tomatoes Recipe (Linguine con Vongole e Pomodorini)

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Linguine con Vongole e Pomodorini (Linguine with clams and cherry tomatoes)

A slight twist on this Italian classic seafood pasta dish, cherry tomatoes add a dash of summer colour & flavour to the Linguine Vongole recipe.

I would like to say I first ate this Linguine with clams and cherry tomatoes while holidaying in Italy, but I’m pretty sure it was at Wellington Italian eatery Mari Luca.

While I’m no longer a Kiwi resident, my clam of choice is still the New Zealand Little Neck. It is the Iron Man of clams, with an armoured shell to rival Tony Stark’s, which gives the molluscs the best chance of withstanding the journey from sea to your saucepan intact. They taste great too.

Make sure you use the sweetest tomatoes you can find, so they complement the sweet & salty clams. You won’t need to chop them as they should break down just enough while cooking, but if you prefer you can give the skin a little slice before cooking – they’ll be reminiscent of a tomato that’s burst with ripeness.

While the butter adds a smooth richness to this sumptuous seafood pasta dish, the key to getting this linguine vongole recipe right is balancing the garlic, anchovy, shallot and chilli to enhance the delicious salty clam & sweet tomato combo. If in doubt, err on the side of caution. It would be a shame to overpower the clams – even Iron Clam cannot withstand a mass flavour assault.

Linguine with Clams and Cherry Tomatoes (Linguine con Vongole e Pomodosrini) Recipe

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS:

  • 500g linguine
  • 1kg fresh clams, washed & cleaned
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1-2 chillies, finely chopped
  • 250g very sweet cherry tomatoes
  • 1-2 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • Large handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Large glass white wine
  • 50g butter
  • Salt

METHOD:

  1. In large pan, cook linguine in salted water. It needs to be al dente, so about a minute or so less than packet instructions.
  1. At the same time, in a larger pan on a medium heat, fry the shallot, garlic, chilli, tomatoes, and anchovy in generous glug of olive oil. After a couple minutes add a splash of wine and cook a further 5 or so mins.
  1. Add the clams and the rest of the wine. Cover pan with a tight fitting lid and cook for about 2-3 mins, or until all the clams have opened. Give the pan a good shake – it’ll help the clams open up and tear the tomato skins just enough.
  1. Drain the pasta, and toss into the clam mixture with the parsley and butter.*
  1. Return lid, turn off the heat, and leave everything to sit in the pan for a couple of minutes. The linguine will soak up lots of the delicious cooking liquor, without cooking any further itself.
  1. Serve in warmed pasta bowls, spooning over any remaining cooking liquor.

* You will have of course timed this to perfection, so that the clams and the linguine are ready at the same time to mix together. But if unsure about timings, it is much better to have the linguine ready before the clams. The pasta can sit a while and be heated up again with the clams, but vice versa would lead to the clams becoming tough and rubbery from overcooking.

RECIPE: Trinidad style Macaroni Pie

Trinidadian Macaroni Pie
Macaroni Pie

As unlikely as it might sound, Macaroni Pie is a staple dish of Trinidad (where my parents are from). This is my version of the caribbean classic.

While it can be served as an indulgent main for 4-6, in Trinidad it’s more commonly cooled then chopped into squares as a party/BBQ/beach snack.

While certainly no health food, it’s calcium rich so good for growing kids and breast feeding mums (in both cases, chillies optional).

For a slightly fancier version, use a homemade Béchamel sauce. I suspect evaporated milk was considered more convenient to store at home, in a country with  a hot climate and frequent power cuts…

Always a big hit, this is the ONLY way to eat macaroni – in our house at least. ;).

INGREDIENTS:

Pie
500g Macaroni
2 eggs
250g cheddar cheese (or similar), grated.
400ml tin evaporated milk (can be doubled for extra rich version)
1 onion
150g Bacon (about 6 slices)
2-4 Chillies (2 gives little kick, but more the merrier)
Olive oil

Crust
Breadcrumbs (about 2-3 slices worth, crusts removed)
1/2 – 1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoon(s) black treacle
1 teaspoon English mustard (powder)
1 tablespoon demerara sugar

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 180c.
  2. Boil macaroni VERY al dente in salted water. Drain & cool.
  3. Fry bacon in olive oil until all fat rendered. Remove bacon, retaining fat/oil in pan. Mix in the crust ingredients with the oil in pan. Finely chop bacon.
  4. In a small blender, mince onion and chillies with a little evaporated milk to loosen up mixture. Mix in lightly beaten eggs, then salt & pepper.
  5. Combine this mixture with macaroni. Stir in bacon, the rest of the evaporated milk and most of the cheese, retaining some to sprinkle on top.
  6. Pour everything into a greased oven dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top, followed by crust mixture.
  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes.
  8. Leave to cool/set for at least 15-20 minutes, but best served next day cold.

Ideal accompaniments include tomato ketchup, or usually served in Trinidad with Tabasco sauce.

Trinidad Style Macaroni Pie
Mmmmm