Serves a Crowd


November  4, 2013
4 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook time 5 hours
  • Makes one timpano
Author Notes

Just like they made it in The Big Night —Camille Becerra

What You'll Need
  • For the sauce
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 anchovies (optional)
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 16-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes
  • 3 large very ripe tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 pinch salt
  • To assemble and bake the timpano
  • 1 batch pasta sauce
  • 1 pound ricotta
  • 1/4 head escarole, grilled (optional)
  • 1 raw egg
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch chili flakes
  • 4 cups dried ziti, penne, or rigatoni, cooked
  • 1 pound meat such as sausage, pancetta, or meatballs
  • 4 medium boiled eggs, depending on the size of your mold
  • 1/2 pound mozzarella
  • 1 pound cooked lasagna sheets (or enough to cover your mold and top)
  1. For the sauce
  2. Chop onion and sauté with anchovies in oil till translucent. After 10 minutes add the white wine, and cook until it reduces by half. Transfer to a blender along with the garlic and purée till smooth, then return to pot.
  3. Purée the canned tomatoes in a blender and pass them through a sieve, then add to the pot.
  4. Cut whole tomatoes into wedges, purée in a blender, and pass through sieve. Add them to the pot.
  5. Simmer for 3 to 4 hours.
  6. ** For larger timpanos, make a double batch of this sauce.
  1. To assemble and bake the timpano
  2. Chop grilled escarole. Mix it together with your ricotta, a raw egg, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of chili flakes. Pipe this mixture into your cooked pasta tubes using a pastry bag.
  3. Preheat your oven to 350° F. Butter or grease an oven-proof mold really well. I used a smaller mold (6 inches in diameter and 4 inches tall).
  4. Line the mold with the cooked pasta sheets, making sure you have enough hanging over to cover the top once you're finished adding layers.
  5. Line the bottom with the ricotta-stuffed pasta.
  6. Add the tomato sauce, then tap the mold down onto the counter to make sure the sauce settles. The less pockets of air in the timpano, the better its structure will be.
  7. Top with meat. Tap down again. Top with a thin layer of mozzarella.
  8. Add another layer of the ricotta stuffed pasta and tap again. Top with the egg, then another layer of sauce. Tap down again.
  9. Top with mozzarella. Top with another layer of ricotta-stuffed pasta. Top with sauce, and tap one last time.
  10. Cover top with remaining pasta sheets and egg wash to seal.
  11. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour -- a larger mold will need more time in the oven.
  12. Allow to cool for 15 minutes, run a small off set spatula or thin knife around the side to make sure it’s not stuck to the mold.
  13. Cover with a plate and flip over to unmold. Do so as gently as possible. Allow another 10 minutes before cutting into it.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Joan Gordon
    Joan Gordon
  • Heidi - Apples Under My Bed
    Heidi - Apples Under My Bed
  • Gret
  • Gregory George
    Gregory George
  • Britt Sondreal-McLaughlin
    Britt Sondreal-McLaughlin

17 Reviews

Napabrown April 28, 2016
I am wondering about technique for cooking the pasta sheets without ripping them? I know that lasagna sheets can be used, but the wide sheets look great. I just can't picture how to boil them without tearing the sheets. Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Joan G. February 25, 2016
Very similar to several I just made for my "Big Night" party. Dinner and a movie related to food in some way always works for us. Wish I had this recipe before, I would have liked adding escarole to the dish. Another time. Thanks for the newest addition to my recipe list.
Heidi -. February 27, 2015
Well, this needs to happen...
Gret January 20, 2014
If it was bland, you didn't use proper sausage. Use a good Italian sausage.
David January 20, 2014
Made this yesterday. Oiled a Creuset pot, cooked the meat before assembling and used red wine. Turned out fine and not greasy at all. Rather bland overall though. Makes about 4 decent sized portions.
Corinne November 10, 2013
You can likely lightly oil the mold by taking a paper towel, putting some oil on it and wiping the inside of the mold. It should be fine.

The white wine mentioned in the instructions is likely an error. In my experience, red sauce is made with red wine.
David M. December 28, 2013
Thanks Corinne. Red Wine seemed appropriate considering the red gravy.
Gret November 10, 2013
How come we're not getting any answers? Really want to make this & want to know whether to oil the mold, or will it be greasy?
igor November 10, 2013
does the meat need to be cooked before assembly?
Gregory G. November 10, 2013
I have great friends in Saugatuck, MI make this for a New Years Eve 'Big Night' and had all their guests pitch in with the prep and of course wine drinking during the day. A great community effort!
Gret November 10, 2013
Did you oil the mold?
Gret November 10, 2013
Also did you precook the meat, as we do when making lasagne?
Melody November 11, 2013
Absolutely oil the mold.. When it is done is should be able to swirl.
Cook the meat. I make mini meatballs. The recipe I use is from Stanley Tucci's mother's cookbook. Since I use the metal dishpan I go to my local pizzaria and they run my dough through there rollers.
cat November 6, 2013
Do you use white or red wine? Red is listed in ingredients but white is mentioned in the directions. Please clarify. Thanks.
Britt S. November 6, 2013
Any suggestions for a good meat substitute to make a vegetarian version? I'd prefer not to use soy meat - maybe eggplant...?
Gret November 5, 2013
Should we oil the mold (pot) before putting in the pasta sheets? Going to try this soon, as would love to serve this New Years Eve.
meh November 5, 2013
Roughly how many servings does this recipe yield?