The Classic Dish Joe Isidori Promised To Make For Joe Russo - Exclusive

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There's nothing that can bring two seemingly different people together quite like a shared love of food. For filmmaker Joe Russo and New York City chef Joe Isidori, that shared love is Italian cuisine and the mutual heritage that influenced their careers. Russo and Isidori discussed all that and more while conversing exclusively on Tasting Table's "Shared Tastes."

During their chat, Russo recalled how his grandmother's family-style Italian meals have influenced the way he runs his movie sets, Isidori looked back on some of the films that have impacted him as a chef, and the two bonded over a passion for storytelling and bringing joy to others. Let's just say the conversation left us with some serious cravings. And we weren't the only ones — before the chat was over, Russo asked if Isidori would cook one specific, old-school Italian dish for him in the future: timpano.

If you've seen the 1996 film "Big Night" then you're probably familiar with the hearty Italian dish, which played a pivotal role in the movie. It is essentially a baked pasta pie that is said to have originated in Sicily. While there are variations on the recipe, the thick, egg-based pastry dough is generally stuffed with noodles, meat sauce, eggs, herbs and spices, and plenty of cheese. If that sounds like a lot of work, that's because it is; but luckily for Russo, chef Isidori immediately agreed to this off-menu request.

The lesson chef Isidori learned from Big Night

Russo and Isidori got to salivating over this meaty, cheesy dish while discussing their favorite movies involving food. "My father and I used to watch it all the time, and it's such a life lesson to learn as a chef," Isidori told Russo. Specifically, he recalled how, in the movie, chef Primo (played by Tony Shalhoub) struggles to introduce diners to his authentic Italian recipes. At the end of the film, the chef and his brother (Stanley Tucci) pull out all the stops to save their restaurant's reputation by whipping up a showstopping timpano.

For Isidori, the chef's hardships throughout the movie resonated with him and his own culinary journey. "You know how many Michelin star restaurants I had where I would sit there and scratch my head and say, 'I have Michelin stars and my bank account is empty, and there's nobody in my restaurant,'" he confessed to Russo. He noted that his father used the film to drive home an important lesson that has stuck with the chef: "Joseph, it ain't about foie gras oysters. It's about finding your chicken Parmesan." Taking that to heart, Isidori has built a stellar career and reputation in the culinary world. And now he counts Russo among one of his biggest fans, likely even more so after Isidori makes the director this famous and beloved dish.

Visit Arthur & Sons NY Italian in New York City's West Village for an authentic dining experience. Joe Isidori's new line of Arthur & Sons New York Italian Tomato Sauce, available in Marinara, Fra Diavolo, Alla Vodka, and Spicy Vodka, is coming soon to brick-and-mortar and online stores near you.

"Citadel" premieres on Prime Video April 28. "Pizza Film School" is now available to stream on YouTube.