I'm Lidia Bastianich, and teaching you about Italian food has always been my passion.
It has always been about cooking together and building your confidence in the kitchen.
I'm showing off.
Does this look like a good meal?
So make it.
For me, food is about gathering around the table to enjoy loved ones, share a meal, and make memories.
Tutti a tavola a mangiare!
-Funding provided by... -At Cento Fine Foods, we're dedicated to preserving the culinary heritage of authentic Italian foods by offering over 100 specialty Italian products for the American kitchen.
Cento... -Grana Padano -- authentic, Italian, rich in tradition, yet contemporary.
♪ ♪ -Authentic Italian cured meats.
Paolo Rovagnati -- The true Italian tradition.
-For over 140 years, Auricchio traditional handcrafted provolone, made in Italy.
♪ -Olitalia -- From chef to chef.
-Memories of fishing and the fish market of my childhood keeps me craving for the fresh flavors of the sea.
I love serving these sautéed shrimp over toasted bread.
Paired with asparagus, it becomes a complete meal.
This quick and easy stew packs flavors with little time and effort, featuring monkfish and cannellini beans.
When I get a seafood craving, I listen.
When you grow up in a setting, it's bound to affect you -- what you eat, what you cook, especially as a chef.
And I was blessed to be born in Pula, which is right on the Adriatic Sea and plenty of seafood.
And we had a lot of seafood meals.
My uncle would go out, would fish, and would bring a boat full of, whether it's branzini, orate, granchi, cuttlefish, seppie, calamari.
But still to this day, what amazes me is that this kind of string with a hook would pull up all this goodness -- that nature gives us such wonderful gifts.
I'm still amazed as a chef that I get these gifts to cook with.
All in a skillet.
One skillet will give you a diversified meal -- vegetables, proteins, shrimps.
Delicious, easy and fast.
So let's put some oil.
Let's put some butter.
[ Pan sizzling ] I'm going to sauté the asparagus right in here, just like that.
You know, cleaning asparagus -- I think you all know, but I'll go through it.
So you kind of pressure it, and the asparagus will tell you by itself where it wants to break.
This is good stuff to make good soup, you know?
I mean, you know what I usually do?
I just whack it like this and you make a good soup out of all of this, some carrots, some celery.
You got yourself an asparagus soup.
Sometimes there's a little toughness right here.
I love asparagus.
They're great for any dish.
You can make a frittata, you can make an appetizer.
Just roast them with some cheese.
And you can make everything with them, from vegetable to pasta, sauces to risotto.
Endless, where you can use and enjoy asparagus.
So not too high, the temperature.
A little bit like this.
Let's put in a little bit of salt, a little peperoncino.
The base is like this.
You cover it and their own water will kind of steam and cook them and then they'll end up caramelizing themself at the end anyway.
So let's check.
I'm going to add to this, for a little crunch and a little taste, slivers of almond.
Throw the almonds right in there, and we'll let them toast a little bit.
So I'm looking, and I think it has reached a point that I'm happy with.
I'm going to fish it out and just put it on top of the toasted bread.
So here we are.
Some more olive oil.
♪ Shrimps, cleaned and deveined.
I'm just going to sauté them.
♪ I'm going to put a little bit of salt, a little peperoncino to give it a little zest.
Just sauté them a little bit like that and they're delicious.
Actually, I'm going to take them out and I'm going to make a sauce right in here.
Some of them are finished.
Some of them need a little more time.
The shrimp has a translucency, and as it cooks, it becomes more and more opaque.
That transition will give a good indication that the shrimp is done.
♪ A little bit of butter.
And... ♪ Just squeeze the juice in here.
I think I'm going to drink wine.
I might as well add a little bit of this wine to the sauce.
So a little bit for Lidia, a little bit for the shrimp.
A little bit of salt I will put right here.
Oh, my goodness.
I have my little dish here waiting, and I forgot to put a shrimp.
And how about the asparagus?
Gee whiz, Lidia, how can you forget yourself?
And the juice will flow all the way to the bottom, will soak the bread.
Good to the last drop.
Here I have some beautiful little parsley.
You can chop it, but I just left the leaves like that.
And I think, just -- just like that.
A little bit of leaves.
I think this dish is finished.
Simple, beautiful, delicious, fast.
Look at this.
Festive dish like this -- you whip it up in 30 minutes and one pan to clean.
So now let me taste for you.
♪ Crunchy, delicious, fresh, lemony.
And, of course, with this dish, a nice glass of white wine.
♪ It's a celebration for me.
♪ Some of my favorite times in the kitchen has been teaching my grandchildren to grow into confident cooks.
And these days, even though they are living on their own, that doesn't mean they stop asking for advice.
Teaching kids, grandkids, the family how to cook is grandma's privilege.
Not only is it my privilege, but I do it with love because also, the family history goes along with the teaching lesson.
And Olivia is calling me.
How are you?
What's up, Olivia?
-I'm calling because I need some advice.
I'm having a few friends over for dinner and I wanted to make something delicious, but somewhat easy for them.
And I was wondering if you had any suggestions.
Oh, I have plenty of suggestions.
Where do we begin?
But tell me, let's see.
So this is a dinner party, right?
-And what kind of protein do you want?
Do you want fowl, you want fish, you want vegetarian?
What do you want?
-I think we want fish.
Everyone who's coming eats fish.
So any fish recommendations?
-What's important about fish is that it's fresh.
-But I know that you like fresh cod.
It's a white fish and it's a flaky fish, and it's delicious, and I have a recipe for you.
I know everybody likes Brussels sprouts, right?
That's the combination.
So this one is from my new cookbook, and that keeps things real easy with the clean-up.
And I know you like that.
You like that.
That is good for our small apartment.
So, first of all, you know, fish doesn't take that long to cook, so we'll address the Brussels sprouts.
You cut them in half, you clean the leaves, you put them in a bowl, you toss them with salt, pepper, a little bit of olive oil a little paprika, and you put them on this baking sheet pan.
I put a sheet of parchment paper.
So you put the parchment paper, you brush with olive oil, and you spread the Brussels sprouts.
You put the Brussels in a hot oven at 425 and get them cooking.
So the cod, you cut it in portions, then you're going to season it, salt and oil and a little bit of pepper.
Separately, you take some breadcrumbs -- panko, which is a little bigger -- salt, pepper, parsley, little lemon zest.
You toss it in, toss, toss, toss.
And you take the pieces of fish and you roll it in these breadcrumbs.
When the Brussels sprouts are halfway cooked, you push them to a side, then you line up the cod next to each other on the parchment paper on the other side of the Brussels sprouts.
Take whatever bread you have left, you add a little bit, sprinkle it over the Brussels sprouts, then you put it back in the oven and you let it cook.
The whole thing should cook -- depends on how thick the fish is -- maybe 20 minutes to 25 minutes.
And here you have, when you're finished, the fish and the vegetables all together, all ready to go.
One pan to wash. -That sounds easy enough.
I can do that.
-What do you think they would like, a nice salad as an appetizer?
You make a great salad of kale.
-Kale, butternut squash, pumpkin seeds, or pepitas.
Everyone's a big fan of my special salad.
So that's a great appetizer, right?
That one's good.
-And what are we going to do for dessert?
-We love ice cream, but... -So you want to do -- so a fruit that you have -- depends on the season.
It could be a stone fruit.
You bake them.
You put a little bit of honey, a little bit of sugar, a little bit of cinnamon.
And if you want to put a little bit of cognac or some Sweet Liqueur, that's okay, too.
So you have this wonderful salad, cod fish and Brussels sprouts, and a baked stone fruit with some ice cream.
So now I gave you this idea of a one tray fish and vegetables.
What other combinations would you think your friends would like and you eventually would make?
Everyone loves grilled chicken.
-You use the same seasoning and breading for the chicken breast.
You have the Brussels sprouts, a little bit of breading, a little bit of oil and whatever.
And I would put those two together on a tray in the oven because they take about the same time to cook.
-That's even easier then.
That's what cooking is all about.
You get, like, a basic format, and then you just replace the parts.
You ready to cook for your friends?
Everyone's going to be excited.
We'll send you pictures of all of us enjoying the food.
-I want to see.
And I want comments, too.
I promise, we will.
She's going to cook a great meal for her friends, and it was easy.
♪ Monkfish brodetto with cannellini beans.
Monkfish is one of my favorite fish.
The tail of it is delicious.
It's almost like make-believe lobster, if you will.
And it's nice and solid.
Usually, you can buy the whole tail with the bone in the middle.
It has one center bone.
It doesn't have a lot of the little bones, so it's a good fish to have, even for children.
I'm going to cut it into chunks.
♪ ♪ Season it a little bit with the salt.
So like this, now, when it fries and it sort of -- the meat tightens, it will absorb the salt.
Lightly flour it.
♪ And I have here vegetable oil.
When you lay fish in hot oil, or for that matter, meat or whatever, away from you.
♪ And I know that a lot of you have the problem with fish or frying, for that matter, other things -- it sticks to the bottom.
Do not touch it anymore.
You have to give it a chance to form the crust.
A plate with a paper towel ready to put the fish.
♪ So I'm looking.
If you leave it alone, if you give it a chance, it happens.
So I don't need to cook the fish thoroughly because I'm going to braise it with a sauce and cannellini beans.
So I just want to give it that crust.
So I think the monkfish has a little crust on it.
So we have the monkfish.
I'm going to close this.
Let the oil cool.
Let's get the the oil cleaned up, and then we'll make the brodetto.
Welcome to my cozy library.
This is where we really share ideas, questions, answers.
And I love having you here.
Here I have one from Dina.
She writes about shrimp.
"Today, I made shrimp with spinach, garlic, and lemon butter sauce.
What other juice could I use to complement the shrimp?"
Lemon is a common denominator in fish cooking and sauces, but you know, could have used a squeeze of orange in there.
Maybe a little bit of pineapple.
I wouldn't put all of pineapple or orange juice.
I would mix it with the lemon.
Just change the intensity of the lemon.
What other juices can we put in there?
Usually it's a fruit juice, but you can put a vegetable juice.
If you juice some carrots, if you juice some cucumbers.
You can play with those juices also.
But I think a little acidity will always need in there, Dina.
So good thinking.
You know, you want to be creative.
You want to move on.
I like that.
Let me know what really worked.
Thank you, Dina.
So I emptied the vegetable oil, and I'm ready to proceed with the actual brodetto.
A little bit of olive oil.
♪ ♪ Let's get the onion in there.
Going to put a little bit of salt.
The salt gets the water out of the onion.
So the thyme.
You grab it by the top, and you kind of just pull the leaves right out of...
There we go.
I think that's enough.
I'm looking, the onion is at the right spot.
Let's put the tomato paste right in there.
And I want to give the tomato paste an extra layer of flavor by caramelizing a little bit.
Pinch of peperoncino.
I like my brodetto spicy.
And we will put the monkfish right in now.
So the monkfish is a resilient fish.
It's not like your regular whitefish, bass or branzino, and that will break.
It will stay in one piece.
Of course, you cannot abuse it in the mixing.
But nice in the easy, he will be fine.
Just like that.
This is the thyme, flowers and all.
And now I'm going to put vinegar right in there, directly into the bottom of the pan.
Let the vinegar just get a boil.
And you know, the brodetto is an old fisherman's recipe, for that matter.
A lot of the cultures use the idea of putting vinegar, especially the fishermen out at sea, because vinegar is a preservative in the sense that the acidity keeps the food fresher, longer.
And now we'll add the water.
Let me put some salt.
♪ Let's put beans.
These are canned beans.
You have to put them into the sauce at the right time because you don't want to overcook them.
So the brodetto is just about... maybe another 10-15 minutes.
So let me cover it.
Let's cook for 10 minutes, and the brodetto will be done and we will serve it.
Tom wants to know -- can you use anchovy paste rather than anchovies from the jar?
You know, certainly I like the saltiness, the bite of regular anchovies.
I like seeing regular anchovies, finding pieces of anchovies in my salads or in my pasta, whatever.
But anchovy paste is just as good.
Just be careful of the amount you add.
Because, in a paste, it's sort of concentrated and it's easy to take more than you need.
Take some, put it in, taste, and gauge, do you need more or do you not need more?
So be careful of that paste, but absolutely, you can use it, Tom.
Kathy is a big fan of calamari and would like to know the best length of time and any other tips on cooking them.
Yeah, you know, I love calamari.
And calamari is cooking them two ways -- either very quick or very long.
So if you have beautiful calamari, let's say 2-3 inch calamari, and you want to grill them or you want to fry those calamaris up, quick, quick cooking.
Make that pan hot, throw in the calamari, get them caramelized, and out they go.
On the other hand, if you want to use calamari to make a risotto or a pasta dish or to put it on top of a mound of polenta in a brodetto form, then the calamari can take a little longer time because you want the flavor of the calamari to get into the sauce as well.
So a long cooking process, like a guazzetto, like a brodetto, is better.
Put onions, put whatever you want, make a little sauce, some tomatoes, some wine, so you get all the flavors out.
Kathy, use those indications -- depends on how you cook your calamari -- and you'll be just fine A little bit of fresh chopped parsley and it's ready to be plated.
♪ A little plate so I don't make a mess.
Now, let me do the other one.
♪ ♪ And Lidia.
My little plate.
And a little monkfish.
And a little bit more of the beans.
I like the beans.
Maybe I'd like a drizzle of oil.
And Lidia gets a little bit of oil.
And then I have a little flowering thyme in my garden.
I just couldn't resist putting a little bit of the thyme right into the dish.
Let me taste.
♪ [ Blows ] ♪ The beans, nice and tender.
They absorbed the brodetto and a little bit of the acidity.
It really is delicious.
It's a full meal and it's a delicious meal.
And of course, a little vino.
This is beautiful.
And I have some leftover for you.
You can come over.
So tutti a tavola a mangiare!
♪ Cooking seafood is all about freshness, and half of your work is done if the fish you're cooking is fresh.
So cooking with fish has become ever more wanting, and people want to cook ever more and eat because fish is good for us, nutritionally.
Fresh is number one, and cooking it simple is number two.
In this simplicity, you can deviate and go in the culture that you want.
You know, Italian -- garlic and oil and a little peperoncino.
If you want to go to Asia, think of lemon grass, ginger -- great with fish.
If you think South America, a little cilantro and lime -- squeeze of lime, you've got it.
You can swim your fish in any culture you want.
[ Singing in Italian ] ♪ ♪ -The food from this series makes Italian cooking easy for everyone and showcases simple-to-prepare recipes that require fewer steps, fewer ingredients, and less cleanup, without sacrificing flavor.
The recipes can be found in Lidia's latest cookbook, "Lidia's a Pot, a Pan, and a Bowl," available for $29.95.
To purchase this cookbook and any of her additional products... ♪ To learn more about Lidia, access to videos, and to get recipes, tips, techniques, and much more, visit us online at lidiasitaly.com.
Follow Lidia on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram @lidiabastianich.
♪ ♪ ♪ -Funding provided by... -At Cento Fine Foods, we're dedicated to preserving the culinary heritage of authentic Italian foods by offering over 100 specialty Italian products for the American kitchen.
Cento... -Grana Padano -- authentic, Italian, rich in tradition, yet contemporary.
And by... ♪ "Lidia's Kitchen" studio provided by Clarke, New England's official Sub-Zero and Wolf showroom and test kitchen.