The Mozza Cookbook: Recipes from Los Angeles's Favorite Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria

The Mozza Cookbook: Recipes from Los Angeles's Favorite Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307272843
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/27/2011
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 132,053
Product dimensions: 9.48(w) x 8.56(h) x 1.22(d)

About the Author

Nancy Silverton is the co-owner of Osteria Mozza, Pizzeria Mozza, and Mozza2Go in Los Angeles, where she makes her home. She is the founder of the La Brea Bakery and formerly owned and operated Campanile (recipient of the 2001 James Beard Award for Best Restaurant). She is the author of A Twist of the Wrist, Nancy Silverton’s Sandwich Book, Nancy Silverton’s Pastries from the La Brea Bakery (recipient of a 2000 Food & Wine Best Cookbook Award), Nancy Silverton’s Breads from the La Brea Bakery, and Desserts. She has three children.

Matt Molina, a graduate of the Los Angeles Culinary Institute, began his career with Nancy Silverton at Campanile in Los Angeles. After six years, he went on to train at Del Posto in New York City in preparation for his role as executive chef of Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza. At both restaurants, Matt has received three stars from the Los Angeles Times and in 2008 he garnered Osteria Mozza a Michelin star. Matt has been nominated for Rising Star Chef, Best Chef Pacific, and Best New Restaurant at Osteria Mozza by the James Beard Foundation.

Carolynn Carreño is a James Beard Award–winning journalist and the coauthor of several cookbooks, including Eat Me (with Kenny Shopsin), A Twist of the Wrist (with Nancy Silverton), Fresh Every Day and Sara Foster’s Casual Cooking (with Sara Foster), 100 Ways to Be Pasta (with Wanda and Giovanna Tornabene), and Once Upon a Tart (with Frank Mentesana and Jerome Audureau). She lives in Los Angeles and New York.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Apertivi and stuzzichini

One of the things I enjoy most about my time in Italy is the rituals that punctuate every day-a particular favorite being cocktail hour. In my town, in the summertime, every afternoon at around six o'clock, the entire population descends on the one bar in town, Bar del Gallo, which everyone refers to as Aldo's, after its owner, for an aperitivo. In the hour or two between a postlunch nap and dinner, we sit at the tables that spill out from the bar into the piazza and enjoy relaxed conversation at a slow pace that I rarely experience here.

The primary difference between Italian cocktail hour and American cocktail hour is that Italians don't eat. Italians might have seven salty peanuts at the bar, or they might indulge in a little cube of mortadella or mozzarella at a stand-up reception. The word for these little bites is stuzzichini, which comes from the word stuzzicare, meaning "to tease" or "to whet." The idea is to stimulate the appetite, not ruin it. And Italians would never, as we might, turn cocktail snacks into dinner.

All that said, when we host private parties in the Primo Ministro room, the private dining room in the Osteria, or in the Scuola di Pizza, the special-events room attached to Mozza2Go, our customers request to start with a cocktail hour that includes tray-passed stuzzichini.

But since Mozza is, as I've said, an Italian restaurant as seen through the eyes of American owners, the stuzzichini that we offer are a bit more substantial and flavorful than cubes of mortadella. We serve bite-size morsels that are easy to eat with a cocktail in one hand, such as crostini (pages 46-50) and Pancetta-wrapped Figs (page 54). You probably won't find anything so rich or filling at a cocktail hour in Italy, but we hope you enjoy these. And for you purists, forgive us the transgression, and enjoy your peanuts.

Italians are deeply habitual when it comes to what they eat and drink and in what order. They would never, for instance, have a glass of wine after they've had a digestivo, or after-dinner drink. During cocktail hour, there are only a few acceptable options, the most common of which is a glass of Prosecco, or Italian sparkling wine. At Mozza, we greet guests for private parties with a glass of Prosecco and one of our sommeliers carries a magnum of Flor Prosecco around the dining room, refilling glasses and greeting regular customers with complimentary glasses. For those who prefer a cocktail, we offer some, also included in this chapter, conceived in an Italian spirit and executed in an American one.


sugar plum
Makes enough pomegranate reduction for 8 cocktails

for the pomegranate reduction
1⁄4 cup pomegranate juice
1⁄4 cup sugar for each cocktail
2 ounces vodka (or gin)
1 ounce fresh grapefruit juice
1 1⁄2 teaspoons pomegranate reduction

to make the pomegranate reduction, combine the pomegranate juice and sugar in a small saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sugar dissolves and the juice thickens to the consistency of thin syrup. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool the syrup to room temperature before using. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week.

To make each cocktail, combine the vodka, grapefruit juice, and pomegranate reduction in a shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously. Strain the cocktail into a martini glass and serve.


il postino
I don't rent out my house in Italy but I do let friends stay there. The "rent" that I charge is always the same: one book and one DVD. Our collection of both is pretty random, but thankfully someone at some time thought to bring the movie, Il Postino, one of my all-time favorites.

Makes enough honey syrup for 8 cocktails

for the honey syrup
3 ounces mild-flavored honey, such as clover or wildflower honey
2 tablespoons water

for each cocktail
1 ounce light rum
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon honey syrup
3 ounces Prosecco, plus more as needed
Lime twist, for garnish sculaccione

for the simple syrup
1⁄4 cup sugar
1⁄4 cup water

for each cocktail
2 ounces Blanco tequila
1 1⁄2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh grapefruit juice
1 tablespoon Campari
Dash of Angostura bitters
1 tablespoon simple syrup
Lime wheel, for garnish

Makes enough simple syrup for 4 to 6 cocktails

To make the honey syrup, combine the honey and water in a small saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the honey is the consistency of thin syrup. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool the syrup to room temperature before using. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week.

To make each cocktail, combine the rum, lime juice, and honey syrup in a shaker with ice and shake well. Add the Prosecco and shake again. Strain the cocktail into a champagne flute, adding more Prosecco, if necessary, to fill the glass. Garnish with a lime twist and serve.

To make the simple syrup, combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool the syrup to room temperature. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week.

To make each cocktail, combine the tequila, lime juice, grapefruit juice, Campari, bitters, and simple syrup in a shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously. Fill an old-fashioned glass with ice, strain the cocktail into the glass, and garnish with a lime wheel.


meletti smash

This cocktail is named for the brand of amaro, or bitters, that we use to make it. You could use another bitters if you can't find Meletti.

Makes enough for 4 to 6 cocktails

for the simple syrup
1⁄4 cup sugar
1⁄4 cup water

for each cocktail
10 fresh mint leaves, plus 1 sprig for garnish
Dash of Fee Brothers mint bitters
1 ounce Amaro Meletti
1 ounce Black Seal rum
11⁄2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon simple syrup

To make the simple syrup, combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool the syrup to room temperature. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week.

To make each cocktail, use a wooden pestle or wooden spoon to muddle the mint leaves in an old-fashioned glass. Add the mint bitters and fill the glass with crushed ice. Combine the Amaro Meletti, rum, lime juice, and simple syrup in a shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously. Strain the cocktail into the glass with the mint leaves, garnish with a spring of fresh mint, and serve.


gordon's cup
This refreshing cocktail is a play on the traditional British cocktail, Pimm's Cup, made with gin instead of Pimm's.

Makes enough simple syrup for 4 to 6 cocktails

for the simple syrup
1⁄4 cup sugar
1⁄4 cup water

for each cocktail
9 thin slices cucumber (preferably Japanese cucumber)
2 ounces Plymouth gin
1 ounce fresh lime juice
11⁄2 tablespoons simple syrup

To make the simple syrup, combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool the syrup to room temperature. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week.

To make each cocktail, use a wooden pestle or mortar to muddle 6 of the cucumber slices in an old-fashioned glass and fill the glass with ice cubes. Combine the gin, lime juice, and simple syrup in a shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously. Strain the cocktail into the glass with the muddled cucumbers, garnish with the remaining cucumber slices, and serve.


olives al forno
In the Italian tradition of stuzzichini, I don't like to put out so many appetizers that my guests will ruin their appetites, but two things that I must serve whenever I entertain are roasted olives and toasted almonds tossed with olive oil and sea salt. These olives, which are tossed with citrus zest and garlic confit, are as beautiful as they are delicious. If we get an unusual olive variety, we might throw that in, but normally the combination we use is Lucques, Castelvetrano, Taggiasche (or Niçoise), and Picholine. You can use whatever combination of olives you want or have access to, as long as they're not the canned pitted things I grew up with. Also, keep in mind that it's ideal to have a variety of colors and sizes.

You can prepare the olives up to a month in advance. Keep them in the refrigerator and roast them just before serving. If you are preparing them in advance, however, omit the garlic confit and garlic oil, as they will cause the olives to spoil more quickly. Prepare the olives with only the regular olive oil, and add the garlic and garlic oil up to several days before you are ready to roast them.

Makes 1 quart of olives

4 cups mixed unpitted olives (such as 1 cup each Lucques, Castelvetrano, Taggiasche or Niçoise, and Picholine), drained
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Wide zest strips of 1 orange (peeled using a vegetable peeler)
Wide zest strips of 1 lemon (peeled using a vegetable peeler)
4 dried bay leaves
1⁄2 cup fresh rosemary needles
Garlic Confit (recipe follows)
1⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar

Suggested wine pairing: Lambrusco Bianco I.G.T. (Emilia-Romagna)

Combine the olives in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, orange rind, lemon rind, bay leaves, and rosemary. Add the Garlic Confit, including the chiles, and toss to combine.

Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 500ºF.

Transfer the olives to a large shallow baking dish or several small shallow baking dishes. Place the baking dish on a baking sheet to catch any oil that bubbles over, and place the olives in the oven until the oil is sizzling and the olives are light golden brown on top, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the olives from the oven and drizzle the balsamic vinegar over them while they're still hot. Serve warm.


garlic confit
1 cup garlic cloves
3 dried whole arbol chiles
1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, or more as needed

Combine the garlic, chiles, and olive oil in a small saucepan. Add enough oil to come three-fourths of the way up the sides of the garlic.

Heat the oil over high heat until it just starts to bubble; you will start to hear the first sizzling noises and the first rapid bubble start to come up. Reduce the heat and simmer the garlic until it's deep golden brown, soft, buttery, and spreadable. Keep a careful eye on the garlic cloves and don't overcook them; they burn easily and will continue to brown as they cool. Set the garlic aside to cool to room temperature and use or transfer the contents of the saucepan to an airtight container and refrigerate for several days. Store the garlic cloves with the oil and chiles in the refrigerator in an airtight container for several days. To store the garlic for a longer period of time, add enough oil to completely cover the cloves and refrigerate them for up to several weeks.


toasted almonds with sea salt
This isn't really a recipe, just a method for toasting almonds, but I felt that it was important to talk about almonds since, as I've said, they are my favorite thing to set out before a meal, not to mention to snack on while setting up at work or at home. Toasting the almonds enhances their flavor, and then tossing them with olive oil and sea salt turns them into something really worth eating. We call for toasted almonds in various recipes, such as Burrata with Asparagus, Brown Butter, Guanciale, and Almonds (page 78). Anytime we ask for toasted almonds I suggest you make more than what the recipes calls for, as I know you'll want some to snack on.

To toast almonds, adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 325ºF. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and toast for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they are fragrant and golden brown. Remove the almonds from the oven, drizzle them with the olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and toss to coat the almonds with the seasonings. Transfer the almonds to a pretty bowl, and serve.

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