Mario Batali Recipes for the Grill
Chicken Thighs with Garlicky Crumbs and Snap Peas
Before grilling chicken thighs, Mario Batali crusts them with a simple and delectable combination of garlic, bread crumbs, parsley, and—a surprise ingredient—anchovy fillets, which add a salty, complex flavor.
Pancetta-Wrapped Asparagus with Citronette
In Mario Batali’s riff on the traditional antipasto of prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, he wraps spears in pancetta (which, unlike prosciutto, becomes nicely crispy when cooked) and grills them. Adding a bit of tanginess is the citronette, a marvelously bright-tasting mustardy-orange dressing.
Grilled Margherita and Olive-Fontina Pizzas
“This dough is not the kind you throw in the air like in the movies,” Mario Batali says. He grills the crusts until they’re delectably charred, then adds one of two simple toppings—a classic Margherita with tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil, and a pungent mix of Fontina, black olives and pine nuts. Batali cuts the pies into small wedges as appetizers but notes that they’re also hearty enough to be a main course.
Vineyard Sea Grill
On a trip to Spain, Mario Batali recalls building a fire from dried grapevines and corncobs—“for a bit of sweetness”—and grilling lobsters and navajas (razor clams).
Grilled Asparagus with Pepper Zabaglione
Mario Batali chars his asparagus on the grill, then serves it with a superrich zabaglione sauce spiked with black pepper.
Grilled Mortadella and Robiola Packets
Mario Batali advises seeking out Italian mortadella (cured sausage made from ground pork with a smooth, delicate flavor) for these wraps; American-made mortadella, he says, is no better than bologna. He also recommends buying exquisitely milky, creamy fresh robiola cheese, but says that fresh goat cheese or even ricotta would be acceptable stand-ins.
Spicy Stewed Sausages with Three Peppers
“This is my take on the Little Italy classic,” says Mario Batali of the sausage and peppers that’s a mainstay of the iconic Manhattan neighborhood and its annual street festival. Stewing the bell peppers in red wine gives them richness; so does a generous garnish of grated pecorino cheese. The stewed sausages and peppers are also delicious tossed with pasta.
Grilled Skirt Steak with Salsa Verde
Skirt steak, nicely marbled with fat, takes well to marinades, like this simple mix of herbs and garlic. Mario Batali accents the grilled meat with a sauce made with more herbs and garlic, plus capers and anchovies; he likes to make his salsa verde superthick.
Grilled Polenta with Spinach and Robiola Cheese
Polenta is the Italian name for cornmeal. Here, it’s grilled until crisp and served with sautéed spinach and a creamy, tangy cheese that melts on top.