Maialino, Danny Meyer's blazing-hot New York trattoria, is both marvelously chic and approachable. This combination of elegance and ease extends to chef Nick Anderer's Roman menu as well. It's well worth a visit to check out the buzz, but some of Maialino's best dishes are completely doable at home. To wit: Anderer's bavette in guazzetto, a hearty pasta dish that combines noodles with chunks of cod in a bright tomato sauce. The whole meal comes together in as much time as it takes to boil water. Your dining room may be less glam than Maialino's, but this dinner won't be.
Bavette in Guazzetto
Recipe adapted from Nick Anderer, Maialino, New York
Yield: 4 servings
6 ounces skinless cod fillet, cut into 3-inch-wide strips
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
One 28-ounce can peeled whole San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand
1 pound bavette or linguine fini pasta (Anderer likes the Rustichella d'Abruzzo brand, available at Whole Foods)
½ bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped (about ½ cup)
12 basil leaves, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons fresh bread crumbs, toasted in olive oil until golden brown
1. Generously cover each piece of fish with salt and let stand for 12 minutes to firm the flesh. Rinse the fish under cold water and pat dry.
2. In a deep saucepan, heat ¼ cup of olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil begins to ripple, add the fish and cook until the cod turns opaque and starts to lightly brown, about 3 minutes; turn the fish over and cook for 1 minute longer. Add the garlic and red-pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the cod begins to flake easily when pierced with the tip of a knife, 5 to 6 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, bring a pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente, then drain and add to the tomato sauce, reserving ½ cup of the pasta water. Stir the pasta water into the sauce until emulsified, then add the parsley and basil and toss gently. Season with salt and pepper and divide among plates. Sprinkle each plate with bread crumbs and drizzle with olive oil. Serve immediately.