Thursday, March 31, 2011

Big Night-Part 2


It was Saturday afternoon.
I was in the kitchen, preparing to make
a meal like none other.
A meal that requires a lot of preparation...
A glass of red wine and a
fabulous cookbook to keep me company.
(see part 1 to this blog if you're just joining the party)


So cookbook in hand, I set off
to make the homemade ragu...and not just any ragu,
but Ragu Tucci...a well loved family recipe.


Lots of fresh ingredients, simmered for hours
with fantastic results.
I also made homemade meatballs, and prepped and chopped
for Sunday's dinner.


Fast forward to Sunday afternoon...
add three pounds of ziti pasta.


One dozen hardboiled eggs.


Bring on the fresh dough.

By the way...
this is not something I'm particularly good at.
As a matter of fact...I kind of suck.
Some poor little Italian grandma
probably rolled over in her grave muttering
profanities under her breath.
This is something I need to work on...a lot...like a whole lot.

I do however have a solution to my problem.
Spend a few months in Italy.
Learning at the source is always the best way, isn't it?

A girl can dream...now back to reality.

I did finally manage to get a nice...if somewhat 
sticky dough into a ball and let it rest.


Now that little ball of dough that you see in the
 background is supposed to be rolled into a 
30 inch diameter circle...
Hmmmm....my answer...bring out the muscles in our family.
Thanks Chad!!


Much huffing and puffing later we managed to get
the dough rolled out big enough to put into
our enamelware basin.
The large basin conducts heat really well,
which leads to even cooking and browning.



Now the fun begins...
First comes a layer of pasta,
cooked very al dente and tossed with that
outstanding ragu, made yesterday.


Then comes salami...


And provolone cheese...


Remember those hardboiled eggs...


Homemade mini meatballs...


Freshly grated Romano cheese...


Keep layering until the pan is full...
topping off with more ragu.


Then fold the dough up to cover up what's inside...
and into a 350 degree oven it goes for about 1-1/2 hours.


Open a very nice bottle of wine...
(this one brought home from Italy last year)


And after much waiting...
Oh and by the way...the house smells divine at this point.

One beautifully browned Timpano!


I was so nervous to invert the pan and take it off...
but thankfully it browned beautifully and didn't spring a leak!


You slice into it like a pie,
exposing all those wonderful layers of
pasta and meat and cheese.
Mmmmmmm....delicious!



It was outstanding!
When you got a bite that had a piece of egg and salami,
mixed in with that homemade sauce and the cheese that was 
all melted and gooey...
the dough that enveloped it, fresh and slightly crunchy.
There really are no words to truly describe it,
except to say that it was our 
Big Night!


One happy cook...
with one very special cookbook.

17 comments:

lisaroyhandbags said...

wow this looks so delicious! great pics! :)

Tara said...

That looks delicious, Meeling, and huge! It also looks like a labour of love.

Emily@Pookie and Pierre said...

LOVE this post! This sounds like my kind of weekend! That is a gorgeous result which sounds and looks like it was born from lots of love and work. These are the best kinds of meals.

PS - I have to have John help me with the pasta rolling too. (I feel so weak!)

PSS - Radishes can be easily disguised with lots of butter (xoxo)

Emily@Pookie and Pierre said...

And while I'm here... Happy Belated Birthday! We are 'this' close to being birthday twins :)

Happy Frog and I said...

Goodness me, you are very talented!

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

This looks sooo yummy!! I love how you use the little clear bowls for ingredients!

Denise from Beaded Embellishments said...

Meeling,
You are so very talented...a great photographer of food, a great storyteller, and a fabulous cook. You make my mouth water with your yummy blog posts!
Denise
from
BeadedEmbellishments

Living The Vintage Life said...

I am SO impressed! Great photos too.

I'm guessing you've seen the movie "Big Night?" The entire movie revolves around a giant Italian feast.

Have a great weekend!

Michelle

Sarah B. said...

Wow, I am speechless! That food looks so amazingly delicious!! :)

thestoryofkat said...

as soon as i saw the dough in the bowl i thought, "BIG NIGHT!" which i've still got on VHS :)

you are my hero for making that, very very cool :) it looks like a work of art and so delicious. definitely something that's been on my "to conquer" list and this is great to see!

rebecca said...

Oh my goodness I have never seen, heard of, or imagined anything like that. Of course now I think it has ruined me forever for plain old spaghetti ;o}
It must have been absolutely delicious!
Good job!! Can't wait to see what you do next!
Have a great weekend Meeling!

T@PoppyPlacePdx said...

I LOVE the patterns as you cut into it (that is the artist in me :)

I have to admit I HATE egg, so anything with it in I freak out, I think it is a childhood thing.

But when you said you needed muscles to help with the pasta, I wanted to share my absolutely fav. rolling pin. Being a Brit a rolling pin is like having a cup of tea you have to have a good one, this one is my fav. right now But I also have a few different ones,

http://www.amazon.com/Oxo-Good-Grips-Rolling-Pin/dp/B00005OAXZ/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1301734999&sr=8-5

Glad you had a wonderful dinner and night. :)

I definitely think a girl needs a few months in Italy :)

Have a lovely Weekend, T. :)

Sarah B. said...

Congrats! You won a giveaway on my blog! Would you please email me: sarah at yesteachercrafts dot com
so I can give your info to the sponsor? Thanks :)

Almost Precious said...

What a project ! Gourmet all the way, anything that takes that much time and steps has to be made with lots of love AND anything made with lots of love has to turn out fabulously!

I'll have to ask my Zia Maria if she's ever made this. She makes the best Arancini in all of Sicily and it's one of those dishes that takes hours and hours to prepare but is so worth it...or at least it's worth it to all those who are fortunate enough to get a bite of it. :)

My Life Under the Bus said...

Good Lord I am salivating!!!

~The Bargain Babe said...

Oh my word! I'm coming to YOUR house for dinner!!

oregonjewelry said...

Wow, that make my tummy hungry.

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