If you’re not only looking for a great movie, but a fun recipe to go along with it…film critics Chuck and Pam are here to help:
PAM’S MOVIE CHOICE: “BIG NIGHT”
PAM’S RECIPE: TIMPANO by Camille Becerra at FOOD52.com
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 anchovies (optional)
1/2 cup red wine
5 cloves garlic
One 16-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes, blended, then passed through a sieve
3 large, very ripe tomatoes, cut into quarters, blended, then passed through a sieve
2 teaspoons dried oregano
Sauté the onion and anchovies in olive oil until the onions are translucent. After 10 minutes add the wine, then allow it to reduce by half. Transfer everything to a blender along with the garlic and purée until smooth, then return everything to the pot. Simmer with the tomatoes (both canned and fresh), oregano, and salt for 3 to 4 hours.
(Or use jarred sauce if you’re in a time pinch)
TO ASSEMBLE THE TIMPANO
1 oven-safe mold (I used a pot that was 6 inches wide and 4 inches high)
1 pound ricotta
1/4 head escarole, grilled (optional)
1 raw egg
Pinch chili flakes
4 cups dried pasta (such as penne, ziti, or rigatoni), cooked
Enough cooked pasta sheets to cover your mold and top (wide lasagna sheets can also work)
1 pound meat such as sausage, pancetta, or meatballs, cut into small pieces
I thought it would be great to stuff the pasta with a ricotta filling instead of mixing everything together like traditional timpano. I grilled some escarole and minced it finely, then added it to ricotta with an egg and seasoned it with salt and chili. This mixture gets piped into each tube of pasta; I used a pastry bag.
3 to 4 medium boiled eggs, halved (a smaller mold may only be able to fit 3 eggs), plus one egg for an egg wash
1/2 pound mozzarella
Line your mold with pasta sheets, and then begin layering. I started with the ricotta-stuffed pasta, then added a layer of pasta sauce, and tapped the mold against the table. The fewer pockets of air in the timpano, the better its structure will be.
CHUCK’S MOVIE: “RATATOUILLE”
CHUCK’S RECIPE: Ratatouille
• 2 pounds ripe red tomatoes (6 medium or 4 large)
• 1 medium eggplant (1 pound), diced into ½-inch cubes
• 1 large red, orange, or yellow bell pepper (about 8 ounces), cut into ¾-inch squares
• 1 medium-to-large zucchini (about 8 ounces), diced into ½-inch cubes
• 1 large yellow squash (about 8 ounces), diced into ½-inch cubes
• 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
• ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt, divided, more to taste
• 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
• ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
• ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, more or less to taste
• ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
• Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit with one rack in the middle of the oven and one in the upper third of the oven. Line two large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper for easy clean-up, if desired.
2. To prepare your tomatoes, remove any woody cores with a paring knife. Then, grate them on the large holes of a box grater into a bowl (this is easiest if you hold the tomato at a diagonal), and chop any remaining tomato skin. Or, blitz the tomatoes in a food processor until they are broken into a frothy pulp. Set aside.
3. On one baking sheet, toss the diced eggplant with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until lightly coated. Arrange the eggplant in a single layer across the pan, sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of the salt, and set aside.
4. On the other baking sheet, toss the bell pepper, zucchini and yellow squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and ¼ teaspoon salt. Arrange the vegetables in a single layer. Place the eggplant pan on the middle rack and the other vegetables on the top rack. Set the timer for 15 minutes.