Timpano is pasta, with a special crust. And it is shaped like a drum. Like a timpani drum. And the inside, only the most important things… in the world.
Such a description couldn’t have been said any better than Tony Shalhoub’s character, Chef Primo, in the classic foodie movie Big Night. For those familiar with Il Timpano from Big Night, it was, for the most part, a fictional dish. One of lore that seemingly would have never made it onto an actual menu.
That is, until the Left Bank in New York’s West Village neighborhood started serving the mystical and massive dish five years ago exclusively for family meals and private parties. Now, this show-stopping pasta feature is being served weekly there as part of a Sunday Timpano Supper series.
But to even begin to long for this fortress of pasta ‘cake’ is to become familiar with what makes it up. Think layers of fresh garganelli, meatballs, pork sausage, spinach, broccoli rabe, prosciutto cotto, sopressata, mozzarella, fresh ricotta, aged provolone, hardboiled eggs, and tomato sauce baked in a cast iron enameled basin and sliced to order.
What a mouthful. But then again, what else could you have expected with something that makes an effective fusion of layer cake and Italian feast?