About Beth

Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« Sauteed Shitake Mushroom Caps, Porcini | Main | Sweet and Sour Onions »

Mushroom Timballo

This is the recipe that I have been dreading since day one of this challenge. I had looked at the title, but not the details of the recipe. All I could think was that I wasn’t brave enough to make a timballo. Now, for those of you that haven’t seen the Stanley Tucci movie, The Big Night, this may seem unreasonable, but a timballo/ timpano was the star dish in the movie, and it’s preparation was enough to drive the two brothers crazy. Their dish contained layers of meats, pasta, and sauce and needed to cook for hours. Luckily, when I finally took the time to read this recipe, I discovered that this dish, while complicated, was not insurmountable.


This dish uses layers of fried mushrooms, fontina cheese, parmigiano-reggiano, and porcini mushrooms cooked with garlic, tomatoes and fresh parsley. All of the ingredients are layered in a soufflé pan and then baked for half an hour. Because of the need to fry the mushrooms before assembling the timballo, this dish can take quite awhile to prepare.


The preparation was worth it though. The flavors melded together so nicely and the presentation was impressive. Michael and I tried a bit of it on the night I prepared it and we were stunned. The fresh fried mushrooms had a clean, firm texture that balanced the richness of the porcini sauce and cheeses. About the time that we finished dinner, my sister called and said that we would be having an impromptu gathering the next day. I managed to squeeze the rest of the timballo back into the soufflé pan and we reheated it for lunch the next day. Everybody loved it. I was a bit worried that it wouldn’t hold up to the reheating, but it did fine. If anything it tasted better, because the flavors had such a long time to mellow.


So, the moral of the story is either don’t judge a recipe by its title, or Marcella Hazan can teach anyone to do the impossible. Actually, I think it might be both!

Comments (3)

Beth, I laughed when I read your intro paragraph. And now I have to netflix that movie!

The dish looks wonderful. I've skipped over this recipe because it looks so complicated. But now I must make it soon. Thanks for the nudge.

Beth, it looks and sounds wonderful. Great job!

I love "Big Night". I would also love to make that version of a timballo some day. It sounds like a fun thing to do with friends and plenty of wine.

Marcella Hazan:

Beth, I would love to have you by my side when analyzing a recipe. I haven't made this timballo in years, but it looks so good in your photos that shall soon return to it.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 13, 2011 8:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Sauteed Shitake Mushroom Caps, Porcini.

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