TOP TEN Dinners In A Movie! Pt. 1

Doesn’t this look good? Now mouth-watering pics to go with the movies AND recipes!

I want to watch a movie. AND I am hungry. What to do? Easy. Dinner IN A MOVIE. To celebrate the best food scenes in movies, here are great movie moments with food at their center, AND recipes to bring them to life as you watch!

For the next three posts, in honor of Alex – it was her TERRIFIC idea, I will count down great food movies AND include recipes from the movies, with attributions where they are Necessary…

We begin with movies #10, 9 and 8, as our tasty trip down movie lane begins!

10-Tampopo. This 1985 Japanese film takes the conceit of a spaghetti western and moves it into the old-fashioned world of Japanese noodle stands. Our mystery man Goro rides his beat-up truck into town to help Tampopo, a beautiful but shy noodle shop owner, create the perfect ramen noodle soup – AND fight off a group of Mobsters who want to run her out of business. This film celebrates old-fashioned westerns, silent but strong good guys, and over-the-top bad guys. It also drools over the importance of a good ramen base AND the proper use of noodles and toppings in a proper ramen soup. The results are so delicious you will be starving by e time the movie is over, so get a head start and go here to Nibbledish, where they have posted a fantastic recipe in honor of the movie!

9-National Lampoon’s Animal House. Ok, it’s not a dinner table, but they are having lunch in the school cafeteria, and the results are the single best food fight in movie history. It begins with John Belushi taking a slow crawl down the cafeteria line – eating, slurping and pocketing a massive amount of food. He winds up at the table with his buddy Boon and a few of the OTHER Frat guys and Sorority girls. “Guess what I am” he says pointedly before he stuffs his mouth with a jello concoction,then presses his fists into his cheeks and spews it out all over the table. “A zit! Get it?” Let the food fight begin!

In honor of John Blutarsky – Bluto! – here is the perfect recipe for a “jiggly jello” concoction to use when you replicatemthismscene for friends and family!

8 oz. cottage cheese
1 pkg. jello
2 cups cool whip
1 can mandarin oranges
1 can crushed pineapple

Mix the jello according to instructions, then add the cottage cheese, oranges, pineapple and cool whip. Refrigerate until ready to pop!

This is guaranteed to put you in “double secret probation.”

8-Big Night. Many consider this to be the best movie ever devoted to food. This 1996 labor of love is starring Minnie Driver, Tony Shaloub and Stanley Tucci – AND DIRECTED BY- Stanley Tucci and Campbell Scott. Two brothers struggle to save their failing restaurant by putting on a “big night” for a celebrity. They make one of the greatest dishes ever – a Timpano – and as you watch it come together you will need to eat one, so here is the recipe from the film!

Also…At the end of the movie, there is a static 4 minute scene involving a single fried egg that will make you cry. what a classic film!

Two more pieces of the list still to come before New Years Day, let me know what you think!

Big Night’ Timpano


2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 cup fine bread crumbs

1 medium onion, diced
1 medium carrot, minced
1 medium rib celery, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 tablespoons chicken broth or white wine
2 28-ounce cans Italian plum tomatoes, passed through the medium disk of a food mill to remove seeds
1/2 cup shredded fresh basil
2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/2 pound penne or other short-shaped pasta, cooked al dente, drained and reserved
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 hard-boiled eggs, cut in quarters
1 pound mozzarella, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 pound thinly sliced Genoa salami

To make the pasta, mix the flour and the salt together, then stir the salted flour with the eggs and the oil. Continue to stir until the dough comes together in a ball. On a floured work surface, knead the dough for 10 minutes, or until silky smooth. Wrap with plastic and set aside at room temperature for at least 1 hour.
Combine all the meatball ingredients. Roll into about 65 balls, using 1 tablespoon of meat for each. In a large nonstick frying pan, cook as many meatballs as will fit in 1 layer over medium heat, turning occasionally, for 20 minutes. Repeat if necessary. Set aside in a bowl at room temperature.
In the same pan used to make the meatballs and utilizing the fat left in the pan, cook the onion, carrot, celery and garlic over medium heat for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Dissolve the tomato paste in the stock or wine and stir into the vegetables. Cook the mixture for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes and basil. Simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
To make the timpano, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Toss the penne with 2 cups of the sauce. Roll out the pasta on a lightly floured surface to make a 26-inch round. Grease a 3-quart stainless- steel bowl with 2 tablespoons of oil and gently mold the pasta sheet to the contours of the bowl; there should be enough hanging over the edge to fold over and cover the filling.
Spoon 1 cup of penne into the bowl. Top with 1/2 cup of the sauce, 12 pieces of egg, half of the meatballs and 1/3 of the mozzarella. Repeat the process, this time using 3 cups of penne, 1 1/2 cups of sauce, the remaining eggs, meatballs and cheese. Top with the remaining penne and sauce. Create a final layer with the salami. Fold the pasta over the filling and brush with 1 tablespoon of oil. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.
Bake the timpano for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 45 more minutes. To check if it’s done make a small hole at the top using a knife blade. If steam comes out and the cheese is melted, it’s done. Otherwise, bake for 10 to 15 more minutes. To serve, remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Carefully turn upside down onto a large platter.
YIELD 6 to 8 servings
Originally published with FOOD; Eye Candy
By Molly O’Neill, November 16, 1997

Categories: 70's Cinema, Food, Movies, Obscure Movies, Recipes

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