I have wanted to make a timpano for a long time. I have seen Mario Batali make a few, and hmm where else have I seen one? These Italian pies are made for special occasions. There are a few different varieties, but really you could throw anything you want in there! I think I will probably make another one soon and just throw anything I can think of in. This dish is totally worth the effort, and honestly it isn’t even that much work! More time consuming than anything. When you unveil the pie from its baking container, it is just as much of an event as it is in that movie… So what was our special occasion? Mandi’s sister visiting of course!

So what topic am I skirting around in that first paragraph? What other time have I seen one? What movie? Well Big Night of course. Apparently on the internet, you can’t cook a timpano without talking about big night! (yes every word is a different website) So what do I have to say about it? Nothing that hasn’t been said already, just that if you haven’t seen it, watch it because it is great.

If you are making a timpano, don’t just throw a bunch of crap in there. Put effort into each ingredient! I made a quick batch of ricotta to add something special to this pie. Here is your second “if you haven’t” of the day.

We put the pasta and sauce on a sheet pan and stuck it in the freezer to come down to room temp. In the past we had a big failure when putting hot pasta with raw dough.

Butter your bowl good. We never knew this bowl could go in the oven! Le Creuset is the best.

This is just some puff pastry we had in the freezer.

At this point, Mandi and I both thought this was going to be a dismal failure and never come out of the bowl.

First layer of room temp pasta.

Layer it up with the meatballs, provolone, mozz and ricotta. You can add lots of other stuff like salami, sausages, and even hard boiled eggs.

Seal up the edges.

And spray it with oil. Make a few cuts in the top to let the steam escape.

After 45 minutes in the oven it looked like this.

Mandi literally laughed at this for 15 minutes last night, and I bet she does it for 15 more today!  I guess her sister is the wacky one of the family.

The moment of truth.

As always, the hardest part is letting this rest. It needs AT LEAST 15 minutes.

I love the perfect layer of ricotta. There is no way to describe this thing besides straight-up amazing. You know and love all the ingredients already, but put together in this fashion it becomes a whole different thing altogether.

You can check out the ricotta, sauce, and meatballs at their respective posts. Just use puff pastry for the crust. Let everything cool to room temperature before filling. Use a large oven safe bowl. We used 1.5 lbs of pasta. Most people do ziti, but we tried spaghetti because it was all we could get at the only store open at that hour we wanted to be different and cool. Let it bake for at least 45 minutes, and sit for at least 15. Don’t make it too saucy inside, or it will just fall apart when you slice it! If you are afraid it will be too dry, leave some sauce out to pour over the top of your slice.  Oh yea, and… Big Night!