Mario Batali, rolls into Eric Ripert’s kitchen on his massive motorcycle. Watch the two chefs banter over who will be in charge of the kitchen as they whip up Mario’s signature dish, Two-minute Calamari: Sicilian Lifeguard Style. After an authentic Italian toast, the guys talk about life, family, fortune and — of course — good cooking. Print Recipe
Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon of salt. Set up an ice bath nearby. Cook the couscous in the boiling water for 2 minutes, then drain and immediately plunge it into the ice bath. Once cooled, remove and set aside to dry on a plate.
In a 12- to 14-inch sauté pan, heat the olive oil until just smoking. Add the pine nuts, currants, and red pepper flakes, if desired, and sauté until the nuts are just golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the caperberries, tomato sauce, wine, and couscous and bring to a boil. Add the calamari and scallion whites, stir to combine, and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the calamari is just cooked and completely opaque. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil, pour into a large bowl, sprinkle with scallion greens, and serve immediately.
In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt. Add the thyme, red pepper flakes, if desired, and carrots and cook 5 minutes more, until carrot is quite soft. Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until as thick as hot cereal. Season with salt. Sauce holds 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.
Place all ingredients in the food processor until pureed. Reserve leftover jalapeno pesto in the refrigerator for up to one month.