In this luscious, tomato-rich stew, Marco Canora cooks calamari slowly until it becomes supertender. He says calamari is absolutely essential to the success of the dish, because it releases its liquid as it simmers, which adds a huge amount of flavor to the sauce. "I'm a big fan of substitutions," he says, "but not in this case."
This is a simple, classic Florentine chicken-liver pâté, which can be prepared in a coarse or smooth style. To make the rustic recipe here more elegant, Marco Canora suggests processing the cooked livers until very smooth, spreading the pâté in ramekins and topping it with a layer of chicken fat.
The pasta for this tortelli (a larger version of tortellini) is extremely silky and supple, which makes it excellent with the creamy ricotta-and-spinach filling. If there's any dough left over, cut it into noodles, as Marco Canora does, then dry it and store it in bags in the refrigerator to have on hand for last-minute dinners.
Paul Grieco of Terroir in Manhattan is one of the few sommeliers to serve wines from Sicily's Frank Cornelissen, who favors a hyper-natural approach and the use of amphorae for red wines. Chef Marco Canora's pasta with braised duck is just the thing with Cornelissen's red; this version calls for duck confit.
"This is one of my favorite things on the planet," says Marco Canora about his savory rabbit stew. He loves sharing the recipe with his students because it's an opportunity to teach them about making battuto (similar to soffrito), a mixture of sautéed onion, celery and carrots that's the base for many Italian dishes.
"This crust is not what you'd expect," Marco Canora says. "Instead of being crunchy, it's puffy and cakey." The dough is terrific for impromptu baking, because it doesn't need to be chilled before it's rolled out. For the filling, Canora recommends using peaches that are ripe but still firm, as drippy fruit will make the soft crust soggy.