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