Every once in a while I watch "The Chew" in the afternoons while I'm busy cooking in my own kitchen. A couple of weeks ago, chef Mario Batali was on the show making a Timapo that looked absolutely fabulous. Maybe I was especially hungry that afternoon but it looked so good that I logged onto the show website and printed the recipe. I was shocked to see that how complicated it was because Mario made it look so simple on the show. (I guess if we all had a behind the scenes staff, we could make it look easy too.) Homemade ragu napoletano, homemade besciamella sauce, polpette alla napoletana in tomato sauce, homemade pie dough - seriously? Who has that kind of time?
I still loved the concept of a pasta meal baked inside of a mixing bowl and sliced into large pie shaped wedges. I figured I could modify the recipe to make it a little easier without losing the timpano concept or any of the deliciousness. (Is that a word?)
pie crust (Either homemade or store bought.)
2 cups pasta sauce
2 cups white sauce
2 pounds penne, rigatoni or ziti pasta
grated pecarino cheese
1/3 cup bread crumbs
2 Tablespoons butter
I started by buttering a 3 quart metal mixing bowl. I sprinkled seasoned bread crumbs in the buttered bowl.
Next, I made a pie crust. Roll thin.
Stir together the remaining pasta with a red pasta sauce and spoon over meatballs. (Make your own or use store brands.)
I didn't have quite enough pasta to reach the top of the bowl so I added some leftover pappardelle pasta to the top. Sprinkle with cheese.
Cover the top with foil and refrigerate until ready to use. (I kept mine in the frig for 2 days.) You could also freeze this timpano. Bake 1 hour and 20 minutes at 350.
Remove foil from timpano and invert onto a serving platter. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Carefully loosen the pasta around the sides with a knife and knock with your knuckles to release the bowl. Serve immediately with additional cheese.
There's always a little tweeking to do the first couple of times that I make a recipe. I think next time that I make this, I will add a little more red sauce and a little more cheese to the pasta. Instead of ending up with nice neat slices of layered pastas and meatballs, I served up spoonfuls of pasta. I think the cheese and the extra sauce will help bind the pasta together a little better. All in all, I loved the flavor and it's really only the presentation that I have to tweek so I would call this first attempt a success.
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