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: Creamy Kale Gratin

Mario Batali: Creamy Kale Gratin

February 5, 2015

Potatoes are not the only ingredient that can be made into a tasty gratin dish. Creamy kale gratin, highlighted in my newest cookbook, "America Farm to Table: Simple, Delicious Recipes Celebrating Local Farmers," makes for a healthier version of the potluck party classic.

  • Mario Batali: Celery and Pancetta Salad

    January 22, 2015

    Considered Italy's version of bacon, pancetta is made from pork belly, peppered, rolled, tied and hung to cure. It's most often used as a cooking ingredient to add flavor, as in this Celery and Pancetta Salad that OTTO Pizzeria has served for years.

  • Mario Batali: Rabe, Potato and Ricotta Ravioli

    January 8, 2015

    I learned a lot about traditional Italian cooking from my grandmother. She was undeniably the best cook in the Batali household, and her ravioli were absolutely legendary. Some of my fondest childhood memories stem from helping Grandma in the kitchen and stealing a bite, then two, then three along with a slap on the wrist. This time of year, when we've just come out of a season devoted to celebrating tradition, I think about her calf's brain ravioli with oxtail ragu and how pure and perfect her pasta-making technique truly was.

  • Mario Batali: Cabbage Bruschetta

    December 18, 2014

    For many Italian kids nowadays, bruschetta is the new pizza, and it can be thought of in the same way in terms of toppings, no matter how simple or complex. The word bruschetta comes from the Roman dialectical verb root bruscare, meaning "to cook or roast over hot coals." In contrast to the literal translation, at OTTO Enoteca Pizzeria in New York City and Las Vegas, we use an industrial toaster. At home you can use a simple toaster oven, panino press or even a regular oven broiler for results that are equally delicious.

  • Mario Batali: Beet and Fennel Insalata Cruda

    December 3, 2014

    For a long time, I've been interested in produce that comes in all different colors and varieties. Apples, kale, gourds; you name it and I am all about it. At the moment, my colorful produce obsession has been mainly focused on beets.

  • Mario Batali: Vegetable Caponata on Sweet Potato Crisps

    November 19, 2014

    One of the most memorable dishes I ever tasted during autumn was a caponata from Sicily I had decades ago. To replicate the dichotomy of sweet and sour flavors I fell so deeply in love with, I've paired my Vegetable Caponata with Sweet Potato Crisps as my serving vessel. Some caponata recipes call for sugar and vinegar, but the beauty of my key ingredient in this recipe, apple cider vinegar, is that you kill two birds with one stone. Apple cider vinegar also tones down the sour taste found in some caponatas that use red or white vinegars. I hit my pan with the cider vinegar and a splash of water only when my cubed root vegetables have just barely browned.

  • Mario Batali: Chilaquiles with Tomatillo Salsa

    November 6, 2014

    Well into autumn hearty greens are still coming from the ground, and tomatillos are a season-finishing ingredients you should be cooking with. Also called "tomate verde," tomatillos are essential in green salsas of Mexican cuisine. Not to be confused with a green tomato as we know it in America, the tomatillo is a citrusy, sweet-flavored husked fruit, related to the husk cherry.

  • Mario Batali: Roasted Pumpkin with Fontina Fonduta

    October 22, 2014

    Fonduta, as its name implies, is a fontina cheese dish originating from northern Italy, specifically the Piedmont and Val d'Aosta regions. It is typically served as part of an antipasto with cubes of toasted bread and a glass of wine. At my house, we drop the toasted bread, keep the glass of wine, and raise you warmed autumn vegetables with my Roasted Pumpkin with Fontina Fonduta.

  • Mario Batali: Balsamic, Onion and Goat Cheese Pizza

    October 1, 2014

    When the leaves start turning and the nights become longer, I know my little onions are back and ready for some good cooking. I could not be happier. Cipolline are small, flat and pale onions, with mild flesh and papery thin skins. Ranging from pale yellow to light brown, their color resembles that of Spanish onions. Cipolline are sweeter, however, containing less residual sugar than shallots but more than garden-variety white or yellow onions. Specialty markets and grocery stores have them in stock when harvested in autumn, but prices become less reasonable when these flavor-packed babies are not in season.

  • Mario Batali: Pennette with Swiss Chard Ragu

    September 17, 2014

    After 18 years of raising hungry boys in my kitchen, I seldom have leftovers when pasta water and butter are paired as the base of a sauce. Every plate is licked clean and I barely have to put any elbow grease into the dirty dish aftermath. My Pennette with Swiss Chard Ragu serves as no exception to that rule. This is one of my favorite simple Italian meals with a vegetarian focus and hearty bite for everyone in the family.

  • Mario Batali: Chilled Tomato and Bread Soup

    September 4, 2014

    Pappa al pomodoro is a rustic dish with flavors of home cooking and end of summer comfort food. While this traditional Tuscan dish is typically eaten hot or at room temperature, I prefer it slightly chilled when tomatoes are at their peak in early September. My Chilled Tomato and Bread Soup will make you look as if you spent a lot of time working in the kitchen. In reality, it is just those crazy tomatoes, doing the work of trenchermen with all their ripened, zingy flavor.

  • 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?

  • 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?

  • 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?

  • 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?

  • 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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