Culinary superstar Mario Batali still likes to keep things simple in his own kitchen, using ingredients people can actually pronounce.
In "Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home" (Ecco), Batali presents delicious and easy-to-make dishes that are sure to please everyone.
He served up some of his favorite recipes from the collection for "Good Morning America" on Wednesday – chicken with "cooked wine," baked pasta with ricotta and ham, and Italian trifle.
You can find the recipes below. To print, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the "Print This Article" icon. (All recipes courtesy of Mario Batali.)
Pollo al Vin Cotto
You can buy bottles of vin cotto (which translates as "cooked wine") in fancy specialty shops, but it is quite easy to make a version of it at home. And it is a great way to use up those less-than-acceptable wine gifts.
Makes 4 servings
4½ cups red wine
½ cup honey
2 cinnamon sticks
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
One (3-pound) chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces, rinsed, and patted dry
1 large onion, cut into large dice
2 carrots, diced
½ cup green olives (such as Sicilian), halved and pitted
3 tablespoons raisins
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted
3 tablespoons blanched almonds, toasted
1 cup red wine vinegar
½ cup sugar
freshly ground black pepper
cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon hot red pepper flakes
¼ cup finely-chopped Italian Parsley
1. To make the vin cotto, combine all the ingredients in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1 cup (about 20 minutes). Remove from the heat and let cool; remove the cinnamon sticks and cloves before using.
2. In a 10- to 12-inch sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over high heat until very hot but not smoking. Season the chicken with salt, add skin side down to the pan, and brown on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion and carrots, and cook, stirring, until deep golden brown. Add the olives, raisins, capers, pine nuts and almonds to the pan, stirring well. Add ½cup of the vin cotto to deglaze the pan, stirring up the browned bits on the bottom, then boil until reduced by half. Add the remaining ½cup vin cotto, and bring to a boil.
3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the vinegar and sugar. Add to the pan and cook, stirring, until the liquid has reduced to a glaze. Season, to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Transfer the chicken to a warmed platter and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with cracked black pepper, the red pepper flakes and parsley, and serve.
Pasticcio di Maccheroni
Makes 8 servings
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound Italian cooked ham, preferably parmacotto, cut into ½-inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small carrot, cut into ¼-inch dice
1 onion, cut into ¼-inch dice
1 rib celery, thinly sliced
1 cup dry red wine
3 ½ cups basic tomato sauce (Recipe below)
1 ½ pounds ziti
1 pound fresh ricotta
8 ounces caciotta or hard provolone, cut into small dice
½ cup freshly-grated parmigiano-reggiano