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! 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.

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!


  1. yayyy sister visit! i miss you already. i really did crack up for so long looking at these pics. and again today! way to cheer up this friday morning! this was super awesome, amazingly cool. even the leftovers (which we ate for dinner last night) were great. such a fun night and fun visit! making timpano could make any night feel like a big night!

  2. That should be the tagline of that movie, Mand.
    That thing is ridiculous!
    I can’t even imagine trying to cook something like that.
    It’s just totally cray.

  3. Now this is a “at home mommy” recipe. One even I can do! I’m so excited once the humidity drops this is all I’ll be making!!

  4. “I should kill you! This [looks] so F*!#$ing good I should kill you.”
    Do they use puff pastry in the movie? Can’t remember…

  5. I didn’t think the outside of the pastry would brown so well being cooked in a bowl. I know i wouldn’t get this browning effect using a pyrex dish…must be the Le Creuset?

  6. Oh my gosh, this looks AWESOME! As soon as I get an oven-proof bowl, I will definitely have to give this the girl-scout try. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Awwww shit, this looks amazing! I’m a-gonna make this for mi familia. You always have such interesting recipes, and they are so diverse.
    Also, where is the beard? I expect to see the return of your beard, in all it’s bushy majesticness, in your next post. My position as a fan in contingent upon it’s presence.

  8. The layer of fresh ricotta looks way better than my version. Awesome! Even so, I’d have to say this is the most decadent dish I’ve ever eaten.

  9. This looks amazing! I’m going to attempt it tomorrow! Can you tell me what temp you baked it at? (Sorry for ending a sentence with a preposition. 🙂 )

  10. Jenn – sorry I forgot to add that little detail! After searching through the pics, I noticed the oven preheating at 400 in the second picture on this post, so I am going to go with 400.

  11. Turducken Timpano…. This holiday season…my family kitchen…complete with of course Turkey, Duck, and Chicken, as well as sub layers including but not limited to White Truffle Polenta, Spinach, Herbed Croutons (stuffing), Pasta, Parm Regi, Bacon, Caramelized Onions, Cranberry, and Chestnuts. I will post pics as soon as this happens, Thanks for putting this up. I have been thinking about doing this for a holiday dish for years, its such a versatile concept. More En Croute!!!

  12. You Mad Joe? You must have a sensitive stomach to get sick over just reading some words. thefoodinmybeard is the best food blog out there, so deal with it.
    *teleports out of here*

  13. I actually stumbleupon this cooking blog.Very nice idea you have here, timpano+lasagna. If you cook from the heart (for your family) you already add the spice of your love there.

  14. This thing should come with a health warning. I can feel the angina coming on just looking at this beautiful monstrosity.

  15. What size is that bowl? I’m looking at an Enamelware 14″ Basin on Amazon. Supposed to hold about 6 qts. Thank you!

      1. Thank you! I’m gonna do this for a church meal so I’ll be feeding a lot of people. I’m going to use the Epic recipe from your book. I’m also gonna make some Dragon Noodles with Shrimp & Scallops. Sound interesting? 😉

        The Timpano will be amazing & no one will know what to make of it! I love showing people new things. Can’t wait! Thanks for your help!

  16. Maybe my favorite movie of all time, and the recipe, I got the Tucci family cookbook just for that. To all critics, you can make it anyway you like it, there’s no right way to do it. I usually use a short Ziti pasta, meatballs, hard boiled eggs, chopped genoa salami, provolone, and I love the idea of the ricotta insert.

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