New content added below, 9/24
- A very prep-friendly dish. Although prep takes hours, it's easy to do it a day ahead of time, then assemble and bake right before guests arrive.
- Recipe as written doesn't specify bowl size, which is a kinda huge oversight. Ingredient proportions are also suspect. Half the dough you need for 14.5" bowl, yet twice the ziti.
- I bought my timpano bowls from this vendor. The enormous 14.5" bowl would feed 14 people. The 12" bowl will nicely feed 8. Get the 12. If he doesn't have it listed, just email him.
- Recipe provides weird dimensions for provolone and salami. Make them 1/4" x 1/4" x 2" strips.
- Eggs aren't nearly as weird as I thought they'd be.
- You can't use too much lubricant in the bowl. Mine was like David Carr's hair, and there were no ill effects.
- Bland as written. Meatballs and ragu are flavorless. Season ragu better; replace meatballs with browned disks of hot Italian sausage. Add zesty foods such as kalamata olives, capers and and priscutto.
- Ideas for future: artichoke hearts, roasted cloves of garlic.
- Respect recipe's calls for watery ragu. This dish tends toward serious dryness. Make enough sauce for a marinara on the side.
This section added 9/24
From esteemed CheckRaise troll Charmell comes this note.
Hey, John. I just woke up and turned on the TV. It just so happens that a show called "NapaStyle" is on. The host has a special guest on to teach him how to make a timpano, of all things. I watched with interest, thinking of your blog and vowing to NEVER make this recipe if I intend to avoid using insulin as a type 2 diabetic.
Anyway, I noted some alternatives to the recipe you provided. The main surprise is that they used a springform pan instead of a bowl. They did insist on lots of butter for a problem-free release after baking.
The shape was a little funny; before cutting, it looked like a giant, overdone cheesecake.
My two cents: I can't imagine timpano without the crispiness and appearance that the enamelware bowl provides. Not to mention that rounding corners with the raw dough (the interior bottom of the springform pan) seems like it would be very, very difficult, if not structurally fragile. That said, if your fear factor is prohibitively high, this seems like a good way of paring down risk.