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Friday, December 3, 2010

Timpano Di Maccheroni: Iron Foodie 2010

Here is my Marx Foods  IRON FOODIE 2010 SIGNATURE DISH  and it was truly a labor of love! I made Timpano, a traditional Neapolitan dish that is shaped like a drum and stuffed with several layers of pastas, meats, and cheeses. If you saw the movie Big Night you may remember the moment when Secondo brings the pièce de résistance of the meal – a giant timpano to the table and all the guests ooh and aah at such a magnificent dish. In Naples, Italy Il Timpano is made with care, skill, and much  patience and is seen as a celebratory food made large enough to be shared with family and loved ones : ) Just like the Neapolitans themselves Il Timpano is a symbol of living, loving, and sharing life with molto gusto!
If you think I deserve it, please vote for me here:Iron Foodie Contest! 
Just check the "La Buona Cucina" box and click on "vote", grazie!! If I win I will create and awesome meal with the winnings and post it here!
Marx Foods 3 Ingredients: I chose to use the Aji Panca Chilies, Smoked Salt, and Fennel Pollen.And can I just say that the meatballs I made for the timpano were, by far, the best I have ever made! The meatballs smelled heady as I was sauteing them and I couldn't wait to taste one so I did......they were sweet, savory, spicy, and absolutely  delicious all at once! I cannot tell if it was the Aji Panca Chilies or the Smoked Salt that made the difference or just the combo but I do plan on adding them both, as well as the fennel pollen, to my meatball recipe. The Fennel Pollen was a much milder form of fennel therefore enhancing the meatballs rather than overpowering them like fennel seeds tend to do. 

Tomato Sauce  (2 cups)  along with 1 meatball recipe (see below)
Parsley Pesto Or Basil Pesto (1 cup)
Balsamella sauce (1 cup)
2 pounds penne pasta
2 pounds pasta dough  (You may not quite use all of this)
Or you can use1 Pizza Dough Recipe (This option is easier)
1/2 cup frozen peas (for the pesto)
4 ounces provolone chopped
4 ounces salami chopped finely or minced in food processor
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (for the balsamella salsa)
olive oil
butter or cooking spray
Meatballs: 1 pound ground meat (I use half beef and half pork), 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped, 1/4 cup golden raisins, 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, 3 dried Aji Panca chilies ground up, 1 tablespoon Fennel Pollen, 1 teaspoon Smoked Salt, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, 1/4 cup red wine, 1/4 cup olive oil plus more for frying
1 large mixing bowl (Mine was not oven proof but it was metal and I cooked it at a low temp) or a large Pyrex oven proof bowl
a large enough pan to fit the bowl inside when baking
Prepare all 3 sauces a day ahead! Add the peas to the pesto and the Parmesan to the balsamella.
Prepare you pasta dough and divide it in to 2 parts one being larger than the other. Roll out into circles, the larger piece needs to fit inside the bowl and the other piece needs to just cover the top. Cover these with a towel and set aside.
Mix all the meatball ingredients together and from into small meatballs, the size of walnuts. Fry these in olive oil just until golden and than add to the cold red sauce, they will finish cooking in the oven.
Cook the penne pasta al dente and drain.
Separate the pasta into 3 parts and mix each one with it's own sauce. 
Preheat oven to 275.
Butter your bowl very very well.
Layer the bowl with the large piece of dough pressing down to make sure it is nice and snug.
Add the 3 pasta/sauces in 3 layers starting with the green on bottom and a drizzle of oil all over, then the white along with the provolone & salami  layer, and finally the red with a another good drizzle of olive oil.
Wet the edge and cover with the remaining pasta sheet folding under to seal.Cover with foil.
  Place the bowl in a large baking dish filled with simmering water, cover with foil and place in a pre-heated 275 degree oven. Cook the pasta Timpano for about 1 hour. Remove the foil and cook for 20- 30 more minutes or until the internal temperature reaches120F.
  Remove the bowl from the oven and let rest at room temperature for at least 20 minutes (or up to an hour, longer is better). Remove foil from the top of the bowl and place a platter, upside down, over the bowl's lid.
 Now here is where I pray for God's blessing on my timpano! Grasping both the bowl and platter firmly, quickly flip the bowl upside down. Gently tap the outside (especially the top) of the bowl to be sure that none of the pasta has stuck to it and then, ever so gently and slowly, remove the bowl. You should have a large dome shaped “Timpano” sitting on your platter, hopefully!
Now allow this to rest a few more minutes before cutting into it.

~IL Timpano Construction Pictorial~


Nikki said...

WOW! That looks great :)

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

Its awesome! Nicely done :) Looks quite delicious as well!!

Anonymous said...

ooooooooh, this looks amazing, I've seen this dish once before, had no idea there's pasta dough on encasing it. I think its funny we used the same ingredients.

I agree, the panca is incredibly fruity. But that smoked salt..., that's a jewel of flavor. I'm in love with the stuff.

Thistlemoon said...

Wow this is really something! Those meatballs do sound fantastic! :)

Thanks so much for your participation and good luck in the polls!

Christo Gonzales said...

what a great dish! I can imagine all the deliciousness.

FOODalogue said...

This is one recipe I'd really want to taste. Love your family photos (looks just like my family!)

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

How beautiful! I always envy people with the patience to make something like this. I remember wanting to eat the whole thing in "Big Night". I'm feeling that now!

Meandering Eats said...

Hey, Ann! Just wanted to send a belated congrats to you for winning Iron Foodie. That timpano is incredible and your pictures are lovely!

Gilli said...

Congratulations Ann The news of your win just came through. The dish looks amazing will have to do this one day. Hard to get some of those ingredients here in NZ but will have to substitute. Have enjoyed your blog
Cheers and Merry Christmas

Kirstigal said...

Congratulations on the win! This looks really spectacular. I think I might just have to try my hand at this, using my mom's 8 meatball and sauce recipe! So very impressive.
My best friend Danielle is 100% italian and would love to impress her with some of your families recipes. Can't wait!
If you ever want to check out my blog its at:

Congrats again!

Ziho said...


Nice pics!