Eatalian for Beginners

An all-Eataly recipe for home

We feared that the stakes were too high for Eataly. Like Caesar's Rome (another case of too much Italian ambition), the much-delayed Italianate superstore by culinary dream team Mario Batali, Oscar Farinetti and Joe and Lidia Bastianich seemed destined to be struck down by vengeful gods.

But we worried needlessly: Eataly lives up to its hype. In addition to a wine store, a kitchenware department and a cookbook section, the space boasts seven restaurants (including a knock-out pizzeria and a vegetarian spot) that offer fuel for the weary shopper.

Leaving the cooking entirely in their hands would be a mistake, though, as this market is intended to draw out your culinary ambitions by acting as a professionally stocked pantry. Armed with a recipe like Lidia's Paccheri Pasta with Seafood (click here to download), anyone can play chef at home.

Start at the fishmonger's station for scallops, littleneck clams and mussels–all vetted that morning by Dave Pasternack. From there, cross over to the pasta station, which is stocked with freshly stretched and shaped noodles–including your paccheri. Make a detour to the bakery (for bread still warm from the wood-fired oven) and the cheese station (choose fresh mozzarella or creamy Taleggio) to pick up a few snacks to munch on while you cook, then finish up at the produce station.

Like the best sous-chefs, the staff at Eataly will even wash your parsley for you.

Eataly, 200 Fifth Ave. (at W. 23rd St.); 212-229-2560 or eatalyny.com