Many foodies knows this dish as the set piece in a movie from a few years back. Here it is broken down into steps. Although the filling can be changed to anything, for this timpano you will need two sausages, one batch meatballs, two pounds cooked pasta, 1/2 pound sliced mushrooms, one pound sliced provolone, 1/2 cup grated Romano and marinara sauce. You’ll also need five eggs and about a quarter cup of cream.
- 4 cups semolina flour
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup warm water
Mix the flour and salt together and form into a pile on a large counter. Create a well in the center, crack eggs, add oil and beat until smooth. Mix into flour to form a rough dough then add water a little at a time until dough is smooth and elastic kneading gently as you go. Let the dough rest covered for a half hour. When ready, roll the dough as thin as possible into a large circle.
To make this dish you will need a large bowl that can be put in the oven. I use a four-quart Pyrex bowl because it is inexpensive and the sides slope perfectly. Place the dough into the container and drape the excess over the outside. Make sure to heavily grease the inside of the bowl before adding the dough.
Cook two pounds of small pasta, I like mini penne, to al dente. Spoon a layer into the bottom of the dish and pack it down with your hand. The pasta acts as a form that holds the dough and timpano together so press it in tightly. Cover the pasta with a layer of marinara. For this dish I like to cook the sausage and meatballs in the marinara to give it more of a meat flavor.
Cook two Italian sausages in the marinara and when done slice into thin rounds. Layer the rounds evenly over the pasta layer and cover with sliced provolone cheese. From this point forward you will repeat the previous process adding pasta to pack it down, marinara sauce and then a meat/vegetable layer topped with cheese.
Although every layer could be meat, that gets dull so I sauteed six sliced mushrooms in butter for the next layer but the sky is the limit as to what could be put in a timpano.
Cook the meatballs in the marinara and size them slightly smaller that normal but bigger than for lasagna. Always place the meatballs last because they work better at the base of the timpano when you flip it from the dish. Cover the meat in marinara.
Make sure to really press the last layer of pasta into the bowl so that it is below the lip of the dish.
Beat five eggs with a little cream and pour over the timpano evenly. Let the egg sit for 10 minutes to soak into the layers.
Stretch and fold the dough over the bottom sealing the 2 halves together with some egg still on top. Cut any excess dough away to there is no more than two layers over the base.
Place bowl in a preheated oven at 350 degrees and bake for an hour. Cover top with foil and bake another 30 minutes. Remove bowl from oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes. Place a large plate on top and quickly flip timpano out of bowl.