Mario Batali Offers Up a Taste of Spain

You don't have to leave home to get a taste of Spain. Mario Batali has cooked up several recipes to give you that authentic taste. Whether you're in the mood for something sweet or something a little hearty, Batali has a recipe for you courtesy of his new book "Spain: A Culinary Road Trip." Check them out below and click here to get more recipes from "GMA." Click here to browse Batali's new book.

Pisto Manchego

This simple dish, a sort of pureed ratatouille, is served all over Spain over its own or accompanying meats, eggs, fish or bread (basically anything and everything).

A picture of a Spanish dish.Play

Serves 4 to 6 as a tapa or side dish
4 ripe plum tomatoes
2 small Japanese eggplants
4 red bell peppers
2 tablespoons olive oil plus ¼ cup
2 red onions, not peeled
Kosher salt and freshly ground
black pepper

Rub the tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers with the 2 tablespoons of oil and put them on a baking sheet, along with the onions. Roast in a 375 degree F oven for about 45 minutes, or until very soft (the onions may take as long as an hour). Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then remove the skin from the tomatoes and peel the onions. Cut the eggplants in half and scoop out the flesh. Roughly chop all the vegetables, then pass through a food mill into a bowl. Stir in the remaining ¼ cup olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.Serve on pan tostado (toasted bread).
Courtesy of Mario Batali "Spain: A Culinary Road Trip," Ecco 2008.

Pollo Casero

Pollo casero translates as "homemade chicken" and, in this instance, referred not only to the preparation of the dish but also to the preparation of the chicken itself. When we asked Pilar where she got her chicken, she told us to go outside and listen — her chickens were the ones "singing" in the field below. She served this with little fried potato balls, but she wouldn't tell us how she made them; I'd suggest eating this with either small boiled potatoes or even French fries.

Serves 4 One 3½ pound chicken,cut into 8 pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
One 8 ounce jar pimento
1 cup dry white wine

Rub the chicken all over with the garlic and salt. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a pot that will hold the chicken in a single snug layer. Working in 2 batches, add the chicken skin side down and brown very well on all sides, about 15 minutes per batch. Transfer the chicken to a platter. Add the onion to the pot and cook for about 10 minutes, or until soft. Add the pimentos and wine, return the chicken to the pot, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat slightly, partially cover and simmer for 1 hour, or until the chicken is very tender.
Courtesy of Mario Batali "Spain: A Culinary Road Trip," Ecco 2008.

Baked Apples

Pilar baked apples for dessert and they were soft and delicious. She gave us some to try in their raw state, and they were incredibly crisp — almost too hard. They came, unsurprisingly, from her backyard. Use the crispest apples you can find; Macouns or Crispins would be good options. These are especially good with sour cream, ice cream, even yogurt.

Serves 6
6 crisp apples
2 tablespoons sugar
A small glass of cider (about ½ cup)

Core, but do not peel, the apples and put in a shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with the sugar and cider. Bake in a 375 degreeeF oven for about 1 hour, or until very soft. Serve hot, at room temperature, or cold.
Courtesy of Mario Batali "Spain: A Culinary Road Trip," Ecco 2008

Pineapple With Lime and Molasses

This was a great dish to end the meal — a little sweet, a little acidic, it's a wonderfully flavorful, unexpected combination. Michael's father, who lives in Georgia, loves pineapple and, being a Southern man, loves molasses, so Michael purchased a jar of Inopia's molasses to bring back home. Alberto couldn't believe that Michael was going to carry the jar around Europe, but he eventually got it back home.

Serves 8
1 ripe pineapple, peeled, cored,
and cut into bite-sized pieces
Grated zest of 1 lime
3 tablespoons robust molasses

Put the pineapple on a plate, sprinkle it with the zest, and drizzle with the molasses. Enjoy.
Courtesy of Mario Batali "Spain: A Culinary Road Trip," Ecco 2008.

Spinach Catalan-Style There's nothing like a nice plate of spinach. It just makes you feel good. The pine nuts and currants in this version lend texture and sweetness. serves 2 to 3 2 tablespoons olive oil 3 tablespoons pine nuts 3 tablespoons dried currants 1 large bunch spinach, washed and spun mostly dry (leave enough water to help cook the spinach) Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat (or over a hot grill fire). Add the nuts and currants and stir for a minute or two, until the nuts start to brown. Add the spinach, in batches if necessary, and stir and cook until the spinach is nicely wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and serve.