These fantastic dishes include spinach and ricotta gnudi with tomato-butter sauce and almond-crusted chicken wings.
Food & Wine
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Duck with Cranberry Mostaza
Andy Nusser’s secret for cooking duck is to slowly sear it over low heat, which crisps the skin while keeping the meat tender. He likes duck best with a sweet-tart sauce like this cranberry mostaza (mustard) with a hint of red wine vinegar.
Andy Nusser says these wings, coated with crunchy chopped almonds, are a favorite Casa Mono staff meal. He serves them with a superfast lemon aioli, a mix of store-bought mayonnaise, grated lemon zest and fresh lemon juice.
Quick White Bean Stew with Swiss Chard and Tomatoes
Low in fat but high in protein, beans are one of Joe Bastianich’s favorite ingredients. He uses white beans here, but he also loves making this recipe with chickpeas and flat gigante beans: "The bigger and creamier the beans, the better."
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."
Manila Clams with Hot Soppressata and Sweet Vermouth
Tommy Habetz adopted the southern Mediterranean style of pairing spicy cured meats and shellfish while working with chef Mark Ladner at Lupa in Manhattan. Here he combines hot soppressata with Manila clams, a very common West Coast shellfish; for cooks on the East Coast, he recommends using either littleneck clams or cockles.
Seared Scallops with Basil, Anchovy and Sweet Corn Pudding
The quality of the seafood is key in this lemony, piquant dish. April Bloomfield recommends seeking out day-boat scallops, caught by fishermen who return from a day at sea with supremely fresh scallops that haven’t been treated with any kind of preservative. Instead of being milky white, they’re almost coral-colored.
Spinach and Ricotta Gnudi with Tomato-Butter Sauce
Gotham Bldg Tavern chef Tommy Habetz describes gnudi as "ravioli filling without the pasta." He learned how to make his outrageously light and creamy version while working at Mario Batali’s former New York City restaurant Pó.
According to Andy Nusser, when parsnips are sautéed until soft on the inside and brown on the outside, their unique sweetness emerges. Mixed with apple juice, lemon and horseradish, they make a terrific side dish for chops.