Biography

Mario Batali is the owner of Babbo, Lupa, Otto and other renowned restaurants. His latest book is "Molto Batali," published by Ecco.


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Mario Batali

Mario Batali

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Mario Batali: Ciambella with Summer Berry Compote

Mario Batali: Ciambella with Summer Berry Compote

August 20, 2014

When entertaining friends and family in Michigan this summer, I have notoriously procrastinated in making dessert until I'm down to the wire. Sweet is not typically my forte, which is why I keep my pal and "Chew" co-host Carla Hall around during the peak of cherry season here on Lake Michigan. Nothing beats her tart Montmorency cherry hand pies. However, with the bounty of ripe summer berries the area has to offer, a sweet berrylicious dessert is never hard to pull off in a bind. My cherry obsession was last week, and this week my Ciambella with Summer Berry Compote has reclaimed my heart.

  • Mario Batali: Hot and Cold Summer Squash

    August 7, 2014

    Pomi is a staple in authentic Italian homes. Created in Parma in 1935, this brand of passata, or strained tomatoes, has been widely available in the United States for decades. I use it in my Hot and Cold Summer Squash all season long. The pairing of ripe, juicy tomatoes and zucchini is even better than extra virgin olive oil and fresh bread.

  • White Bean Bruschetta with Grilled Radicchio Salad

    July 16, 2014

    There are few things I relish more during summer than dining al fresco in my backyard as the sun sets in the evening over Lake Michigan. A cold, inexpensive bottle of Friulano paired with my White Bean Bruschetta with Grilled Radicchio Salad makes it a perfect evening. This bruschetta was one of the most popular dishes I served at Pó, and I still love it.

  • Skirt Steak Asada Tacos

    July 2, 2014

    My recent travels to Mexico City reminded me how much I admire classic Mexican preparation in cooking. While I may not be able to recreate the carne asada street taco I had at La Merced Market -- the most perfect I've ever experienced -- I was inspired to whip out my own version that I mastered a few years back.

  • Barbecued Red Mullet with Warm Fennel Salad and Oranges

    June 19, 2014

    There is nothing quite comparable to whole grilled fish with a warm seasonal salad on a summer evening. My Barbecued Red Mullet with Warm Fennel Salad and Oranges is exactly that.

  • Beet tonarelli with cherry tomatoes, mint and Calabrian chilies

    June 4, 2014

    In gearing up for a family vacation to the wondrous Ionian Sea this summer, I'm reminded of one of my favorite regions of southern Italy, Calabria. Forming the "toe" of the Italian Peninsula, this long and narrow land is surrounded by the Ionian and Tyrrhenian Seas. I am convinced that it is the saltwater air that makes the surprisingly abundant amount of produce in this region as delicious as it is.

  • Fresh tagliatelle with garlic, rucola and sundried tomatoes

    May 22, 2014

    Having lived in and around Bologna for three years of my life, there is probably no region in all of Italy as close to my heart as Emilia-Romagna. From the magnificent Byzantine frescoes in Ravenna to the two towers in the city of Bologna, and the riches of a magnificent small town like Modena, there is plenty to do besides eat.

  • Mario Batali: Chicken Paillard with Arugula Salad

    May 8, 2014

    There are few fancy-pants French cooking terms I care to retain, but paillard is definitely one of them. It refers to a piece of meat that's been pounded thinly and then grilled. It's one of the more approachable and less complex food preparations everyone should have in their repertoire. You can use this same technique to prepare chicken thighs as in my recipe below, chicken breasts or essentially any protein you'd prefer broken down a bit.

  • The last hurrah of winter squash

    March 20, 2014

    The only thing better than one acorn squash recipe this time of year is two acorn squash recipes. Right now I'm making risotto colla zucca along with a stuffed acorn squash for my family. These are my all-time favorite ways to incorporate this winter vegetable into a quick dinner before spring is finally in the air. This year, it couldn't come any quicker for those of us in New York City!

  • Parsnip frittata with chives and pecorino

    March 6, 2014

    This time of year, when parsnip season is in full swing, I'm constantly asked for Meatless Monday recipes incorporating this vegetable. My Parsnip Frittata with Chives and Pecorino exudes everything that a meatless meal should be. There's protein packed in the eggs, nutrients from the parsnips and, most importantly, a bold punch of flavor from the chives and cheese.

  • Catch of the Caribbean, with an Italian twist

    February 21, 2014

    This month, my family and I traveled to one of our favorite island escapes: the sweet little paradise known as St. John. The water sparkles and the sand warms your toes while the cocktails warm your stomach. Better yet is the fresh catch of the day. Tuna, grouper and lobster are just a few varieties of local seafood abundant in the British Virgin Islands. In the spirit of the Caribbean -- and of the Batali clan's happy place -- I'm frying up some fish with an Italian twist: Tuna and Ricotta Fritters.

  • Tejeringos and chocolate, a delightful Spanish treat

    February 6, 2014

    In honor of my youngest son, Leo, traveling to Spain with his school last week, I was inspired to look through old pictures from when I lived there during my own high school years. Though I was born in Seattle and my family is Italian-American (with some French-Canadian thrown in there), I got my true food and wine degree while exploring all that Spain has to offer. One of my absolute favorite Spanish recipes, and one Gwyneth Paltrow also loved on our culinary road trip through the country, is tejeringos from Grenada. Now Leo describes the tejeringos he sampled from street carts the exact same way I remember eating them in a hole-in-the-wall jaunt of my old neighborhood. Isn't it refreshing to know that even 30 years later, some things have remained the same?

  • For meatless antipasti, try this hearty but delicious tuber

    January 16, 2014

    When I conjure inspiration for a meatless antipasti spread, I think of hearty starches that give hungry carnivores like me something to work with. The Jerusalem artichoke, also known as the sunchoke, is substantial but with a delicate flavor unlike potatoes.

  • Make a healthy start to new year with Linguine with Lemon

    January 2, 2014

    Q: I am in desperate need of a healthy recipe to prepare once all of the decadent holiday leftovers are finally finished! Any suggestions?

  • Grapefruit and Honey Cake

    December 18, 2013

    Q: I'm not big on chocolate. What's a yummy fruit dessert I can make when entertaining company?

  • Panettone, the Italian Christmas classic made at home

    December 5, 2013

    Q: Fruitcake seems so outdated. Any modern twists on this classic holiday gift?

  • Salsify Frittelle highlight rare taste of the season

    November 22, 2013

    Q: Mario, can you recommend a seasonal side dish for the holidays?

  • Mario Batali: Thanksgiving with an Italian flair

    November 7, 2013

    When I was growing up, my family put an Italian or a French spin on every holiday. On Christmas Eve, we'd eat fish -- the feast of the seven fishes. On Easter, the Batalis would have lamb but also gnocchi alla primavera. But Thanksgiving was another story entirely.

  • Italian-style grilled cheese wins the game

    October 17, 2013

    Q: I'm looking to elevate my Sunday football fare. What dish do you recommend for a tailgate or for Sunday night football party?

  • Key to simple, delicious pizza: Less is more

    October 3, 2013

    Q: We're hosting a party for my 9-year-old. What do you recommend we serve that will satisfy both the parents and the kids?

  • Sweet potatoes in cartoccio: A new way to liven up a fall favorite

    September 18, 2013

    Q: How would you cook and season a sweet potato? I'm sick of butter and brown sugar.

  • Taste of fall: Roasted mushrooms and Lambrusco secco

    September 5, 2013

    Q: Can you recommend an autumn appetizer and drink pairing?

  • Pair your heirloom tomatoes with scallops from the grill

    August 21, 2013

    Q: I have heirloom tomatoes growing in the garden. What do you recommend I do with them when once they're ripe?

  • Prosciutto and fig salad a refreshing departure from same old salad

    August 1, 2013

    Q: I'd like to make a summer salad but I'm over the "house salad" of lettuce, tomato and onion. What Italian alternatives can I use at this time of year?

  • Summer side highlights fresh corn, Sardinian pasta

    July 18, 2013

    Q: Summer corn is piling up at the market. Any suggestions for a corn-centric side to serve at a weekend barbecue?

  • Bucatini all'amatriciana, a departure from ordinary pasta

    July 3, 2013

    Q: I'm starting to cook more at home but already tiring of spaghetti. Can you recommend an easy and satisfying pasta dish?

  • Grilled lake trout captures the essence of summer cooking

    June 19, 2013

    Q: I'm looking for a summer fish recipe. Any ideas?

  • As good as grilling gets: Rib eye with dry mushroom spice rub

    June 6, 2013

    Q: Prepping for a family barbecue. I've mastered the burgers and dogs, but what's the best way to grill a steak?

  • MARIO BATALI: Ramps, the taste of spring

    May 21, 2013

    Q: Do you have a good easy recipe for ramps? What are ramps, anyway?

  • MARIO BATALI: The Batali Bros. do breakfast

    May 3, 2013

    This dish is the brainchild of my sons, Benno and Leo Batali.

  • MARIO BATALI: The proper way to brine

    March 20, 2013

    Q: What's the best way to cook a thick pork chop?

  • Mario Batali: Secrets of a tender meatball

    January 31, 2013

    Q: Making meatballs for dinner. Should I fry, roast, or braise?

  • Mario Batali: Braising lamb

    January 16, 2013

    Mario Batali is the award-winning chef behind 24 restaurants including Eataly, Del Posto and his flagship Greenwich Village enoteca, Babbo. In the coming year, Mario will use this twice-monthly column to answer questions submitted via social media and by people he encounters daily in downtown Manhattan. Topics will vary from Italian travel destinations to cooking to politics. Follow Mario on Twitter @mariobatali. Keep asking!

  • Mario Batali: A simple spaghetti is the perfect Rx for post-holiday food fatigue

    January 3, 2013

    During the month of December, the food fest that is Christmas dinner becomes an obsession. It's all consuming to plan, shop for and cook a feast of the fishes -- be it seven, nine, or 13 dishes -- or whatever your particular tradition may be.

  • Mario Batali: Ciambella, a simple, delectable cake fit for a holiday table

    December 19, 2012

    A ciambella is a simple ring-shaped bread made of egg, shortening and sugar -- basically, an Italian Bundt cake. Ciambelle are often served as an afternoon snack at a bar or caffe. They can be dressed with glazes, syrups or berry compote.

  • Mario Batali: A deeply flavored comfort dish from the forests of Abruzzo

    December 6, 2012

    This pasta dish is inspired by the region of Abruzzo, among the most mountainous regions in Italy and home of some of the country's most interesting cooking. In the forests of Abruzzo, foraging reigns supreme. And because mushroom season lasts a little longer than it does elsewhere, we have porcini galore for winter ragus.

  • Mario Batali: Earthy, complex parsnips make for the perfect side dish

    November 15, 2012

  • Mario Batali: The discreet charm of baked pasta

    October 31, 2012

    Baked pasta is classic comfort food and easy to make. But it's important to follow two basic rules.

  • Mario Batali: Polenta, the ultimate Italian comfort food

    October 16, 2012

    Originally made with chestnut flour, polenta was once the catchall term for any grain boiled to a porridge and flavored with spices and cheese. When corn came from the New World to the Italian Peninsula, polenta was made with cornmeal. Today, polenta is found in two forms: as a solid cake or as a creamy grits-like mush. In this recipe, I go with the mush.

  • Mario Batali: Panzerotti Pugliesi, cheese-stuffed pastry from Italy's south

    October 4, 2012

    Panzerotti are a stuffed pastry native to the southern Italian regions of Apulia (Puglia) and Campania. Think of them as large fried ravioli or a small calzone.

  • Mario Batali: A crumbly confection from Lombardy with an American touch

    September 20, 2012

    La torta sbrisolona is a classic crumbly cake from Lombardy, the northern Italian region best known for its capital city, Milan. Sbrisolona is compact and coarse, unlike the layer cakes common in the United States.

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