Summer Caprese Salad
10 ounces fresh mozzarella
1½ pounds assorted ripe tomatoes (choose a combination of colors, types, and sizes), such as Brandywine, purple Cherokee, cherry, pear, peach, and/or Green Zebra
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small bunch basil (Genovese, lemon, Thai, or fino verde), leaves removed, or about 1 cup mixed fresh basil leaves
Maldon or other flaky sea salt
With a sharp knife, cut the mozzarella into ½-inch-thick slices. Transfer to a serving platter, reserving any milky liquid from the cheese in a small cup.
If using cherry or grape tomatoes, cut them in half; reserve the juices. Core the remaining tomatoes and slice them, reserving the juices. Arrange the tomatoes on the cheese.
Whisk the vinegar, reserved tomato juices, any liquid from the mozzarella, and the olive oil together in a small bowl.
Tear the basil leaves over the salad. Pour the vinaigrette over it, sprinkle with salt, and serve.Spaghetti alla Carbonara
5 ounces sliced pancetta, cut into ½-inch-wide strips
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
6 fresh large eggs
1 pound spaghetti
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra for serving
¼ cup grated pecorino romano
Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot and add 3 tablespoons kosher salt.
Meanwhile, combine the pancetta and oil in another large pot and cook over medium-high heat until the pancetta has rendered some of its fat and is lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Stir in the pepper and remove from the heat.
Separate the eggs, being careful to keep the yolks intact, putting the whites in a small bowl and the yolks in a shallow dish.
Drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook until just al dente. Drain, reserving cup of the pasta water.
Add the reserved pasta water to the pan¬cetta and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the egg whites and cook, whisking furiously, until they are frothy but not set, about 1 minute. Add the pasta, stirring and tossing well to coat. Stir in the cheeses.
Divide the pasta among six bowls, making a nest in the center of each portion. Gently drop an egg yolk into each nest and serve immediately, advising your guests to stir the yolk into the pasta so it will cook. Pass additional grated Parmigiano on the side.
“The breadth of vegetable preparations in “Molto Gusto” is infectious. Armed with Batali’s suggestions, it seems, readers could tackle almost any vegetable they bring home.” (Buffalo News (NY))