As a Foodie in Residence, I have the opportunity to get behind the scenes at one of Caviar’s partnering restaurants and learn about how some of their dishes are prepared. Most of you probably know that Italian is one of my favorite cuisines, and since I’m a huge fan Chef Michael White, Osteria Morini seemed like the perfect fit for this excursion.
During my visit at Osteria Morini, I spent time with Executive Sous Chef Heather Pelletier, who gave me a tour of the line (where all the food is prepped for service), the prep kitchen, and the pasta making room. She also walked me through the process of preparing two of the restaurant’s most popular dishes: the Cappelleti and the Torcia. Most importantly, I was able to ask Heather tons of questions ranging from her past experience at the first Momofuku Milk Bar to rules of Italian cooking.
One of the most exciting parts of my tour was visiting the pasta room, a cozy corner of the prep kitchen where all pasta is made and stored. All of Osteria Morini’s pastas are made in house, pre-portioned and kept in a freezer before going up to the line. Heather explained that all of Osteria Morini’s pasta making machines are bought in from Italy, and are quite hard to find there as well.
After the tour, Heather walked me through the preparation of Osteria Morini’s Cappelletti, a truffled ricotta ravioli made with melted butter and prosciutto. To start, Heather added a generous spoonful of both regular and truffle butter to a cold pan, which helps keep the butter from breaking, browning, or burning. She also added a dash of chicken stock to maintain the consistency of the sauce. Note: If you’re vegetarian, the dish is prepared with a splash of the water used to cook the pasta—for that starchy component. About two minutes after adding in the prosciutto, the pasta was ready (fresh, homemade pasta requires a much shorter cooking time). The flavors marinated together for a bit longer before finally plating. As you can see, the final result was beautiful!
The Torcia was made in a similar process, but this time Heather used a heated pan as she prepped the dish with olive oil. This squid ink pasta is made with shrimp and a sepia ragu, which smelled delicious before even adding it to the pan. Finally, the dish was finished with crispy brussels sprouts, a seasonal choice of topping.
After witnessing the preparation of these dishes, I was fascinated by how all of the components came together in under ten minutes. From the individually prepared pieces of ravioli to the fresh ragu and cheese fillings made uniquely for each pasta, it’s clear that the attention to detail here is what makes Osteria Morini stand out as one of the best Italian restaurants in the city.
In case you just got hungry, you can order the Cappelletti and the Torcia along with other pasta dishes on Caviar for lunch or dinner. Some of Altamarea Group’s other restaurants, including Ristorante Morini, Butterfly, and Nicoletta, are also available for delivery on Caviar.