Mario Batali's Perfect Pasta

Food Network star Mario Batali is a legend to "foodies," known for his authentic Italian cooking and his incredibly popular restaurants.

His latest cookbook, "Molto Gusto," is filled with recipes from his Manhattan restaurant Otto. In the book, he breaks down simple Italian cooking, insisting anyone can do it, making dishes from pizza to pasta.

"Early Show" recipes galore!

He visited "The Early Show" Monday to prepare some of that perfect pasta he's famous for.

RECIPES

Linguini with Cacio e Pepe


This recipe is almost as basic as a recipe could be, but it's truly delicious.

Serves 6

Kosher Salt
1/4 cup coarsely ground black pepper
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound dried linguini
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano plus extra for serving
1/4 cup grated pecorino romano

Bring 6 quarts water to a boil in a large pot and add 3 tablespoons of Kosher salt.

Meanwhile, set another large pot over medium heat, add the pepper, and toast, stirring, until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add the oil and butter and stir occasionally until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat.

Drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook until just al dente. Drain, reserving about a 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

Add 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water to the oil and butter mixture, then add the pasta and stir and toss over medium heat until the pasta is well coated. Stir in the cheeses (add a splash or two more of the reserved pasta water if necessary to loosen the sauce) and serve immediately with additional grated Parmigiano on the side.

Penne Primavera

Serves 6

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
4 ounces morels, halved if large, or cremini mushrooms thinly sliced
8 ounces asparagus, stalks sliced 1/4 inch thick on the bias, tips reserved separately
1 cup fresh or frozen peas, thawed if frozen
1 cup fava beans
4 scallions, white part only, thinly sliced
Maldon or other flaky sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper
Kosher salt
1 pound penne rigate
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano for serving

Heat 1/4 cup of the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until hot. Add the garlic and cook stirring, until barely golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the carrots, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the sliced asparagus and cook for 2 minutes, then add the asparagus tips, peas, fava beans and scallions, season well with Maldon salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until all the vegetables are just tender, about 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat.

Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in another large pot and add 3 tablespoons kosher salt. Drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook until just al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the water.

Add the pasta and 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water to the vegetables, stirring and tossing over medium heat to mix well. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and allow to steam together for 2 minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a splash or two more of the reserved pasta water if necessary to loosen the sauce, then stir in the herbs and serve immediately, with grated Parmigano on the side.

For more recipes, go to Page 2.

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