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That's Amore!

In June, we got amore than we bargained for when we tackled an Italian feast.

Check out our special foodscapes page for close-up images of some of our favorite ingredients.
If you're looking for images from previous episodes, visit our archives.

Timpano alla Big Night

Timpano is a marvelous Italian party dish, made famous in America by the movie Big Night, directed by Stanley Tucci. Consequently, you can find recipes for it all over the Internet, including, most frequently, the one from the cookbook co-authored by Stanley Tucci's parents, Cucina & Famiglia: Two Italian Families Share Their Stories, Recipes, and Traditions by Joan Tropiano Tucci and Gianni Scappin with Mimi Shanley Taft. We printed out the most meticulously copied version we found to use in our feast. Not having 16 people to serve, we decided to cut the recipe in half, and it still worked splendidly. The constituent ingredients are a ragu (made from tomatoes, pork, beef, onions, garlic and basil, and simmered for over two hours), hard cooked eggs, cooked ziti pasta, mini meatballs, cubed genoa salami and provolone, a bit of grated pecorino romano, and some beaten eggs. All this is baked in a pasta shell for a couple of hours, then inverted on a platter to serve. Full of flavor and with a fabulous presentation, and really not difficult if you plan ahead. We baked it in a large stainless steel mixing bowl, which worked perfectly - but we can't imagine what we'd use for one double the size!

Tiramisu alla Emily B.

For a refreshing dessert with a bit of a splash in presentation, we decided to go with Emily's Famous Tiramisu substituting for the rum, kahlua, which we prefer and had in abundance. First, we made a ladyfinger batter out of eggs, sugar, flour and vanilla, and piped it onto baking sheets in shapes to fit our springform pan. After those had baked and cooled, Stacey made the mascarpone and whipped cream filling, and Stephen cooked up the simple syrup with kahlua and hot coffee. Then we assembled the treat, and put it in the refrigerator to chill. It came out nearly as attractive as it was tasty!

More photos

Ingredients to dress our seafood salad peek out through a pyrex cup: parsley, minced shallots and capers.
Thatsa meatball! Inadvertently tripling our recipe, we now have more meatballs than we can shake a stick at in the freezer.
Tiramisu, the drink. Our leftover simple syrup from the actual tiramisu inspired this cocktail creation.What's dessert without a little champagne? Never stop drinking, that's our motto.
2 parts vodka, 1 part coffee and kahlua simple syrup and milk to taste, shaken and served up with shaved chocolate on top.