Access Hollywood Live: Michael Chiarello’s Italian Feast Recipes

Chef Michael Chiarello — chef & owner of Botegga in Napa Valley, and a contestant on “Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs” on the Food Network, stopped by Access Hollywood Live to share some of his amazing recipes for declicious Italian cuisine!

Roasted Butternut Squash and Mushrooms with Burrata

(Recipe Courtesy: Michael Chiarello’s Bottega Cookbook)

Serves 6

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more if needed

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

5 cups 1-inch cubes butternut squash (about 2 1/2 pounds)

Brown-Butter Vinaigrette:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon minced fresh sage

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Pinch of sea salt, preferably gray salt, or kosher salt

3 1/2 cups mushrooms, any variety (see cook’s note below)

2 shallots, thinly sliced

Sea salt, preferably gray salt, and freshly ground black pepper

12 ounces (3 balls) burrata

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over high heat and add 2 tablespoons of the butter and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. When the butter foams, add the squash and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until caramelized and lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Slide the pan into the oven and roast until a deeper brown on the edges, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette: Heat a small sauté pan over medium heat, add the butter, and when it foams, brown the sage for just a minute, and then pour in the vinegar and let it reduce by half. Don’t stir or touch it. Just keep it at a simmer, gently reducing until thickened. Add the salt when it’s the consistency of a light syrup. Turn off the heat but leave the pan on the stove while you sauté the mushrooms

Heat a medium sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. When the butter foams, add the mushrooms and sauté until they begin to release their water, about 8 minutes. Add the shallots to the pan and sauté until brown, tossing so they cook evenly. Season with salt and pepper and add another 1/2 tablespoon of butter if they look dry.

To serve: Divide the squash and the mushrooms evenly among 6 plates. With your hands, tear the burrata into pieces, scattering them over the vegetables. Drizzle with the vinaigrette.

Cook’s Note: You can use any combination of mushrooms here. I like matsutakes, chanterelles, shiitakes, or morels but use what looks best at the farmers’ market or in the produce section.


Spaghettini Cooked in Zinfandel with Spicy Rapini and Pecorino Romano

(Recipe Courtesy: Chef Michael Chiarello, 2011)

Serves 4 as main course, or 8 as first course

1 1/2 pounds rapini or broccoli rabe

1 pound spaghettini

1 750-ml red wine, preferably zinfandel

1 tablespoon sugar

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons sliced garlic (about 4 medium cloves)

1 teaspoon Calabrian chili paste

1 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt, preferably gray salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano

Bring an 8-quart pot of salted water to a boil, cook the rapini for about 3 minutes, and then transfer to a sheet tray and spread it out to cool. Using the same water, cook the spaghettini for half the normal time, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes. You’ll do the second half of the cooking in the zinfandel. Reserve one cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta in a colander and set it aside. Return the empty pasta pot to the stove. You’ll sauté the garlic at the same time that you finish cooking the pasta in wine.

Pour the wine and the sugar into the drained pasta pot and boil vigorously over high heat to reduce 50 percent, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the spaghettini to the pot and shake the pot to prevent the pasta from sticking. Gently stir with tongs until coated and boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 6 minutes (pasta will be al dente).

While the pasta cooks in the wine, heat a large deep skillet until hot. Pour in the olive oil. When the oil is hot, reduce the heat to medium-low and add the garlic. Cook until the garlic is pale golden, about 3 minutes. When the garlic is golden, add the chili paste and the blanched rapini to the skillet, add salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally for 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water. Add the garlic, chili paste, and blanched rapini to the purple spaghettini, toss gently, and transfer onto individual plates or one big platter. Finish with grated pecorino cheese.

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