Recipes: Favorites From Michael White

With his roots firmly planted in Wisconsin, acclaimed chef Michael White credited cold winters spent in the kitchen and Chicago's Italian restaurants with fostering his love of food.

Now enjoying his time in the kitchen of his new New York City restaurant, Convivio, White is sharing a few of his favorite recipes.

Gamberoni alla Piastra

Recipe courtesy of Michael White

Serves four

2 cloves garlic
2 sprigs rosemary, stemmed
½ cup and 1 tablespoons olive oil
16 large head-on shrimp, peeled and deveined with the head left on
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 shallot, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups mixed heirloom tomatoes, quartered
3 cups arugula
1 lemon


Mince garlic and rosemary together and place in a large bowl; pour in 1/3 cup olive oil and combine. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

After the shrimp has marinated, combine red wine vinegar, shallot, 4 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper in the bottom of a large bowl and whisk to combine.

Add the tomatoes and arugula and toss gently to coat, and reserve. Next, heat a cast iron skillet until hot (when a drop of water sizzles on the surface).

Once hot, remove the shrimp from the marinade and place in the pan. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 1 ½ minutes.

After 90 seconds, flip to the other side, season with salt and pepper and cook 90 seconds more. Once cooked, remove from heat and place 4 shrimp on each of the four plates.

To serve, divide the tomato salad onto four plates and top each with four shrimp. Finish with a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of remaining olive oil and serve immediately.

Polipo Alla Murati

Recipe courtesy of Michael White

Chef's Note: This is best when you make it the day before, allowing the flavors to meld together.

Serves four

¼ cup olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, smashed

Pinch chili flakes
2 pounds baby octopus, or 1/2 (CHECK QUANTITY) pound octopus, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups dry red wine
1 28 oz can peeled and seeded San Marzano tomatoes, diced
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 bunch basil, picked
4 cups water
1 cup corn meal


Heat a heavy bottom sauce pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, reduce to medium and add 1/8 cup olive oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan.

Add the onions and garlic and saute until translucent, about 8-10 minutes and add chili flakes.

Add raw octopus and cook until octopus begins to firm up and the color starts to turn white. Pour in wine and continue to cook until alcohol has evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes.

Add tomatoes and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper and add the basil leaves to the mixture.

Cover and braise over medium-low heat for 1 to 1 ½ hours, or until tender. After the octopus is tender, remove the lid and cook for an additional 15 minutes to reduce the liquid to sauce consistency.

Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary with salt and black pepper. If serving immediately, while braising the octopus, bring 4 cups of salted water to a boil.

Add the cornmeal, whisking rapidly to incorporate. As the polenta begins to thicken, after about 15 minutes, switch to a wooden spoon and continue to stir consistently.

Cook until all the water is absorbed, the polenta is bubbling and it glistens.Top with a remaining olive oil and stir to combine.

To serve, spoon polenta into four bowls and top with octopus.

Fusili With Pork Shoulder Ragout

Recipe courtesy of Michael White

Serves four

1/3 cup olive oil
2 pounds pork butt, diced
Salt, freshly ground black pepper
Pinch chili flakes
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
1 28 oz can San Marzano peeled, seeded and diced tomatoes
4 cups chicken stock
1 pound dry or fresh fusili
¼ cup grated pecorino, plus extra for garnish


Heat a heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and once hot, add diced pork butt.

Brown well, about 8-10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and chili flakes. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft and caramelized, 8-10 minutes more. Add tomato paste and cook 2 minutes.

Deglaze with red wine and reduce until alcohol has evaporated. Add tomatoes and chicken stock and stir to combine.

Simmer, uncovered, until pork is tender and mixture is at a sauce consistency. While ragout is cooking, cook your chosen pasta according to the directions on the package until al dente.

Once cooked, drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Place pasta into the sauce, along with ¼ cup of the pasta water, and toss to coat. Remove from heat and stir in grated pecorino.

Divide into four plates, top with extra pecorino and serve immediately.