Timpano–the big drum of baked pasta!

If you saw the movie The Big Night which I reviewed last week, then you’ve seen timpano, an Italian dish I had never heard of before watching the film. I tried to buy the cookbook written by actor Stanley Tucci’s mother but it is out of print, so I’ll be scouring for a used copy. In the meantime, I find that the internet is full of recipes for timpano, and I’m going to share some links with you to find them.

I have never made this dish. I now live in a household of two, and making a six-quart baked pasta is a little intimidating, not to mention the complexity of the dish. Have you made it? Is a smaller version possible? I have to admit, we do have a pretty big gathering for Christmas and I think this may be our next Christmas or Christmas eve dinner!

Here are some links to recipes:

There is one in Los Angeles Magazine online.

And another with a video tutorial! from Coco’s Italian Market.

This one from Epicurian is made in a 10″ or 12″ springform pan, but from the list of filling ingredients, I don’t know how it could fit in that size pan.

And here’s another adaptation, just for the fun of it–with lots of good photos of the construction process. And it’s a little smaller, so maybe I’ll try it for a dinner with some friends.


Movie Review: The Big Night

big night movieDo you enjoy hearing a little Italian when you watch a movie? Me too! And that’s one of the things I really enjoyed while watching The Big Night. Though it takes place in America, many conversations between Italian characters are in Italian (with subtitles). This 1996 movie has a great cast–Stanley Tucci, Tony Shalhoub, Minnie Driver, Isabella Rossellini, Ian Holm, Allison Janney–and the acting is great.

An Italian restaurant, run by two immigrant brothers, is on the brink of failure. One big night could change their fortunes–and they throw everything into it. Although not every aspect of the characters is adequately explained, they are realistically flawed characters and I found myself rooting for their successes and wincing at their failures.

This is a wonderful “foodie movie” and if you have ever been comatose¬†over too much wonderful Italian food, this will bring back all the memories.

The Big Night is available on Netflix, so pour yourself a glass of wine and trade the popcorn for some bruschetta. After you’ve watched, tell me what you think of it.