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)
3. Form the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate, 1 hour or overnight.
Assembly and baking
1. Flatten the dough on a lightly floured work surface; dust the top with flour. Roll out dough, dusting with flour and flipping over from time to time, until it is about 1/16 inch thick and is wide enough to line the inside of your cooking pan, with enough hanging over to form the top. This will be both a time- and strength-intensive process. (Note: You can also roll the top separately. Set aside about a third of the dough. Roll the larger piece of dough wide enough to line the pan with about an inch of hangover. Roll the smaller piece as wide as the top diameter of the pan.)
2. Generously grease the timpano baking pan with butter and olive oil. Fold the dough in half and then in half again, to form a triangle; place it in the pan. Open the dough and arrange it in the pan, gently pressing it against the bottom and the sides and draping the extra dough over the sides. Set aside.
3. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. For the filling, the salami, provolone, hard-cooked eggs, meatballs and sauce should be room temperature. Toss the drained pasta with the olive oil and 2 cups sauce. Distribute 3 generous cups of the pasta on the bottom of the timpano. Top with 1 cup salami, 1 cup provolone, half the hard-cooked eggs, 1 cup meatballs and 1/3 cup Romano cheese. Pour 2 cups sauce and half the beaten eggs over these ingredients.
4. Continue filling the timpano with 3 cups pasta and the remaining salami, provolone, hard-cooked eggs and Romano, and 1 cup meatballs. Pour 2 cups sauce over all.
5. Add a thin layer of pasta at the top; spoon the remaining 2 cups sauce over the pasta. The fillings should be nearly to the top of the pan. If not, add some additional pasta and fillings.
6. Pour the remaining beaten eggs over the filling. Give the pan a gentle turn, and shake to settle the contents within the pan. Fold the pasta dough over the filling to seal completely. Trim away and discard any double layers of dough. Again, give the pan a gentle shake to distribute the ingredients inside the pan.
7. Bake until lightly browned, about 1 hour; cover with aluminum foil and bake until the timpano is cooked through and the dough is golden brown, about 30 minutes.
8. Remove from the oven; allow to rest, 30 minutes. The baked timpano should not adhere to the pan. If any part is still attached, carefully detach with a knife. Invert a large serving platter over the top of the timpano; hold the platter and timpano pan tightly together. Invert, so the timpano pan is resting on the platter. Remove the pan; allow the timpano to cool for 20 minutes.
9.Using a long, sharp knife cut a circle about 3 inches in diameter in the center of the timpano, making sure to cut all the way through to the bottom. Then slice the timpano as you would a pie into individual portions, leaving the center circle as a support for the remaining pieces.