the appetizer:

Molto Gusto: Easy Italian Cooking by Mario Batali and Mark Ladner, includes recipes like Spaghetti with Glass Eels; Sunchokes with Walnut Gremolata; and Quattro Stagioni (Pizza).



Quattro Stagioni


Add these toppings to a "parbaked pizza crust," which is browned on a griddle for 2-3 minutes, then flipped and browned another 1 minute, or until completely dry. See the book for full directions on parbaking a pizza crust.

  • 2 asparagus stalks, thinly sliced on the bias
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Maldon salt or other flaky sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Pomí strained tomatoes
  • 1/2 recipe Mushrooms from Funghi & Taleggio Pizza (see below)
  • 1/2 recipe Peppers from Sausage & Peppers Pizza (see below)
  • 1 ounce prosciutto cotto or other cooked ham, cut into julienne strips
  • 3 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 6 slices

Quattro Stagioni

Toss the asparagus with 1-1/2 teaspoons of the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.

Spread the tomato sauce evenly over the parbaked pizza crust, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Arrange the asparagus on one quarter of the pizza. Arrange the shiitake mushrooms on another quarter, scatter the cremini mushrooms over them, and drizzle with the truffle vinaigrette. Arrange the peppers on the third quarter, and scatter the ham over on the final quarter. Arrange the mozzarella on top, and broil as directed. Drizzle with the oil, cut into 4 slices, and serve.



  • 2 ounces shiitake mushroom caps, sliced
  • 1 small shallot, sliced 1/8-inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Maldon or other flaky sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Scant 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
  • 1 ounce sliced canned truffles in oil or 1-1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced (generous 3/4 cup)

To prepare the mushrooms: Preheat the broiler. Combine the shiitakes and shallot in a small bowl, toss with the oil, and season well with salt and pepper. Spread out on a baking sheet and broil for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring several times, until the mushrooms are tender and slightly charred. Remove from the broiler.

Truffle Vinaigrette: Meanwhile, whisk the balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, rosemary, truffles, with their oil (or the 1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil), together in a small bowl; set aside.

Add the mixtures to the pizza according to the recipe above.



  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, slivered
  • 1 teaspoon salt-packed capers, rinsed and soaked overnight
         in cold water (change the water often)
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • Maldon or other flaky sea salt
  • Generous pinch of hot red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 2-1/2 medium piquillo peppers, drained well and quartered lengthwise

Prepare the peppers: Combine the oil and garlic in a small sauté pan and cook over medium-low heat just until the garlic is barely golden, 2 to 3 minutes.

Combine the capers and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl and whisk in the garlic and oil. Season with salt to taste and the red pepper flakes. Add the peppers, stirring gently to coat.

  • from:
    Molto Gusto:
    Easy Italian Cooking
  • by Mario Batali and Mark Ladner
  • Photography by Quentin Bacon
  • Ecco 2010
  • Hardcover; $29.99; 528 pages
  • ISBN-10: 0061924326
  • ISBN-13: 9780061924323
  • Reprinted by permission.

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Molto Gusto


This page created September 2010

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