I'm always surprised by how flavorful sautéing meat in a skillet and then deglazing the pan with wine can be. But as this fascinating recipe from Mario Batali proves, even minor adjusts can dramatically change the outcome.
'Mario Batali' on Serious Eats
If you've spent time cooking from many of Mario Batali's recipe, you'll know the man is not afraid of bitter. His grasp on how bitter flavors come into play is typical of Italian cuisine, where bitter is celebrated instead of disguised. This Leg of Lamb in a Clementine Crust from Molto Batali employs whole clementines—bitter pith, skin, seeds, and all—into a coating that's bitter, sweet, herbal, and pretty much made for winter lamb enjoyment.
The key of these little potatoes is the bold, green dressing that goes on and soaks in while the potatoes are still warm. Tart white wine vinegar melds with basil, parsley, capers, and scallions, giving the potatoes a sharp, oniony bite tempered with just enough salt from the briny capers and shavings of pecorino that melt and cling to the potatoes.
This Pennette with Sicilian Pesto from Mario Batali's latest, Molto Batali takes that Ligurian classic on a trip to the south of Italy by adding brightness and heat from unique-to-Sicily ingredients. Chiles (raw and dried), mint, almonds and fennel seeds are added to the basic basil-garlic-olive oil mix
This Farfalle Abruzzese with Veal, Porcini, and Spinach from Mario Batali's latest, Molto Batali is genius in that it gives you a deeply concentrated meaty ragu in barely any time at all. The secret here is the umami factor in the dried porcinis, chopped up fine and added with their liquid to a ground veal, rust-colored tomato paste and tomato sauce. The mushrooms add a depth that make it seem as though this sauce has been lazily bubbling away on the stove for hours instead of minutes.
I turned to Mario Batali for this recipe from his book Molto Mario. The sauce is marvelous: black olives, capers, white, and lemon zest are spooned into the skillet after the fish gets a thorough searing over high heat. In the oven, it practically melts with the pan juices.
Taking a cue from the piazza style of cooking (which produces similar results to the Spanish technique of cooking seafood a la plancha), this recipe calls for cooking the scallops on a blazing hot surface inside of a grill. From there, it's pretty familiar: grilled red onion, a simple dressing of olive oil and lemon juice, and fragrant basil over the whole mess. For me, it was all a lovely goodbye to summer.
Why is garlic soup so satisfying? It's one of the simplest soups to make, and yet it comes out soothing and utterly calming. Some people have chicken soup; I prefer this stuff. Which isn't to say all are created equal.
The following recipe is from the April 14 edition of our weekly recipe newsletter. To receive this newsletter in your inbox, sign up here! The title for this recipe might not seem all that apt as it's halfway through April,...
This Linguine with Squid & Its Ink from Molto Gusto by Mario Batali and Mark Ladner is one seriously sinister-looking plate of pasta. It's dark and murky and once the little slices of calamari are dressed with the squid ink sauce, it's virtually impossible to tell the squid apart from the pasta by sight alone.
Celery has never been a vegetable that I've had an affinity for—not crunched on raw or slathered with peanut butter. I've always found it stringy, fibrous, and bitter in a way that was unappealing. But the first few bites of the sweet celery hearts mixed with tender octopus, lightly dressed with olive oil and vinegar, opened my eyes to celery's potential. Who would have thought it would take a cephalopod to help me learn to love celery?
The Lentils with Pancetta have been one of my favorite vegetable antipasti at Otto for ages. On paper, room temperature lentils don't sound like the most exciting prelude to a meal but these little legumes have an intensity of flavor that belies their humble appearance. For a long time I have been trying to figure out what it is that gives them their distinct tang and brightness.
[Photograph: Blake Royer] Molto Mario really was a great show. What's not to like about a younger Mario Batali flying around the kitchen saying intelligent and exuberant things about how great Italian food could be? The episodes recently appeared on...
As the summer swelter begins to arrive, I'm sometimes as adverse to cooking dinner as I am to wearing wool socks. There are just some days when actually contributing to the amount of heat in the house seems like absolute...
I'm going to make this Frittata with Spinach and Cheese, adapted from Mario Batali's encyclopedic Molto Italiano, for Vicky's family today. Why not? It's perfect Mother's Day fare. It looks great, all golden brown and bubbly; it tastes great, all...
Read more about Mario Batali's Spaghetti with Bottarga on Serious Eats: New York as part of our series of recipes from famous restaurants in New York City....