TGIF 🙂 Not only has the weekend arrived, but it’s also Fiesta Friday – which is TGIFF! I had a lot of fun at the party last week, Angie at Novice Gardener is such a lovely host – I can’t wait to see what all the guests bring this week. Click on over to Fiesta Friday to view all of the contributions!
One of my favorite ways to spend a weekend evening is dinner and a movie. If the movie is about food…all the better! Have you watched the movie, “Big Night”? It stars Stanley Tucci and Tony Shaloub as brothers and they’re trying to save their Italian restaurant from closing. The big, climactic food scene involves the serving of their Timpano. Basically, a Timpano is a pastry crust filled with pasta, ragu, meatballs, peas, chicken and mozzarella. It is assembled in layers, baked and sliced in wedges. It looks magnificent! Now, whenever I make my Timbale, I can’t help but think about this movie 🙂 If you’re a foodie and a movie lover and haven’t watched it, it’s time to add it to your list!
A Timbale is very similar to a Timpano. It is defined as a dish of finely minced meat or fish cooked with other ingredients in a pastry shell or in a mold. See, very similar dishes, two separate names. I guess I could call this “angel hair pasta, sausage, and veggies baked in puff pastry”, but that seems too much! I guess I’ll go with Angel Hair Timbale, since it fits more with the description.
The recipe I use is one I adapted from Giada DeLaurentiis, via her cookbook, Giada’s Family Dinners. It has a puff pastry crust which I fill with a mixture of Italian sausage, eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, angel hair pasta, cheese and tomato sauce. It’s baked in a springform pan [finally, a non-cheesecake use for that thing!] and 1½ hours later… voila! A beautiful entree!
If you’re looking for a meatless variation, simply leave out the sausage and up the quantity of veggies. This recipe is adaptable to say the least. I prepare my filling one day prior, then assemble and bake the day of a gathering. A salad on the side completes the meal. Since all of the prep is done 1+ hours before eating, you’re free to entertain your guests without being stuck in the kitchen. A major plus in my opinion! One Timbale will serve 10 hungry people.
Note: This recipe calls for 3 cups of homemade tomato sauce or you can use store bought marinara if you choose. I make my own, using my canned tomatoes. A favorite recipe of mine can be found at A Family Feast.
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large eggplant, cubed [about 2 cups]
2 small zucchini, cubed [about 1½ cups]
1 small yellow squash, cubed [about 1 cup]
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
½ cup onion, small dice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
¾ pound sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed [about 3 links]
1/3 cup dry red wine
3 cups tomato sauce [or marinara, see above]
½ – 1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
8 ounces angel hair pasta
¾ pound fresh mozzarella, diced
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 (17 1/4-ounce) package frozen puff pastry [2 sheets], thawed
•Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms and garlic. Stir to coat in the oil. Salt and pepper to taste, and add the red pepper flakes. Saute about 10 minutes, or until vegetables have softened. I find using a lid on the pan for about ½ of the cook time, helps to speed up the process. Remove cooked vegetables with a slotted spoon and set aside.
•To the same skillet [heat still at medium-high], add the sausage and red wine. Using a wooden spoon, break the sausage into smaller pieces and cook until wine evaporates and sausage is no longer pink. Remove from skillet using the slotted spoon and add to the cooked veggies.
•If you’re prepping this recipe ahead of time, refrigerate veggie/meat mixture until ready to continue [allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes if it has been refrigerated]. When you’re ready…on to the next step…
•Cook the angel hair pasta in a pot of salted, boiling water for ½ of the time indicated on the package instructions. Drain and in a large bow, toss with the veggie/sausage mixture and the 3 cups of tomato sauce [marinara]. Stir well. Set aside, and allow to cool.
•Preheat oven to 375°F. Prepare the pastry crust: On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 sheet of the puff pastry to a 13½-inch square. Transfer to a 9-inch springform pan, allowing excess pastry to hang over the edge.
•Add the diced mozzarella and grated Parmesan cheese to the cooled filling, toss well to combine. Spoon the mixture into the pastry lined pan.
•Roll out the 2nd sheet of puff pastry to a 13-inch square. Place the pastry over the filling. Pinch the edges of the puff pastry together to seal. Trim the “overhang” of pastry sheets to within 1-inch of the pan. Fold the edges in to form a crust/decorative border. Cut a slit in the top crust to allow steam to escape.
•Bake until the pastry is browned and puffed on top, about 1½ hours. Let stand for 20 minutes. Remove the pan sides, and serve.
I recommend serving with a chopped salad for a hearty meal, enjoy!