The #1 Cooking Hack Mario Batali Swears By for Next-Level Pasta

When celebrity chef Mario Batali walks through the door, it’s hard not to take notice. Most likely, he will be dressed in bright orange hues, wearing his signature pair of orange Crocs, and talking at a million miles an hour about anything from the weather to politics to his latest food discovery. On one sunny Tuesday afternoon, as he was hopping off his Vespa on New York City’s West Side and into his newest outpost, the Maritime Hotel’s La Sirena, he had accessorized with a bright orange helmet, a matching scarf, and a purple scrunchie—a testament to his boisterous bon vivant nature.

“I wore pink and white to complement Mario’s love of orange,” Elettra Wiedemann quipped. In anticipation of the launch of her new cookbook, Impatient Foodie, we invited the model turned successful editor, writer, and now author to join Batali in his kitchen for a lesson in true Italian pasta cooking—more specifically, Mario’s recipe for linguine in red clam sauce.

This wasn’t the first encounter between the iconically Croc-clad chef and the self-proclaimed impatient foodie. Within moments, their quick-witted banter flew back and forth across the kitchen as if they had known each other for years. Effortlessly, Batali flipped his littleneck clams, doused in a mouthwatering spicy salami and tomato sauce, firing jokes at Wiedemann as she attempted to perfect her own clam pan flip.

After the cooking lesson, we sat down over a glass of Vermentino from Toscana with the food-loving duo to chat all things cooking hacks, easy and quick recipes, and unexpected food pairings. Think you know how to cook? We bet you can’t get through Batali and Wiedemann’s exchange without picking up a few helpful cooking tips—recipe included!