Eataly's vegetable counter specializes in vegan dishes—specifically, vegan dishes that people might not suspect are vegan. One is this thick, hearty soup made with a colorful mix of carrots, peas, leek and onion. Mario Batali also adds borlotti beans and farro, which make the soup hearty enough to be a main course. The crunchy grissini on the side aren't vegan; they're sweetened with honey.
For Eataly's seafood dishes, Mario Batali enlisted the help of Dave Pasternack, chef-partner at his outstanding restaurant Esca. "This gives Dave another place to play with fish," Batali says. "Plus, I don't go to the Olympics without bringing my MVPs." Together they created this earthy salad with chopped cured anchovies in the dressing.
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.
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.
These long, crispy bread sticks are a lovely accompaniment to any soup, including Mario Batali's vegetable-and-farro version. Batali makes the bread sticks with leaves from the lightly bitter Mediterranean herb myrtle; crushed juniper berries are a good substitute. He also seasons the grissini with cayenne pepper, one of his favorite spices; he keeps it in a salt shaker so it's easy to dispense.