The time you spend and your devotion to detail would make Primo and Secondo proud. You can make each component ahead and assemble and bake just before you put on a Louis Prima recording to set a jazzy mood.
- A somewhat thin Alfred sauce or a pesto sauce can be used instead of tomato;
- In the movie, the chef used a big bowl, not a springform pan, in which to cook the Timpano. It's more authentic and more impressive to use a high-sided bowl. I use a large Pyrex mixing bowl (sorry, I don't know the exact size; I imagine it's about 3 litres, which is roughly 12 cups). Grease the bowl, or spray with non-stick coating. Don't bother with the egg or decorations.
- Penne is the best pasta choice. Any other will make for a rather dense Timpano.
- 1 giant timpano
- Crust ingredients:
- 3 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 2 eggs
- Filling ingredients:
- 1 lb. hot or mild Italian sausage
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed
- 4 cups penne
- 1 jar (700 ml) smooth tomato and herb pasta sauce
- 6 cups sliced mushrooms (1 lb.)
- 4 cups eggplant, cubed and peeled
- 3/4 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 sweet green pepper, chopped
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 hard cooked eggs, quartered lengthwise
- In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. In separate bowl, whisk together milk, oil, and eggs; pour over dry ingredients all at once. Using fingers or mixer with dough hook, blend until liquid is absorbed and dough is smooth. Turn out onto lightly floured surface; knead for about 2 minutes or until velvety smooth and elastic. Transfer to bowl; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or for up to 2 days.
- Meat Filling
- Cut sausage into 1/2-inch-thick slices; cook in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, turning to brown all over, for 8 minutes or until no longer pink inside. Drain off fat. Stir in oregano and fennel; cook for 1 minute. Transfer to large bowl.
- Meanwhile, in large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta for about 6 minutes or until tender but still quite firm; drain well. Add to sausage along with pasta sauce; toss to coat. Set aside.
- Veggie Filling
- Wipe out skillet, cook mushrooms, eggplant, 1/2 tsp of the pepper and salt over medium-high heat, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Add green pepper and cook for about 5 minutes or until liquid is evaporated. Set aside.
- Cheesy Goodness Whisk one of the eggs; whisk in ricotta, Parmesan, and remaining pepper. Set aside. Knead any oil back into the dough; set aside 1/2 cup for pastry decorations. Cut off one-third of the remaining dough to make 1 large piece and 1 small piece. On lightly floured surface, flatten large piece into disc; turn over to coat with flour. Roll out into 19-inch circle, resting a few times to allow pastry to relax; fit into bottom and up side of 10-inch springform pan, leaving 1-inch overhang. Layers Spoon half of the pasta mixture into pan, pressing down lightly; nestle half of the egg wedges into filling. Sprinkle with half of the mushroom mixture. Spread with ricotta mixture; sprinkle with remaining mushroom mixture and add wedges. Top with remaining pasta mixture, pressing down lightly. Beat remaining egg; brush some over top of overhanging pastry. Roll our small dough piece into 12-inch circle. Place over filling and overhanging pastry; fold edges over bottom overhang, pinching to seal; brush top with some of the remaining egg. Roll out reserved pastry to 1/4-inch thickness. Using small cookie cutters cut out moon and stars or other shapes; arrange on top of pastry. Brush with remaining egg. Cut 10 small slits in top of pastry for steam vents. Bake in bottom of 350F oven for about 90 min or until pastry is golden brown and filling is piping hot. Let cool on rack for about 30 minutes. Remove ring and serve.