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Below is a sample of our weekly StarChefs QuickMeals Newsletters. Subscribers get newsletters like this every week-- plus exclusive anytime access to recipes by our renowned Star Chefs.

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Chef Mario Batali
Mario Batali is executive chef and owner of Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca in New York City. Raised in Seattle, Batali's initial career path led to Rutgers University in New Jersey, but soon after graduating, he enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu in London. Yet Batali withdrew from the culinary school almost immediately due to "lack of interest." An apprenticeship with London's legendary Marco Pierre White and three years of intense culinary training in the northern Italian village of Borgo Capanne (pop. 200) instead gave Batali the essential skills and knowledge to return to the US and rout the checkered tablecloth-Italian restaurant establishment. Today Babbo is the flagship restaurant among half a dozen spectacular ventures. Batali also co-owns or oversees Lupa Osteria Romana, Esca, Otto Enoteca Pizzeria, Casa Mono, Bar Jamon, and Bistro du Vent. His latest project with partner Joseph Bastianich is Del Posto, which will open in November in New York's meatpacking district. Here Batali shares five recipes from his most recent book, Molto Italiano, published by Ecco - Harper Collins in May 2005.

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Grilled Lamb Chops with Garlic Confit and Mint
"Scottaditi are little Roman-style lamb chops that are impossible to stop eating once they have landed on the table. Both American and New Zealand lamb are delicious, with American chops being larger than their Kiwi cousins and down-under lamb being substantially less expensive. For this dish, I prefer smaller chops and buy the New Zealand stuff. Were I preparing a rack of lamb cooked whole, I would buy American."

Jumbo Shrimp Marsala Housewife-Style
"The tradition of Sicilian cooking is well documented in Anna Tasca Lanza's works, and she is the zen mistress of all the island's fascinating food lore. Her school at Regaleali Winery is one of the best I have visited, and it was an experience to cook shoulder to shoulder with a modern national treasure. This is a variation on a dish from her first book, Flavors of Sicily."

Penne with Cauliflower
"Sometimes a recipe can be so simple that it seems, well, almost pathetic, like this one. But eating something that's all about one simple, amazing flavor is what good food is all about."

Polenta with Clams
"Soup, risotto and polenta are the true comfort foods of the Italian table. In the traditional vernacular they are referred to as primi, or first courses, along with the pastas, but in the real sense they represent the backbone of the diet of an agrarian society of farmers, hunters and shepherds."

Turkey Cutlets Bologna-Style
"I first had this dish at one of my favorite places in all of Bologna, a restaurant on Via Indipendenza called Diana. They serve classic Bolognese cooking without apologies to the modern, and it rocks me every time. The dish is easy to make and can be prepared up to an hour in advance of the oven phase without any problem. If you cannot find a fresh truffle, do not substitute a canned one; they are as unacceptable as truffle oil."
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4 medium plum tomatoes
1 rib celery with leaves
1 head cauliflower
38 cloves garlic, or 3 heads
2 medium red onions
1 large bunch Italian parsley
1 small bunch fresh mint

Meats, Poultry, and Seafood:
One 8-rib rack of lamb, trimmed and cut into chops, preferably New Zealand lamb
2 pounds jumbo shrimp (U-12), peeled and deveined
20 littleneck clams or manila clams
Six 4-ounce turkey cutlets, pounded to -inch thick

Dairy, Fresh-Prepared Foods and Deli Items:
cup freshly grated young pecorino Toscana, about 2 ounces
4 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for grating and shaving
3 extra-large eggs
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
6 slices prosciutto di Parma
1 fresh white or black truffle (optional)

Canned, Bottled and Dry Goods:
1 pound penne
1 cup quick-cooking polenta or fine cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups fresh bread crumbs
1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups dry white wine, or about 1 (750-ml) bottle
1 cup sweet white wine, such as Malvasia
1 cup dry marsala
1 Tablespoon pine nuts
1 Tablespoon currants
2 Tablespoons small capers
1 bay leaf, preferably fresh
Fennel seeds
Hot red pepper flakes
Black peppercorns

  • Aged balsamic vinegar

  • Capers

  • Dry porcini mushrooms

  • Extra-virgin olive oil

  • Hot pepper flakes

  • Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  • Pecorino-Romano cheese

  • Pink peppercorns

  • Prosciutto San Daniele

  • Raisins

  • Red wine vinegar

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