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). This sauce, an ever-so-slightly creamy ragù made with ground beef, pancetta and ham, is flavored with tomato paste instead of canned tomatoes.
Macaroni and cheese goes upscale with fontina, mozzarella, and Parmesan. This particular combination provides plenty of flavor and meltability, but don’t limit yourself to our selection: Make your own trio from the cheeses you have on hand.
Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Arugula, Pine Nuts and Herb Dressing
For lighter winter meals, Melissa Rubel Jacobson jazzes up a basic pasta salad with peppery arugula and a lively mayo-based dressing made with garlic, lemon juice and a trio of fresh herbs. She uses sweet grape tomatoes, which are delicious year-round.
This vibrant pasta, tossed with beet greens and creamy goat cheese, is an ode to Charles Barsotti’s 1994 New Yorker cartoon of a rigatoni noodle on the phone to a friend, exclaiming, “Fusilli, you crazy bastard!” Tarry Lodge chef Andy Nusser says, “Mario [Batali] and I saw the cartoon at the same time. It became the punch line to every joke.”
For this light, uncooked sauce, you must have perfectly ripe tomatoes. Be sure they’re at room temperature, too, not cold. In fact, tomatoes shouldn’t be refrigerated at all; chilling permanently reduces their flavor.
Our tomato pesto packs a wallop of flavor. Use it in this colorful pasta salad or toss it with hot pasta instead. You may also want to try the pesto on top of grilled chicken, lamb, or vegetables; as a sandwich spread; or mixed with cream cheese on a bagel.
The classic Piedmontese fonduta combines fontina cheese, milk, egg yolks and butter into a silky sauce that's usually topped with thin slices of white truffle. Traditionally, fonduta is served with toast or fried polenta. Our version (minus the truffles) coats fusilli and trips of zucchini for a divine rendition of macaroni and cheese.