Film Released: 1996
Genre: Drama comedy
Directed by: Stanley Tucci, Campbell Scott
Cast/Actors: Tony Shalhoub, Stanley Tucci
Set in New
Jersey, USA during the 1950s, Big Night is about two Italian
immigrant brothers who decide to open an Italian restaurant.
Primo, played by Tony Shalhoub is the chef and a purist when it
comes to Italian Food and Secondo, played by Stanley Tucci is
more business orientated and mainly concerned with the money
side of things.
This division of labour leads the brothers to sometimes heated
debates as to the future of the restaurant, with chef Primo
insisting of keeping the integrity of authentic Italian food as
opposed to Secondo who is prepared to compromise and serve
“Americanised” dishes in order to keep the restaurant business
Enter Pascal, played by Ian Holm, whose local restaurant is
going great guns having gone the other route, serving mediocre
Italian “style" food. After a visit to the bank manager and
being told just how bad things are financially, Secondo decides
to ask Pascal for a loan without telling his brother .
Although he won’t loan him the money, Pascal offers help by
arranging for Louis Prima, a famous band leader/trumpeter, and
his travelling entourage to attend a banquet at Primo and
Secondo’s restaurant. With the promise that the press would also
be coming and would hopefully write amazing reviews about the
restaurant and its fantastic authentic Italian food, Secondo
agrees and the preparations for the big night begin in earnest.
The best food and wine is sourced and lots of people invited to
the free banquet which will set the restaurant on the road to
On the big night, guests start arriving for the feast.
Unfortunately, the famous trumpeter (with entourage and press)
don’t turn up so as the evening gets on, the food is served to
those in attendance after which it comes out that Pascal never
invited the famous musician and that knowing the cost of the
evening would bankrupt them, he had set the brothers up to get
rid of the competition.
be expected with a film set in and around a restaurant, food
features throughout the film. Everyone seems to remember the
Timpano dish. However, this is quite a complicated and time
consuming recipe so we are going to buck the trend and feature
risotto instead. More precisely a pesto Risotto recipe. This was
also served at the feast on the big night along with a white
cheese risotto and a seafood risotto, making up the colours of
the Italian flag.
Veg HT MC 40mins
Serves 4 Hot
Vegetarian Rice Grain Main course Gluten Wheat
free Italy Europe
1 Onion, chopped
325g/12oz Risotto Rice
150ml/5fl.oz. White Wine
900ml/30 fl.oz. Fresh hot Stock (approx)
Salt and Pepper
2 tbsp Mascarpone Cheese
4 tbsp finely grated Parmesan
Freshly Shredded Basil Leaves to garnish