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Part green salad, part antipasto salad, this recipe combines lettuce, celery, onion, peperoncini, olives and cherry tomatoesall tossed in a dressing made with olive oil, vinegar and a little mayonnaise. "The salad reminds me of one my mother made," says Fran Parisi. "Her dressing had no mayo, of courseit was strictly oil and vinegar."
Cooling this skinny pasta, then tossing it with Chardonnay-braised squid in a light, tangy sauce, makes for a refreshing first course. Chef Michael Chiarello of Bottega in Napa Valley used the 2008 Whetstone El Pajaro Chardonnay because its acidity is "a trampoline for flavor".
At Eataly's pasta and pizza counter, Mario Batali's team serves three different pasta shapes with a choice of about five different sauces ("made by some crazy dudes," says Batali). For the first time ever, he's going to let his customers match the sauce with the pasta shape. This sauce, an ever-so-slightly creamy ragù made with ground beef, pancetta and ham, is flavored with tomato paste instead of canned tomatoes.
This knife-and-fork dessert from Bottega pastry chef Michael Glissman is a fantastic showcase for seasonal fruit at its peak; caramelizing the fruit on the grill intensifies its flavor. The grilled bread served alongside soaks up the sweet juices.