Staff Writer

Left Bank

Italian for eardrum, a timpano is a traditional baked pasta dish that consists of a filling made from sausage, cheeses, and vegetables. Varations of the classic dish abound, but no matter what, it makes a great dish to serve to a crowd. 


For the egg yolk pasta dough


Combine the flours and pile onto a wooden cutting board, circling-out a well in the center of the mound.  In the well, place the egg yolks, water and olive oil.  With a fork, working from where the egg meets the flour, begin to incorporate the flour.  Make a dough and knead it for about 10 minutes until the mass is smooth and elastic.  Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for at least 1 hour.  You'll need to make this recipe twice as you’ll need two doughs; one for the garganelli, one for the timpano’s outer shell.  

For the tomato sauce


Coat the bottom of a large pot with olive oil.  Over medium heat, sauté the garlic until it's slightly browned and aromatic.  Add the red pepper flakes to the oil and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add the crushed tomatoes all at once.  Season the pot with salt, and cook down, stirring intermittently, for about 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes take on a glossy sheen.  Add the basil last. 

For the béchamel sauce


Over medium heat, melt the butter in a saucepan.  Add the flour and whisk until it is fully incorporated and the flour-butter mixture has a slightly nutty color and aroma.  Slowly, while stirring, add the milk.  Season the soon to be béchamel with the nutmeg and salt.  Bring the milk to an easy boil, and let it thicken. 








For the meatballs


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all of the ingredients and form into golf ball sized balls and place on a greased baking sheet.  Roast the meatballs until cooked through and golden  brown, about 20 minutes.

For assembly


Roll out one dough and shape into garganelli. Boil the whole batch in salted water. Coat the al dente pasta with some of the tomato sauce and fresh olive oil. Set the garganelli aside with the rest of your ingredients.

Roll out the other dough into one huge, flat, thin pasta sheet. Coat the inside of your timpano drum with olive oil.  Drop the sheet into the drum . Your pasta sheet must be large enough to be folded over itself and create a seal once the drum is stuffed.  

Lay some garganelli down in the bottom of the mold.  Shake some cheese over, followed by some spinach and sliced egg. Next add some bechamél, and then more cheese.  Cut some of the meatballs and sausage into the mix, more cheese to bind. Add another layer of garganelli and tomato sauce, then some more spinach.  

Contine to add the ingredients in layers, keeping in mind that the béchamel, cheeses,and spinach to a degree will act as your binding, so be sure to include it as much as possible.  The garganelli will soften up and help the mold the timpano as well.  

Once its all filled up and most of your ingredients have been used, fold the overhanging portion of the pasta sheet over the center, covering the middle.  Seal it up with a little water and olive oil.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Cover the timpano with foil and bake for 45 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for another 45 minutes. Let it sit in its mold for at least 20 minutes after baking, and then invert it onto a plate so that the dome shape is facing upwards. Let it sit for another hour in its mold before removing and slicing. 



Calories per serving:

1,749 calories

Dietary restrictions:

High Fiber Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Alcohol Free

Daily value:



  • Fat 102g 157%
  • Carbs 101g 34%
  • Saturated 48g 241%
  • Fiber 8g 32%
  • Trans 1g
  • Sugars 35g
  • Monounsaturated 37g
  • Polyunsaturated 7g
  • Protein 107g 214%
  • Cholesterol 568mg 189%
  • Sodium 3,565mg 149%
  • Calcium 1,503mg 150%
  • Magnesium 237mg 59%
  • Potassium 2,715mg 78%
  • Iron 11mg 63%
  • Zinc 14mg 91%
  • Phosphorus 1,613mg 230%
  • Vitamin A 1,793µg 199%
  • Vitamin C 75mg 126%
  • Thiamin (B1) 1mg 98%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 2mg 144%
  • Niacin (B3) 15mg 73%
  • Vitamin B6 2mg 86%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 410µg 103%
  • Vitamin B12 11µg 188%
  • Vitamin D 8µg 2%
  • Vitamin E 6mg 28%
  • Vitamin K 466µg 583%
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