Saturday, August 25, 2012
Gerald and I were guests at a surprise birthday party for one of my former employees, whom I had not seen since 1988, although we have kept in contact via Christmas cards.
He is of Italian descent and we enjoyed his family's traditional Italian birthday meal. It was--to use an Italian phrase delizioso cibo--a delicious meal. The antipasto was also the salad course and it was bountiful with prosciutto, Genoa salami, Cerignola, Gaeta, Castelvetrano, Taggniisca and Baresane olives, capers, artichoke hearts, pepperoncini, roasted red peppers and other delicacies I did not recognize but gladly sampled. There was a wheel of Camembert with a walnut on each slice and drizzled with a red syrup as well as Rustica, Asiago, Pecorino, and Caciotta cheeses. The soup course was stracciatella which consisted of chicken broth, spinach and eggs. I asked what the word entree was translated in Italian and his mother told me prima portata.
The main course was TIMPANO, which I had seen prepared in the movie Big Night. (See the movie clips) Timpano is made with pasta, sauce, meatballs, cheeses, and hard-boiled eggs baked in a thin crust in a special timpano pan. The pan is drum-shaped, thus the name for timpano is derived from the kettle drums musical instruments--timpani--as timpano is the singular form of the plural timpani.
His birthday cake was tiramisu. I don't care for the coffee flavoring of tiramisu but savored the gelato which was also served.
I begged, pleaded, and cajoled until I received the timpano recipe from his mother! It was difficult to find a timpano pan, but I finally found one on Amazon.com! The accompanying recipe is from the movie Big Night, as his mother forbade me from sharing HER recipe!
Of course, I MUST copy this meal! It is my next big project!
CLICK HERE to see The New York Times recipe "Big Night Timpano."