Read all about it! The best thing to being there is being here: in the pages of these extraordinary food!and wine tomes. By Elizabeth Pearson
Feel like a top chef in your own home with these cookbooks from the stars of the Batali and Bastianich Hospitality Group. Whether you are preparing a dinner for two or a party with friends, you are certain to find the perfect meal and glass, or glasses of wine, for every occasion. And when you are not perfecting your skills in the kitchen, sit down in your favorite comfy chair and enjoy the stories and photos, and travel to the magic places of these chefs’ inspirations. Spain A Culinary Road Trip Mario Batali Ecco (October 21, 2008) As the companion book to Mario and Gwyneth Paltrow’s hit television series Spain… On the Road Again, Mario and Mark Bittman embark on a wondrous journey of food, wine, and local cooking that is in Spain… A Culinary Road Trip. Gwyneth Paltrow and Spanish actress Claudia Bassols are along for the ride. And why not? Gorgeous photos and anecdotes complement over 70 recipes from Mario in this ultimate scrapbook/cookbook of their most excellent Spanish adventure. Italian Grill Mario Batali Ecco (April 22, 2008) Combining Batali’s passion for Italian food and his love for grilling, the 80 recipes compiled here offer an excellent introduction to simple, grilled Italian food. The book also offers informative sidebars and 60 brightly-colored photos, as well as grilling techniques. And be honest, we could all use a little help with our grilling techniques. Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy Lidia Bastianich Knopf (October 20, 2009) Lidia’s love for the food of her native Italy is the inspiration for this classic book of traditional and regional recipes. Delving
are featured in this cookbook filled with its authors’ particular zest for cooking and their love of robust flavors. The recipes are fresh, healthful, and easy to prepare, making it simple to spend a night on the town at home.
into some of the lesser-known parts of Italy and exploring the simple pleasures of the well-known areas, the book delivers authentic dishes imbued with her intimate connection to the country. And her daughter Tanya delights readers with trips through the countryside, sharing her apparently depthless knowledge of Italian culture.
The Young Man and the Sea David Pasternack Artisan/Workman Publishing Company; illustrated edition (April 20, 2007) This marvelous cookbook from the chef at Esca features 100+ delicious seafood recipes for food lovers at all cooking levels. From raw dishes—his signature crudo— and seafood pastas to salads and pan-fried favorites, David shares advice and insight to broaden your knowledge of seafood. He also spins a few tales, apparently true, about fellow fisherman and colorful fish markets.
Molto Gusto Mario Batali and Mark Ladner Ecco; edition 1 (April 6, 2010) Molto Gusto offers a collection of mouthwatering Italian recipes from Otto Enteco Pizzeria, the perennially popular West Village restaurant. From pizza, pasta, antipasto, and gelato, including the unusual and wonderful olive oil gelato, Otto favorites
Vino Italiano Joseph Bastianich and David Lynch Clarkson Potter; 1st edition (April 9, 2002) Vino Italiano covers all of Italy’s wine-producing regions as the most comprehensive and authoritative American Guide to Italian wine ever published, or ever likely to be published. Broken down into key styles,
Spaghetti alla Carbonara, from Molto Gusto
producers, and vintages, this beautifully illustrated book is the ultimate invitation to the Italian wine experience. Vino Italiano also offers reference material on Italy’s growing zones, authorized grape varieties, and top producers, with essential information for wine merchants and wine enthusiasts. It’s exhaustive, but in a good way. Drink up already!
A true carbonara has no cream, and it can be slightly tricky in its execution. The key is to toss and thoroughly mix the cooked pasta off the heat with the cheese, eggs, pepper, and pasta water, to create a creamy yet not overly thick sauce. Separate the eggs and present the individual egg yolks in nests of pasta; then each guest stirs the yolk into the pasta to cook it and form an even creamier sauce. Be sure to use the best quality eggs you can find. Serves 6.
Kosher salt 5 ounces sliced pancetta, cut into ½-inch wide strips ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper 6 fresh large eggs 1 pound spaghetti ½ cup freshly grated ParmigianoReggiano, plus extra for serving ¼ cup grated pecorino romano
Separate the eggs, being careful to keep the yolks intact, putting the whites in a small bowl and the yolks in a shallow dish. Drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook until just al dente. Drain, reserving 2/3 cup of the pasta water. Add the reserved pasta water to the pancetta and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the egg whites and cook, whisking furiously, until they are frothy but not set, about 1 minute. Add the pasta, stirring and tossing well to coat. Stir in the cheeses. Divide the pasta among six bowls, making a nest in the center of each portion. Gently drop an egg yolk into each nest and serve immediately, advising your guests to stir the yolk into the pasta so it will cook. Pass additional grated Parmigiano on the side.
Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot and add 3 tablespoons kosher salt.
Grandi Vini: An Opinionated Tour of Italy’s 89 Finest Wines Joseph Bastianich Clarkson Potter (November 9, 2010) Travel through Italian wine country on an intimate exploration of 89 unforgettable bottles of wine not to be missed. Grandi Vini is more than appealing to the palate, as it celebrates individual vineyards and introduces the winemakers behind these special bottles. Joe’s stunning collection covers wine from all parts of Italy and tells each individual story, from grape to bottle, like the Sangiovese in Emilia Romagna, produced at San Patrigano, the largest drug rehabilitation center in Europe. The book also includes hand-illustrated maps that locate the wineries in their various regions. Grandi Vini is an ultimate journey for the wine enthusiast. Joe knows good wine. Read this and you will too.
Meanwhile, combine the pancetta and oil in another large pot and cook over mediumhigh heat until the pancetta has rendered some of its fat and is lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Stir in the pepper and remove from the heat.
PHOTO BY QUENTIN BACON