Big Night – Timpano

“Big Night” is everything you can ask from a movie and more. Two Italian brothers, Primo and Secondo, the Italian names for dinner courses, have long wished to open a restaurant, and made it: their small and cozy Italy in the USA.

big night

Italy and its long lasting traditions leak out of everything, from the loud conversations to the cheerful and chaotic dinners and the mouth-watering delicacies on silver platters. Misadventures and misunderstandings are in sight, and failure heads towards our protagonists in every direction. There is competition, just across the streets that attempt to bring the brothers apart. Pascal, the owner of the competition, convinces them that a celebrity will be dining at their ristorante.

The imminent “Big Night” is the main course of the movie. Everything is ready, and everybody is holding their breath. Risotto with the Italian green-white-red tricolore and it’s your time to hold your breath the epical Timpano. As the dinner goes on blithely, Primo and Secondo discover the truth: nobody notable is sitting at their table. Whose fault is it? It’s nothing a violent and physical fight can’t sort out. The Italian warm-blooded brothers and their deification for Italian food are stronger than anything. Capito?

There’s forbidden romance, optimism, desire and of course suspense in the ingredients. Nothing has been left out, and we won’t either. The recipe of the world-famous Timpano is right below.

“It’s so f***ing good I should kill you” is said during the dinner about it, after a long tong-tied pause. There is no better description than that.

Timpano Recipe



  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Small Onion, Chopped Fine
  • 1 Stalk of Celery, Finely Chopped
  • 2 or 3 Small Pieces of Meat (Pork, Beef, or Chicken)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Basil
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Dried Thyme
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley
  • Dash of Red Pepper Flakes (Optional)
  • 2 (6oz) Cans Tomato Paste
  • 2 Large Cans Pureed Tomatoes ( I use (26oz) Box Pomi Tomatoes)
  • About 5 Cups water
  • 3 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 lb. Ground Beef
  • 1/2 lb. Ground Pork or Veal
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 or 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Chopped Parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Cup Soft Bread Crumbs
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1 1/2 (500gm) Boxes Dried Pasta
  • 2 Cups Mozzarella Cheese, Cut Into 1 Inch Cubes
  • 1 1/2 Cups Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Egg For Wash


  1. Stir yeast into 1/2 of the warm water, mixing completely. Blend in 1/2 cup of flour, mixing well. Cover bowl and let rise in warm place for half an hour or so or till the starter is full of bubbles. Stir the salt into the remaining flour, mix well, and add to the starter. Pour in the rest of the water, and start beating by machine at slow speed or by hand, until well mixed.
  2. When it forms a smooth ball that includes all the flour from the sides of the bowl, transfer to a floured board and knead several times till smooth and elastic, and holds it’s shape when bent back and forth between your hands. Form dough into a ball, dust with flour, and place in a lightly floured bowl. Cut a cross in the top, cover and let rise till doubled, about 2 hours. To finish the dough, turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 2 minutes. Let it rest another 30 minutes covered.
  3. Cook the pasta very al dente, allowing for the fact it will continue to cook when baking. Drain, and mix with a good helping of the sauce, leaving the meatballs aside. Mix in half of the parmesan cheese. The pasta should be quite wet with the sauce as it will be absorbed as it cooks.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degress F. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out very thinly in a large circle. Carefully place the dough into a lightly oiled 12 inch springform pan or casserole letting the excess dough hang over the sides. Spoon the sauced pasta into the pan until you have reached halfway. Add another scoopful of sauce or two, and layer the meatballs and mozzarella on top of the first layer of pasta. Spoon more pasta into the pan until it is slightly above the top of the pan. Carefully fold the dough over the top, sealing it with your fingers. Make a wash with the egg white and a little water, and brush this over the pastry. Bake the timpano for 45 minutes until browned. Let rest 5 minutes before removing it from the pan. Place it on a decorative platter and take it to the table to serve. Cut the timpano into wedges to serve your guests.

Cooking time: 2 hours 30 minutes.Servings: 12.Back to Top