Timpano Pantheon (Timballo)

2 hour 30 minutes
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  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 2 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed, crumbled
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 35-ounce can peeled plum tomatoes, puréed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano
  • 1/4 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 pound pappardelle or tagliatelle
  • 10 ounces green peas – thawed, if frozen
  • Butter for the baking dish

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Instructions

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the onion in the olive oil until lightly golden. Add the sausage and cook until no pink remains in the meat. Add the wine and let it evaporate. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper. Lower the heat and cook for about 30 minutes, or until reduced.
  2. While the tomato sauce is cooking, beat the eggs in a mixing bowl and mix in the cream and Parmigiano. Set aside.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
  4. Butter the inside of a large baking dish or cake pan, at least 2 quart capacity – shape is not important. Add the breadcrumbs and tilt the pan from side to side until they are evenly distributed.
  5. Cook the pasta for half of the manufacturer’s instructions and drain. Place the pasta in a large mixing bowl and add in the tomato sauce. Line the bottom of the baking dish with a single layer of the pappardelle coated in tomato sauce.
  6. Heat the oven to 350ºF.
  7. Add the peas, and cream mixture into the remaining pasta and mix together. Then add the pasta mixture into the baking dish. Bake about an hour or until golden brown and the sides are bubbling.
  8. Let settle for about 10 minutes and then flip onto a serving platter, cut into wedges and serve.

Ed's Review

Perhaps the most noble profession of all is that of the architect, whose calling it is to leave the world useful gifts of lasting beauty; pieces of his heart and mind that inspire us in turn. Although we live in a time when architecture in New York faces death by committee and even Rome questions whether it can afford to save ancient masterpieces, what we gain from a beautiful building pays society back in spades. What value can be placed on the energy that emanates from the Pantheon or the Empire State Building?

I’ve often wondered whether the food in Rome is as miraculous as I believe it to be, or whether, just maybe, it tastes better because I’m so intoxicated by the city’s architecture. For me, it’s impossible to separate the two sensory experiences.

A timpano - a.k.a. timballo – is the name for pasta baked within a pastry shell or mold.  Coincidentally, it’s also the Italian architectural term for tympanum, e.g., the triangular space above the columns in the Pantheon. A timpano can take the shape of whatever baking dish it is prepared in, but I rather prefer it in the shape of a dome, like the one atop the Pantheon.

Almost all regions of Italy have their own version. The dish, of course, was made famous by the 1996 movie Big Night.

Buon Appetito!

Ed Garrubbo, Editor

6 thoughts on “Timpano Pantheon (Timballo)”

  1. “Wow. This cinches it. Wherever you live, I’m moving next door to you. The closer to a chef of this astonishing ability (to me, this Timballo qualifies as astonishing – and gorgeous – and what a way to wow a dinner party!) the better!
    Happy Sunday-ing, Senor Garrubbo!”
    Andrea Giambrone

    Reply
    • Hi. That’s because the crust is pasta! If you read down the recipe, you will see. But thanks for keeping me on my toes. Ed.

      Reply

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