Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Food'N'Flix {April 2012}: Big Night

Food‘nFlixKristina, the blogger behind SpaBettie, is the hostess of this month's Food'N'Flix. Food'N'Flix was started by one of my favorite foodie bloggers Heather of "We are just a bunch of FOODIES who like to watch movies that make our belly rumble and our mouth water and then head into the kitchen to cook or bake something inspired by what we watched."

Kristina's pick for April: "Big Night." Click here for her invitation to participate. Pronto al tavolo!

Truth be told, I never need an excuse to "cook Italian." Since that's where I learned to cook - Rome, that is - Italian is our usual fare when we aren't traipsing around the globe through tabletop travel; this year I'm teaching my boys to cook, and appreciate, all kinds of cuisine through a Cooking Around the World project. Whenever we aren't cooking a specific country, Dylan says, with just a little bit of sass, "Of course, we're having Italian food!" Of course.

While we were watching the movie again, passing a bottle of Chianti between us, Jake and I jotted down the dishes we saw or that were mentioned: goat cheese crostini, risotto alla bandiera (flag risotto or red-white-green risotto), seafood risotto, spaghetti without meatballs - "because sometimes spaghetti wants to be alone", timpano, artichokes, asparagus, tomatoes, and a whole pig! Oddly, even after the words I Dolci (sweets) crossed the screen, there were no shots of dessert. No sweet treats of any kind. Not even the typical caffè, strong espresso with a hefty amount of sugar.

After the viewing, I decided I would tackle a timpano, a Italian dish that - as its name indicates - is shaped like a drum. I started with a fennel pollen mostly whole-wheat dough.

2 C whole wheat flour
1 C white flour
1/2 t active dry yeast
1 t fennel pollen
1 t pink Himalaya salt
freshly ground flower pepper
2 T olive oil
1-1/2 C warm water

Mix everything together in a large bowl. The texture will be a wet, sticky dough. Cover and let ferment for as long as you can - between six and twelve hours.

I pressed the dough to line a buttered baking stoneware bowl. Then I layered in cooked penne pasta tossed lightly with tomato sauce, meatballs - also flavored with fennel pollen - simmered in tomato sauce, hardboiled eggs, and mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese.

I covered the dish with another disk of dough, pressing the edges to seal.

Baked this in a 350 degree oven for 60 minutes.

Run a knife around the edge and let cool, in the baking dish, for 15 minutes before unmolding.

Cut into slices and serve with a green salad. This was delicious and you could really taste the fennel pollen.

And unlike "Big Night," I did serve a sweet after dinner. Affogato. Drowning in delicious decadence. Swimming in caffeine. Yum.


Literally, that's what affogato means in Italian. Though, honestly, I don't remember ever seeing this concoction in Italy. But, then again, I don't have much of a sweet tooth, so I might never have noticed it.  Espresso + a mini scoop of vanilla ice cream + candied lemon peel.

What fun this was! Next month is "Sideways." And June is my month; we'll be whipping up something exotic while watching "Mistress of Spices." Enjoy. ~Camilla


  1. Camilla I love this - timpano is a fun one to make. Thanks for joining me with one of my very favorite movies!


  2. I love affagato. (My favorite coffee shop serves a chai gelato that is fantastic "drowned" in espresso). Glad you tackled the timpano. That was too much for me. Also glad to have found your site.

    (Never used fennel pollen---interesting!)

  3. Your timpano is very impressive. I wanted to tackle it but decided it was too much work for me this month, so your version is making me drool. Affagato is a favorite dessert of mine too. Big Night was such a fun choice for this month. The "sometimes spaghetti likes to be alone" quote is classic and one I say all the time. ;-)

  4. Timpano - what a big task, brava! And fennel pollen? Consider me intrigued. I love affogato, especially with salted caramel gelato - I am so craving one now.

    Sarah @

  5. This is definitely a meal...and sweet that I would love to sit down to. Beautiful!


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