Cooking with Massimo Bottura

The three-star Michelin chef says it’s about emotion, imagination, and connecting to your palate.

Massimo Bottura, Masterclass

Massimo Bottura’s Evolution of Pesto

Two things I love about Bottura is that he’s all about experimentation, critically assessing recipes and developing them according to personal taste, and that he’s mindful about sustainability. His version of pesto is a good example of this — he developed it when he had run out of pine nuts and didn’t have enough basil. Working with what he had to hand, he substituted the pine-nuts with old bread, and used other herbs such as mint to make up for the lack of basil.

An old basil and mint plant on a balcony
An old basil and mint plant on a balcony
Fusilli with Massimo Bottura’s Evolution of Pesto topped with roasted oninons

Sogliola al Caroccio (Mediterranean-style sole)

Officially the easiest recipe in the world. Take a piece of sole, or another firm white fish such as turbot, sea bass, or snapper, cut it in half, salting it, and stacking the two halves one atop the other. Then, pile on five thin slices of lemon, cherry tomatoes, olives and capers. Place the whole lot between two sheets of baking paper, using a beaten egg to seal the sides. Put this paper package into the oven for about 25 minutes, garnish with parsley et voila!

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