I have been a fan of Stanley Tucci since I first saw him star in the movie Big Night in 1996. If you ever get a chance, you should watch this movie. It is probably the best representation of Italian-style family love. When his series, Searching for Italy, appeared on television, I became aware of what a serious food person he is. So, when his book, Taste, My Life Through Food, was published I immediately bought it and listened to it on Audible.
His book is just the kind of recipe book I like. It is filled with wonderful stories from his life and the stories are accompanied by delicious Italian recipes.
I am going to share two recipes from the book and the fun I had making those recipes. The first recipe is for Pasta Fagioli. My story about Stanley Tucci’s Pasta Fagioli begins with an invitation to teach a cooking class at our local high school. I decided to teach the Pasta Fagioli recipe for two reasons – it is a simple, inexpensive meal and it can be prepared quickly. My thought was these young people would soon be leaving for college and if they know how to prepare Pasta Fagioli, they will never be hungry and will attract a lot of new, hungry friends. Here are some photos from the classes. You can tell they were an enthusiastic group of young people.
Pasta Fagioli (My Way)
- Extra-virin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, halved
- 1/2 bunch cavolo nero, roughly chopped
- Three 14 ounce cans cannellini beans
- 3 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 to 3 cups marinara sauce
- 1 pound of small pasta, like ditali or gnochetti sardi
- freshly ground black peppeParmigano-Regfiano or Pecorino, for serving
- Pour a glug of oil into a medium pot and saute the onion and garlic over medium-low heat until soft. At the same time, boil the cavolo nero in a small pot of salted water.
- Add the beans, stock, and marinara to the pan with the onions and garlic and stir together. Cook over low heat.
- When the cavelo nero is soft, strain irt, add it to the bean mixture, and stir. Continue to cook on a low simmer with the lid askew for about 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, boil the pasta in salted water according to package directions. When it is done, strain it, reserving about a cup of the pasta water, and place it in a big bowl. Add about 2 cups of the bean mixture to the pasta along with some of the pasta water and a drizzle of oil and mix.
- Salt tot aste and divide among 4 bowls. Add more of the bean mixture to each bowl along with a drizzle of oil. Sprinkle with pepper and cheese of choice.
The second story and recipe I am going to share with you is for Timpano. First the story – a few weeks ago I received a phone call from my friend Nancy who was reading Taste. She was enjoying the read tremendously and said it was making her want “pasta for breakfast”. We were talking about how funny the passages in the book about Timpano are. Nancy said she had never watched the movie Big Night and I told her it was a favorite of mine. One thing led to another and Nancy decided to have a Big Night gathering. We would screen the movie and serve Timpano for dinner. We gathered our courage and proceeded to create a Timpano for dinner. But I must admit, I kept telling Nancy I had pizza coupons, you know, just in case. Well, no pizza coupons were needed and here are some photos from our “Big Night”.
Since this recipe is very detailed, I am going to give you a link to an article in The Guardian that gives you the recipe and a photo step by step of Stanley Tucci preparing the Timpano.
Stanley Tucci’s book Taste deserves a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and deserves to be your next cookbook purchase.
40 responses to “HEY STANLEY, It’s-a so delish-a, everybody gonna preshi-ada.”
…he is a good actor too! Appetising post. 😋😉
He sure is. Have a great week.
Thanks. I wish the same to you. ⭐
Oh wow! Seems that those enthusiastic young people had some fun ☺️
And that timpani looks absolutely amazing! Good job! 🙌🏻
They were great Ribana. I was a guest teacher and I had a blast.
Hi Bern- I prepared the brisket recipe yesterday and it was fabulous! My family loved it! Unfortunately I didn’t get to photograph the beautiful dish because my husband served due to my foot surgery issue and they dug right in!! Five stars for that!!!
Hi Rita, I hope you are up and about soon. Thanks for letting me know about the brisket. An empty plate is the best compliment.💋
What a wonderful night Bernadette! I LOVE The Big Night, my husband does too, and we watch it every now and then. I’ve never made the Timpano, but I’m encouraged now to watch the movie again and make this!
We had so much fun that night. After the movie, we put on Louis Prima and ate dinner.
What’s next? Babette’s Feast?
Fabulous idea 💋
Now you have me thinking. Want to come to New Jersey and do it together?
That would be amazing! Let’s do some thinking!
I would love to cook together. Let’s not let the idea fall on the side of the road to be neglected. I am having a hip replacement next week so will be laid up a little bit but I will be thinking!💋
What fun to have an opportunity to teach a cooking class to teenagers. They look like they are having a good time. The Pasta Fagioli looks so good. If you cannot get cavolo nero, what would be a good substitute?
Hi Darlene, it was fun. There is nothing like young people to make you feel young. I guess the best substitute would be kate but I would use chopped spinach.
I like the idea of spinach. Thanks.
That looks amazing! I love the layered look of it 🥰
It was delicious but I gotta tell ya, it was intimidating.
Gotta love the Tucc!!!! Both recipes sound delish, Bern. And what fun to watch the Big Night first. That’s a great movie. Love the addition of your photos to the blog post. Keep them coming!!!
A wonderful vegetarian version of Pasta Fagioli. With all the beans, no need to add in any meat. P.S. I’m also a big fan of Stanley Tucci! The Big Night is one of my favorite movies.
Great minds think alike.
Big Night was a wonderful movie!
Teaching youngsters too cook is so important. The recipe you’ve used is perfect for that. 🙂
Thanks so much Ronit. It was so much fun.
i love stanley!!
A lot of talent in that man.
YES!!!!! Your musical choice got me going this morning, and I bow to you for your very successful timpano! My hubby introduced me a few years ago to “Big Night,” which I had not even heard of, and now I love the film. I tried making timpano once but did not have the right kind of enamel pan. Today, I’m shopping for one to try again. Thanks for the inspiration! Love this. <3
I’ve never made Timpano! Really must do that one of these days. Pasta Fagioli is a real favorite of mine, and this is such a nice version. Fun post — thanks.
I never saw the Big Night but I did enjoy Julie and Julia where he played Paul Child – the famous Julia Child’s husband. I am a big fan of hers and we even have the same nickname of Juju.
Both recipes sound SO good Bernadette! Thank you for sharing them.
They are delicious and totally opposite as far as time. The pasta fagioli can be made in a snap and the timpano takes a couple of days. Talk soon.
Oh goodness, the Timpano looks and sounds amazing, what a labor of love! How much fun to have a gathering to watch the movie and then eat it for dinner!
It was so much fun Jenna. In fact, another food blogger and I are possibly going to work on Babette’s Feast.
I’ve never tried making Timpano good for you doing it. It must have been a fun evening all the way round. Good luck with your hip surgery.
Thanks so much Karen. It was one of the most fun evening we have had in a long time. Hopefully, the surgery will go smoothly and I will be able to mambo again soon.
I’ve loved watching Stanley Tucci’s shows and others like his. They just love exploring food and I can’t help being captivated. Your reason for teaching the class how to make Pasta Fagioli made me smile. I’ll bet those students will have fun feeding their friends. Perhaps you started something that will last through their lives. Thanks for the fun post and for sharing the recipes. 🙂
Thanks Diana. Both of these recipes were made in an environment that was just so much fun and I hope you are right about the students. It would be fun to think that sometime in the future one of them would make the pasta fagioli and think of me.
I don’t doubt it. 🙂
I’ve just finished reading Taste as well. I am VERY impressed that you and your friend made Timpano. Waayyyy too difficult for me.
I am now singing Mambo Italiano! Thanks for the fun clip.
Not difficult at all really – amazing time consuming though. Didn’t you just crack up laughing at both of his wives reaction to the Timpano at Christmas. Hugs, B