Cooking Without Waste

28 Sep 2012

A classic southern Italian pasta dish will be the star of the “Filled Pastas and Timballos” Cooking with Waste workshop at Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre in October. Neapolitan chef Antonio Tubelli will share his recipe for timpano, the iconic dish of layers of pastas, meats, and cheeses baked in a form that has its origins in using up the leftovers of Sunday lunch. 

Antonio explains: “Traditionally ragu, meat sauce, had a long life. The pot would be simmering on the stove on Saturday night and that evening, or on Sunday morning, the family would start to dip chunks of bread into it. Then an abundance of pasta was cooked to eat with the sauce for Sunday lunch. Finally on Monday, the left over pasta and the remains of the ragu was used to make timpano, with the addition of some mozzarella.” 


This dish can be made in as many variations as there are cooks and there is no “official” timpano recipe. It is traditionally prepared in an enamel dish, but a large deep cake tin also works, and a wide variety of ingredients are sometimes added including peas, small meatballs and hard-boiled eggs. That’s the beauty of cooking without waste – it’s all about adapting your recipe to fit your pantry. Enjoy!

Neapolitan “Timpano”  width=
Serves 6-8

6 kg San Marzano tomatoes for passata
8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

salt to taste
300 g pork shoulder
300 g pork chops

300 g veal shoulder 
2 medium sized onions, diced
2 tbsp red pepper concentrate or tomato concentrate
200 ml red wine large bunch basil, leaves washed and removed
1 kg ziti (medium pasta tubes)

50 g butter
3 tbsp breadcrumbs
500 g fresh mozzarella, cubed
250 g Parmesan cheese, grated 

Begin by preparing the tomato passata – a simple tomato puree. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil, add the diced tomatoes and a pinch of salt, letting them cook down until soft. Blend and strain the sauce and set aside.
To make the traditional Neapolitan ragù (meat sauce), start by browning the meat (cut into large chunks) in 6 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onion and pepper or tomato concentrate, and then the tomato passata, wine and basil. Now the slow cooking process starts: simmer the sauce for a number of hours – with the lid on and adding a little water if it starts to get dry – to allow the tomatoes to reduce and the ragù to become creamy.
Next cook the ziti in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. After draining, mix in the ragù, leaving aside the large pieces of meat. 

To prepare the timpano, preheat the oven to 180ºC (350 F) and grease a deep 26 cm baking pan with butter and dust with the breadcrumbs. Fill the bottom of the pan with a half the ziti pasta and top with the roughly chopped ragù meat and mozzarella pieces. Cover with the rest of the ziti and a generous sprinkling of parmesan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. 

Unmold the timpano onto a large plate and serve warm.




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