Babbo’s Black Spaghetti

Babbo Black Spaghetti

I once called Mario Batali’s Babbo Ristorante 27 times in a single day for a reservation. The busy tone and I became good friends.

I have eaten at the famed Greenwich Village eatery on several occasions in the past. But it’s the type of place I can’t seem to get enough of.

All you have is a 5 o’clock reservation on a Tuesday? Sure, I’ll take it.

For the 364 days a year when I can’t score a seat at New York City’s hippest Italian eatery, I live vicariously through the restaurant’s menu by cooking one of their signature dishes — Black Spaghetti. Start with a homemade jalapeño pesto and squid ink spaghetti, sauté fresh garlic in olive oil, add rock shrimp and spicy sopressata, give it all a toss, and let your friends come flocking.

A Fresh Look

Welcome to the brand new Just a Taste! As you tour around the new site, you’ll notice it’s the exact same content, but with a fresh look. In addition to being faster and easier to navigate, the new site has a few specific enhancements:

  • Recipe Archive: You can now view the entire menu of Just a Taste content sorted by categories and archived into reader-friendly pages in the Recipe Archive. Pick your category, shop through a single page of photos for what looks best, then click on the image to get the recipe.
  • Print Function: Every recipe now has a print icon in the top right corner. Click on it and get redirected to a printer-friendly version of the recipe, then scroll to the bottom and hit “print.”
  • Featured Recipes: The recipe box in the top right corner displays rotating featured images, which I specially select based on what’s seasonal, what’s trending and what are some of my all-time favorite recipes and posts.

Thanks so much for checking out the brand new Just a Taste, and a huge thank you to Purr Design, the genius team that made the re-design happen. Stay tuned for many more recipes and posts to come. Happy cooking!

Ricotta and Honey Butter Bites

Move over, Garlic Knots, I’ve found a new favorite use for pizza dough. And it’s as far as you can get from the shape of a slice.

I’ve bundled teaspoons of creamy ricotta inside balls of pizza dough that are then brushed with melted honey butter and baked until golden. And while I used store-bought whole wheat dough, you can also opt to make your own with my recipe for The Ultimate Pizza Dough. But regardless of what dough you use, be prepared for a sweet and savory treat, as these pull-apart bundles aren’t your average pepperoni pizza bites.

Looking to take your snack to all new homemade heights?

Grab 8 cups whole milk and 2 cups buttermilk and then fire up the flames for easy, cheesy homemade ricotta.

Glazed Sour Cream Doughnuts

Deep fried or baked. Dipped in glaze or rolled in sugar. Topped with sprinkles or left unadorned. I don’t discriminate when it comes to my favorite food.

I have such a love for the golden brown rings of glory that I once walked more than five miles around New York City sampling nine different doughnuts in a single day. It was a Tour de Glaze that led me to crown the city’s best doughnut in the first ever Just a Taste Doughnuthon.

I’ve made doughnuts in the past. They were a semi-store bought insanely easy excuse for doughnuts, but they were delicious doughnuts nonetheless. But ever since my mom gave me Lara Ferroni’s Doughnuts cookbook, I knew I had to do both of us proud by making the real deal. And since I’m of the camp that thinks sour cream is the single greatest secret ingredient ever for baking (think Glazed Lemon Pound CakeBlueberry Muffins and Chocolate Loaf Cake), I figured there was no better starting point than Glazed Sour Cream Doughnuts. I could not have been more right.

Bacon-Cheddar Biscuits

I almost named these Bacon Fat Biscuits, but I feared a call from the FDA.

I used buttermilk bacon fat to bind the dough and then brushed the tops with melted butter bacon fat to get a golden brown shine. And my guess is that if you’ve made it this far through the post, then we’re going to get along just fine.

There really is nothing more to say than you need to make a mad dash to your local grocery store to round up the ingredients for these Bacon-Cheddar Biscuits because they are all sorts of right. Bacon, bacon fat, cheddar and scallions. What’s not to love? My brother and I sliced the warm biscuits in half and slathered them with our favorite Sarabeth’s Strawberry Raspberry Preserves.