Category Archives: Pasta

Timpano di Maccheroni: The “Mythic Pasta Dome”

This week’s recipe was inspired from a movie called “Big Night” starring Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub. As I searched how to make it, I found that there are as many ways to create it as there are cooks. Therefore, I chose a recipe that looked fairly do-able for everyone and looked awesome, at the same time. Because of the inadequacy of the original recipe we followed, we decided to create our own. Thus, there is another Timpano di Maccheroni recipe now out there – this one created by non-Italians.

Your oven will be 350 degrees.

Here are the ingredients that you’ll need for the inside:

Pasta Dome 001

3 C pasta sauce – make your own or buy your favourite. (Chef Karen bought her fav.)

1/2 Box of frozen meatballs, if you wish

125 g of penne or your favourite pasta

8 oz. salami or pepperoni (divided into 2 )

Bechamel sauce (which is: 2T butter, 2T flour, 1 1/4 C milk, salt and pepper, dash of nutmeg and 1/4C Parmesan cheese) in medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour and cook until starting to brown. Stir in milk and whisk to smooth until bubbly and thickened. Whisk in cheese, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

3 hard boiled eggs cut into quarters

6-8 black olives – pitted

2C mozzarella cheese

Pasta base:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 egg yolks

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp cream or half and half

Either by hand, In food processor or big mixer with dough hook, mix flour, salt, egg, and cream together and process or hand knead until dough is smooth and shiny. Check dough for wet/dry consistency, adding a bit of water or flour to achieve ball of dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and set aside for at least one hour to allow protein bonds to form and elasticize the dough.)

In the meantime, cook your pasta and divide it in half. 1/2 goes with the bechamel sauce, 1/2 goes with the meatballs. When your dough is ready, put it together.

Spray your casserole dish and scatter it with bread crumbs

Spray your casserole dish and scatter it with bread crumbs

Then, roll out your dough and put it in your dish.

Add your salami or pepperoni

Add your salami or pepperoni
Put in the bechamel sauce with the pasta

Put in the bechamel sauce with the pasta

add your eggs

add your eggs

Now, add your pasta with meatballs.  layer on your olives and add the rest of the pepperoni

Now, add your pasta with meatballs. layer on your olives and add the rest of the pepperoni

add the yummy mozzarella cheese

add the yummy mozzarella cheese

cover over with the dough.  (I obviously had a little hole)

cover over with the dough. (I obviously had a little hole)

Cover the whole thing with tin foil and bake for 1 hour in the oven.

Here is what it looks like out and cut. A nice addition is some more pasta sauce over the whole top.

Pretty cool looking piece of supper

Pretty cool looking piece of supper

And here it is on a plate

And here it is on a plate

Chef Jonathan:

Spray your casserole dish with baking spray and fit in the Pâté Brisee to cover bottom and run up the sides of the pan, with enough overlap to cover the pasta. Then, layer in pancetta or pepperoni.

Layer in the long pasta, mixed with the bechamel (in this case, I used linguine). I also topped with mozzarella cheese.

Layer in the short pasta, mixed with the meat sauce, then top with mozzarella.

Then, finish with layering in the rest of the pancetta/ pepperoni.

Pull up the Pâté Brisee, stretching if needed, until enough is yielded to overlap the entire dish, and crease. Wet a pastry brush with water, if desired, to ensure it’s sealed.

Cut a slice, or two………

…..and enjoy!


Creamy Caprese Pasta


Chef Karen: I saw this recipe while “Stumbling” and loved the thought of it. The reason I was drawn to it is the simplicity of it and well, the plain fact that it’s pasta. We LOVE pasta at our house!

While making it, I didn’t measure anything. In fact, I added more mozzarella cheese than it called for and less tomatoes. The other fun fact is that I cleaned out a couple of half boxes of pasta that I had in the cupboard. I know this would make any real pasta chef cringe but I’m a home chef that lives dangerously 🙂 I mixed bow tie pasta and rotini together and because it was about the same size, it worked.

That’s all I have to say about it. It’s simple, tasty and will be great as a leftover for lunch tomorrow. I highly recommend this one!



Chef Jonathan: I decided to use Farfalle pasta, like Chef Karen. I like Farfalle, but I find it takes longer to cook, due to the intricacy of the shape. I also made a garlic butter base, along with a Bolognaise sauce. I also added more cheese than I was supposed to……I like this recipe, it is very easy, and as with all pasta dishes, make up your special version as we have! Enjoy!

Here is the recipe. You can definitely change it up to suit your taste.



Week 18 – Baked Spaghetti

Karen:  Who doesn’t like spaghetti?  (or “spaghet” as we call it at our house)  Chef Jonathan found this awesome recipe in the latest edition of the Food Network Magazine and we had to try it.  It’s cool because it’s a contest between Paula Deen and her chef son, Bobby, about two same, yet different, types of baked spaghetti..  Bobby’s is low in fat.  That’s the one I chose to make.  Now, I have to confess that I didn’t use the ground Italian chicken sausage; couldn’t find any, so I used regular pork sausage.  And I have to confess that I didn’t use Angel Hair Pasta; couldn’t find any of that, either, so I used a Capellini which is a step up in size to Angel Hair and it worked just fine. And, I didn’t measure the amount of cheese that I used but who measures cheese, anyway???  Just load it up!  So, my rendition of Bobby’s recipe is slightly different but it’s very yummy!  Now, it does take awhile to chop up all of the fresh ingredients so keep that in mind.  From the start of the recipe to the time it was out of the oven was an hour and a half.  Definately worth the effort.

Here’s a picture of mine and following is the website from the Food Network Magazine for the recipes.  Enjoy!

Chef Jonathan: I found this recipe in the new issue of the Food Network Magazine, and I thought it would be perfect for this week. I did Paula Deen’s version of baked spaghetti, and it was amazing. I used Caparnevale Nest pasta instead of angel hair, and I simply unraveled the nests once they were “al dente”. In this recipe, I found the simmering times a bit of overkill. I would likely simmer the tomato mixture for 30 minutes next time (instead of an hour), and then 10 more after adding the ground beef (instead of 20 more). All in all, a great recipe, and I will definitely try this again.

Bobby Deen’s Light Baked Spaghetti Recipe:

Paula Deen’s Baked Spaghetti Recipe: