Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
Binging with Babish: Il Timpano from Big Night

Binging with Babish: Il Timpano from Big Night


Hey guys, this is Oliver Babish and I am back with episode two in my little series where I explore what the food in film and television actually tastes like. This week I’m taking a crack at a dish from one of my favorite movies, Big Night, and one of the coolest looking dishes I’ve ever seen: Timpano. FEMALE PATRON:What is that? MALE PATRON:It’s Timpano!It’s a secret recipe that they brought from their hometown.I’ve only heard about it; I’ve never had it.MALE PATRON:GOD DAMN IT! Timpano starts where most great Italian dishes start: San Marzano tomatoes. Go ahead and have a drink, it’s going to be a long night. We’re going to start by crushing the San Marzanos by hand before adding them to a large Dutch oven in which I have 8 cloves of garlic and a tablespoon of fresh oregano sweating with olive oil and butter I’m going to add most of the tomatoes, reserving two cups to add to the sauce when it’s done. I’m also going to add two small onions, peeled and halved, a whole carrot peeled and cut into thirds (we’re keeping all this stuff in big chunks so we can fish it out later) we’re also going to add two stems of fresh basil and a tablespoon of tomato paste before the sauce makes its six-hour-long journey simmering on the stovetop. Next up, the meatballs. We’re going to start with about a half cup of fresh parsley that we’re going to chop very very fine alongside a small onion that, likewise, we’re going to finely mince For the meat we’re going to start with a pound each of chuck and short rib that we’re going to cut into one-inch cubes and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and put in the freezer for about 15 minutes, until it gets nice and firm. We’re going to do the same with a pound each of pork shoulder and veal neck and we’re also going to finely chop a quarter pound of pancetta. Then it’s time for the fun part: grinding our meat. So, in batches, we’re going to add to a food processor and pulse until we get a nice pebbly grind we’re going to do the same thing for our pork and veal. And then comes my favorite part of this whole process, actually making the meatballs. We’re going to start with 1/4 cup of buttermilk, to which we’re going to add about 1/2 cup of torn Italian bread, our minced onion, 4 cloves of crushed garlic, a tablespoon of freshly-chopped oregano, a tablespoon and a half of kosher salt, our chopped parsley, a few twists of black pepper, and I’m going to add a veal demi-glace, which will add a lot of gelatin and help keep the meatballs moist. Now we’re going to let our mixer run for a few minutes to combine all these ingredients before adding 4 whole egg yolks, our diced pancetta, about 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, and then we’re going to add roughly 1/4 of our ground meat, and turn the mixer on high to combine and make sort of an emulsion to which we can add the rest of our ground beef and mix by hand to create flavorful, beautiful meatballs which, my favorite part is shaping them into 1-1/2-inch balls which I’m going to place on a parchment-lined sheet to get ready for cooking. I could watch this all day, but I’ve got something even better to show you: the frying! I like to use a few good hunks of leaf lard in a cast-iron skillet. Get it ripping hot, to show you, for the first time ever… …a new camera angle. You’re going to sear these meatballs on all sides before adding them to the sauce in its last hour of cooking to let all the flavors get to know each other. Next up, the pasta. Primo and Secondo make all their pasta by hand, so, even though it is 3 a.m. on a weeknight, I’m going to do the same. We’re going to start by beating 4 egg yolks and 2 eggs into a 10-ounce mound of Doppio Zero flour slowly incorporating and massaging lovingly until it forms a smooth, not tacky, cohesive pasta dough that we’re going to roll into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes before dividing into 6 pieces and rolling out into sheets. Just take your time, roll it out as thin as you possibly can. Dust it with some flour as you need it, but don’t dust it too much, or you’re gonna get this gummy layer on the outside of your pasta. You want it thin enough that you can see the outline of your hand, or in this case, my rolling mat, through the pasta. We’re going to trim the edges and cut it into a rectangle which we’re then going to slice down the middle and cut into 2-inch squares which we’re then going to place on our gnocchi striper and use a small dowel to roll into perfect little garganelli which we’re going to place on a floured and towel-lined baking sheet. Now, at this point, it’s 4:30 in the morning and I’ve been watching Frasier for about 6 hours, and I am truly losing my mind. Let’s listen in… BABISH: “Her…loss…Niles…”Frasier…” “Roz’s water…just broke…all over Niles’…Turkish…prayer…rug…” “Would you believe it?!? Up until 4:30 making PASTA!!!1!”“Color in a can…color in a cannnn…” “Every day’s a winding road, you know?” “OK, it’s way worse to lose your hair than to go grey…”“If you wish to be my briiide…” “And, it’s not like Brad Pitt was a baby actor…”Okay, I got a solid 3 hours of sleep, and I am feeling a whole lot better. Also, this IS the next day. I know this shirt looks very similar, it’s different, I swear I changed. Let’s change this music too…That’s better. I like that. All right, so now we’re moving on to our Timpano crust, It’s almost the exact same recipe as the earlier pasta dough, but it has more egg yolks in it, and a bit more olive oil. This is going to help give this a nice brown crust. We’re going to knead it for a few minutes until it is smooth and not tacky. And then, just like the pasta dough, we’re going to wrap it in plastic wrap and give it a rest for about 30 minutes before flouring it and rolling it out into a gigantic disk. Just take your time with this. Don’t get too frustrated when it bounces back. Flour it liberally, try and flip it very carefully, and just appreciate the upper arm workout. Once we get it down to about 1/16-inch thick, it’s time to prep the cooking vessel. We’re going to grease the inside of a 6-quart Dutch oven with both butter and olive oil. I bought a huge Timpano pan like they use in the movie, but it was gigantic. It was 15 quarts; it was just way too big. So we’re going to use our rolling pin to drape the dough over our Dutch oven before gently pushing it down, and beginning the filling process. We’re going to start with a layer of pasta that we’ve par-boiled for about 2 minutes, followed by a layer of meatballs that we break in half, Next up, a layer of hardboiled eggs, sliced lengthwise down the middle. After that we’re going to do another layer of pasta, and a layer of mozzarella cheese, this is low-moisture mozzarella. You wanna throw a little bit of sauce between every other layer or so, so we get a lot of that great sauce all throughout the Timpano. We’re gonna do another layer of meatballs, and next up, we’re going to grate some aged provolone. This is going to give a nice funky Italian bite. Then, it’s time to make one last layer of our eggs, followed by some Genoa salami, some nice dry hard salami, the rest of our mozzarella, the rest of our pasta, press the whole mixture down a little bit, and then we’re going to grate a little bit more of that aged provolone. That’s going to help seal all the ingredients inside when it comes time to flip it. Now we’re going to gently fold the pasta over the top, making sure not to leave any open spots or points where it might be able to leak out. And last, but not least we’re going to cover it and put it in a 375°F oven for about two hours or until we are greeted with a sight and a smell like this. Now, you want to let it rest for at least half an hour, if not an hour and a half. But, most importantly, unveiling a Timpano is no fun without —— dinner guests. So, here we go, don’t forget your Ove-Gloves. Grab your large cutting board, place it over top of your Dutch oven, and use it to invert the entire cooking vessel…like that. And, as everyone holds their breath, gently lift the cooking vessel.Now, like I said, you ideally want to wait about an hour and a half before cutting into this thing, but I’ve got a room full of people that have waited nearly 3 hours to eat, so… Don’t forget to spoon some warm sauce onto the serving plate, and gently retrieve your prize. Grate some fresh nutmeg over top and serve. Now, as pretty as this thing is, I was worried it was just going to be just a glorified lasagna. But it’s a lot more than that. It’s an event. It’s a whole bundle of culinary experiences rolled into one. I hope you all give it a try yourselves, but for gods’ sake, do it on a weekend.

100 comments on “Binging with Babish: Il Timpano from Big Night

  1. I don’t want French fried potatoes or Red ripe tomotoes. Please make me a frim fram sauce with the Ausen day!

  2. Would anyone know what's the name of the song that starts playing at 5:31? I know I've heard it before but can't seem to remember where or in what playlist.

  3. Could you also make the tricolor risotto from Big Night? Red white and green. It was a seafood, regulate, and pesto for the colors. That to me was the unsung hero of the meal in that film. PLEASE!

  4. It’s been since Feb 20, 2016 since I’ve seen this episode……is this what getting old feels like?

  5. Just remember, if your Il Tampano isn't a minimum of three layers I will destroy you and everything you stand for so help me God amen.

  6. Haha, i am starting to be able to tell how difficult a recipe will be to make based on how long your video run time is. And the “old babish vs new babish” contrast is fun when binge 😉 watching.

  7. I think that the name should have been "timballo" but it got horribly mangled by the authors and the actors

  8. here bc of hot ones. have never heard of timpano before. i'm going to need someone to make this for me… like pretty much right now

  9. Hot DAMN. Coming here from Hot Ones, and I subscribed immediately. Hats off to your devotion to this craft! I would not have a fraction of the patience and I'd probably use mostly pre-made ingredients, and honestly? It wouldn't end up half as good as this turned out. WOW!

  10. From the bottom to the top, your grind paid off. You deserve every ounce of success you achieved. Love you daddy babish 💋👀💖💕

  11. I know you worked really hard for that but it is indeed just "Glorified Lasagna", and get some help next time

  12. Had to come back and watch this again after watching 'Big Night' as highly recommended on hot ones, wow what a film .. wow what dish, thanks Andrew.

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