We've been fans of Mario Batali ever since we first saw his show Molto Mario on the Food Network (back when there used to be cooking shows on the Food Network). Now he's a celebrity and über-restaurateur, but has still managed to keep his success from turning him completely lame.
We own a number of Batali's cookbooks and like them all, but Holiday Food was our first and remains a favorite. It is a collection of recipes traditionally served during Christmas and New Year, but there is no reason not to make these dishes year-round.
|Basic Tomato Sauce|
Not really a recipe on its own, but a component in many other dishes. This simple tomato sauce (which we now just call "Mario Sauce") has become our household standard. You can find the recipe here.
|Uova In Purgatorio|
(Eggs In Purgatory)
Eggs poached in a fiery-red tomato sauce with caramelized onions and sprinkled with fresh basil.
|Ravioli Alla Spigola|
(Sea Bass Ravioli with Marjoram and Potatoes)
After making this dish initially according to the recipe I have to admit that we are now often lazy and omit the fish. Instead we add some cheese and have dubbed the modified version "Raviogies".
Polpette Alla Napoletana (Neapolitan Meatballs). Pecorino cheese and toasted pine nuts make these hefty meatballs truly different from any other meatball recipe we've tried. And the tomato sauce they simmer in becomes extra rich - perfect for a simple side of penne.
Broccoli Soffriti (Braised Broccoli). The Broccoli in question here is Broccoli Rabe, a somewhat bitter, more leafy version of the vegetable. Historically we've shied away from bitter greens, but this recipe, with it's garlic and salty anchovies has gotten us past that aversion.