Layered with love
Annual assembling of timpano brings a family together
Family at its best: Timpano is a lot like family: a diverse collection of flavors, textures, layers and colors. It requires work, yes, and is a bit finicky but so very worth it. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)
2 cups sharp provolone, in 1/2-by-1/4-inch pieces
12 hard-cooked eggs, shelled, quartered lengthwise, cut in half
2 cups meatballs, see recipe
8 cups meat sauce, see recipe
2 pounds ziti pasta, cooked al dente
2 tablespoons olive oil
2/3 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese
5 large eggs, beaten
1. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stock pot; add garlic, celery, onions and carrots. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent but carrots are still little crisp, 10 minutes.
2. Add crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce, wine, chicken broth, basil, parsley, salt, red peppers flakes, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning and pepper to taste; heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally.
3. Meanwhile, brown the Italian sausage in a large skillet until just cooked through. Drain fat; stir sausage into the sauce. Repeat with the ground chuck, draining most of the fat and stirring the browned meat into the sauce.
4. Heat sauce to a simmer; taste for seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, wine and Italian seasoning to taste. Use sugar to balance acidity, if needed. Let simmer at least 1 hour. Cool; refrigerate or freeze if making ahead of time. Any additional sauce not used in the timpano can be served on the side or be frozen for later use.
1. Mix together eggs, ground beef and breadcrumbs in a large bowl. Add parsley, Parmigiano cheese and garlic; mix until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
2. Form into golf ball-size meatballs. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; add enough olive oil to cover the bottom well.
3. Add the meatballs, in batches if necessary; cook, turning, until browned. Cool; refrigerate until needed.
1. Stir together flour and salt in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer; cut in the butter until the mixture looks like big crumbs. Mix in egg yolks, one at a time.