Sara’s Weeknight Meals: Season 07

Episode 702: Best Loved Italian Recipes

Dave Pasternak and Me

Everyone loves Italian and we’ve got the best Italian recipes. First, Salt Baked Pesce per Due with Braised Greens, a simple but dramatic dish sure to impress, from seafood expert David Pasternak. Then Philadelphia’s best Italian chef, Marc Vetri, joins us to shop for ingredients for his father Sal’s Meatballs, and we go back to my kitchen to make them. And on Ask Sara, Sara shows a viewer an amazing trick for cutting olives and cherry tomatoes.

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Chef David Pasternack

When Chef David Pasternack is not in the kitchen at Esca — his seafood mecca in New York City — he can almost always be found fishing. In 2005, The New Yorker identified Dave’s strength as “knowing when something needs a little something.” Indeed, Dave respects the nuances of fish cookery and embraces its subtleties. The man whom The New York Times called the “fish whisperer” scours the globe in search of the best seafood. A 2004 James Beard Foundation Best Chef Award Winner, Dave has been known to bring his own morning catch into the restaurant for service. A chef of the highest integrity, his approach to food is deceptively complex in its simplicity. Dave’s cookbook, The Young Man & The Sea is a testament to this philosophy with many of the recipes consisting of only three or four ingredients.  David has been featured in The New Yorker, Vogue, Gourmet, Esquire, The New York Times, GQ and many other publications. He has also appeared on NBC’s “Today,” “The Martha Stewart Show,” “Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations,” “Iron Chef” and numerous others. In 2009, David launched Catch of the Day, a Long Island-themed seafood stand at the New York Mets’ stadium, Citi Field, in Flushing Meadows, NYC. David’s adventures in the restaurants and on the water are the subject of “Pesca,” a series on the World Fishing Network.

Chef Marc Vetri

A native Philadelphian and classically trained chef in Bergamo, Italy, Marc Vetri is known the world over for bringing a bold, contemporary sensibility to classic Italian cooking.

He is the chef/founder of Philadelphia’s Vetri Family of Restaurants, which operates a collection of the country’s most critically acclaimed Italian restaurants: Vetri, Osteria, Amis, Alla Spina, Lo Spiedo and Pizzeria Vetri (D.C., King of Prussia, Rittenhouse and Art Museum).

Marc is the author of Il Viaggio di Vetri (Ten Speed Press, Oct. 1, 2008) a collection of more than 125 of Vetri’s most-requested dishes. His second cookbook, Rustic Italian Food (Ten Speed Press, Nov. 1, 2011), brought artisan cooking into home kitchens and was named one of the top cookbooks of 2011 by such outlets as Bon AppetitSt. Petersburg Times and The Huffington Post. He most recently released Mastering Pasta (Ten Speed Press, 2015). In addition to his cookbooks, Marc’s writing can be found on The Huffington Post where he is a regular blogger.

Outside of his restaurants, Marc is deeply passionate about giving back to the community, in particular his hometown of Philadelphia. In 2009, he and business partner, Jeff Benjamin, created the Vetri Community Partnership. The organization’s signature initiative, “Eatiquette,” is a school lunch improvement program that currently serves the Philadelphia area. Culinary classroom and after-school cooking programs overseen by Vetri Community Partnership further help reinforce lessons learned in the lunchroom. Marc and Jeff are the founders of the “Great Chefs Event,” which brings together scores of the country’s greatest chefs to raise money and awareness for the pediatric cancer charity, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.

Marc lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Megan, and their three children. He enjoys spending weekends cooking with his family, training in Brazilian jiu jitsu and playing his beloved guitars.




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Kitchen Equipment provided by: | Chantal | Dream Farm | Le Creuset | Silpat | |