Butcher's Ragù with Fusilli
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.
Roasted Delicata Squash with Quinoa Salad
Quinoa is definitely a superfood: A grain-like seed, it's a "complete" protein containing all eight essential amino acids (another plus: it cooks much more quickly than most grains). To create a terrific vegetarian main course, Michael Symon of Cleveland's Lola tosses quinoa with arugula, apple, raisins and fresh herbs, then spoons the salad into a halved baked squash (a great source of iron and vitamins A and C).
Asparagus Soup with Parmesan Shortbread Coins
"I adore savory cheese cookies with creamy asparagus soup," says Carla Hall. "Both are dead simple to make."
Lump Crab Salsa
Most crab dips are full of mayonnaise, but Michael Symon's lighter version is more like a salsa since it's prepared without mayo and laced with flecks of shallot, cilantro, jalapeño and red bell pepper. "Although I love mayo," he says, "I'm not a fan of it with crab, since it tends to muddle the flavor. If I'm spending big bucks on crab, I want it to be the star."
Gail Simmons was so disappointed during the Top Chef Season 5 finale when she learned that Carla Hall's soufflé never made it to the plate: It had curdled in the oven. To make sure her soufflés rise, Gail folds lots of fluffy whipped egg whites into a Roquefort- and-Parmigiano-Reggiano base.
Pork Cheek and Black-Eyed Pea Chili
Michael Symon defines himself as a "porketarian," saying he can't get enough of the meat. For his luscious chili, he uses incredibly flavorful and succulent pork cheeks—an unusual cut worth seeking out. If pork cheeks aren't available, pork shoulder (cut into 2-inch pieces) can be substituted.
Vineyard Sea Grill
When Mario Batali and his friends arrived at Cambados, a coastal village in Galicia, they were put to work harvesting clams. Later at the Vionta Winery, just outside Cambados, Mario built a fire from dried grapevines and corncobs—"for a bit of sweetness"—and grilled lobsters and navajas (razor clams).
Spicy Sriracha Chicken Wings
Spaghetti with Artichokes and Pancetta
"Artichokes don't have to start a fight with wine," says Mario Batali. He sautés sliced artichokes with lardo (cured pork fat) or pancetta, then tosses them with spaghetti.