Michael Chiarello is the chef and owner of the Napa Valley restaurant Bottega.
"It's the only thing I have ever wanted to do. Since I was 7 years old and they asked me what I want to be when I grow up, I said I want to be a cook and own a restaurant," Chiarello told "Nightline."
With Fathers Day approaching, here is Chiarello's recipe for what he calls Green Eggs and Ham -- as easy and fun as it is tasty -- followed by "purple pasta": Spaghettini Cooked in Zinfandel with Spicy Rapini and Pecorino Romano.
Green Eggs and Ham
Recipe Courtesy: Michael Chiarello
Prosciutto Bits 1 1/2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 pound prosciutto, finely diced (1 generous cup)
Cambozola Sauce 8 oz Cambozola cheese 2/3 cup heavy cream 1/2 tsp finely minced fresh thyme
1 pound asparagus (about 2 bunches) 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 cup water 1/2 tsp sea salt (preferably gray salt)
Crispy Eggs 6 large eggs Peanut, corn, or canola oil for deep-frying 2 cups all-purpose flour 2 cups buttermilk 2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
For Prosciutto Bits
In a small nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When it's hot, add the diced prosciutto and reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir and toss occasionally, and cook until the prosciutto is very crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the prosciutto to paper towels to drain. (Reserve the fat in the pan for another use.) Prosciutto bits may be made up to 1 week in advance and kept in an airtight jar in the refrigerator or frozen for up to 1 month. If frozen, heat briefly in a 300°F oven before using.
For Cambozola Sauce
Cut off the cheese rind and cut the cheese into small chunks. Add it to a saucepan with the cream. Whisk the mixture over medium heat until there are no lumps. If you like, strain the mixture to remove the "veins," and pour it back into the pan. Add the thyme and simmer another 2 minutes, whisking continually. Take it off the heat and cover to keep warm.
After snapping the end off each stalk, line up the asparagus and trim so they're all the same length. In a large sauté pan, combine the olive oil, water, and salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to medium-high and then poach the asparagus, working in batches and using a spatter screen; cook the asparagus in a single layer, simmering just until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Don't overcook, because it will continue cooking when it's off the heat. Transfer the asparagus to a sheet pan to cool. When you've poached all the asparagus, reserve the poaching liquid, keeping it warm in a small pan on the stove.
Prepare an ice bath large enough to hold all 6 eggs. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a rolling boil. Put the eggs in the pasta basket or a sieve and lower it into the water. When the water just barely returns to a boil, set the timer for 4 1/2 minutes (5 minutes if using larger brown eggs). When the time is up, transfer the basket to the ice bath and let the eggs chill for at least 20 minutes. Carefully peel the eggs, starting at the larger, rounded end of the shell.
In a large, heavy pot, heat 3 inches of oil to 375°F on a deep-fat thermometer. Pour the flour, buttermilk, and panko into separate bowls. Dip each egg first into the flour, then in the buttermilk, and finally in the panko. Be sure to coat well with the panko. Using a wire skimmer, add 3 eggs at a time to the hot oil and deep fry until golden brown, just 60 to 90 seconds. Using the skimmer, transfer the eggs to paper towels to drain.
Divide the asparagus evenly between 6 warmed plates. Drizzle the spears with a spoonful of the warm poaching liquid. Place one crispy egg per serving on top of the spears, drizzle with Cambozola sauce, and top with a teaspoon of prosciutto bits.
Spaghettini Cooked in Zinfandel with Spicy Rapini and Pecorino Romano
Recipe Courtesy: Chef Michael Chiarello, 2011
Serves 4 as main course or 8 as first course
1 1/2 pounds rapini or broccoli rabe 1 pound spaghettini 1 750-ml red wine, preferably zinfandel 1 tablespoon sugar 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons sliced garlic (about 4 medium cloves) 1 teaspoon Calabrian chili paste 1 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt, preferably gray salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
Bring an 8-quart pot of salted water to a boil, cook the rapini for about 3 minutes, and then transfer to a sheet tray and spread it out to cool. Using the same water, cook the spaghettini for half the normal time, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes. You'll do the second half of the cooking in the zinfandel. Reserve one cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta in a colander and set it aside. Return the empty pasta pot to the stove. You'll sauté the garlic at the same time that you finish cooking the pasta in wine.
Pour the wine and the sugar into the drained pasta pot and boil vigorously over high heat to reduce 50 percent, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the spaghettini to the pot and shake the pot to prevent the pasta from sticking. Gently stir with tongs until coated and boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 6 minutes (pasta will be al dente).
While the pasta cooks in the wine, heat a large deep skillet until hot. Pour in the olive oil. When the oil is hot, reduce the heat to medium-low and add the garlic. Cook until the garlic is pale golden, about 3 minutes. When the garlic is golden, add the chili paste and the blanched rapini to the skillet, add salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally for 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water. Add the garlic, chili paste, and blanched rapini to the purple spaghettini, toss gently, and transfer onto individual plates or one big platter. Finish with grated pecorino cheese.