Executive Chef Rob Gentile of Buca, Buca Bar and Buca Yorkville
Buca was a former warehouse boiler room with exposed brick walls, dramatically soaring 30-foot ceilings and glowing industrial chandeliers
Buca's subterranean dining room
Bare honey-hued industrial lightbulbs enhance Buca's hip ambiance
Buca's hammered cutlery table setting with dish towel-style napkins
Buca 'Eska' carbonated spring water
A perfect start to the evening, a Hendricks Martini with slice of cucumber
Buca's sensational dinner menu with 3 pages of cucina Italiano
Buca's signature Nodini: warm bread knots, olive oil, rosemary, garlic and sea salt
Gnocco Fritto: tuscan spiced crisp dumplings with pancetta
Salumi di Buca with Prosciuttini, Salame Toscana and Salsicce Ciociare with house made preserves
A superb bottle of Tenuta la Merchesa Gavi 2013 had great depth and character,
a delicious wine with fish and light pastas
Spaghetti Pomodoro with ripe fall tomatoes, ottobratico olive oil, basil and fiore sardo
Grilled whole Branzino with bariole olives, preserved lemon and terre di san mauro olive oil
Brasato Manzo: Slow cooked George McGee Farms steak with smooth artichoke parmigiano,
brodo di lemon and wild spring greens
Mela al Forno: Baked Apple Crostata
Torta di Sanguinaccio: a traditional southern Italian Chocolate and pig's blood tart with fresh figs steeped in grappa and espresso topped with a satiny buffalo-milk crème anglaise and chopped candied almonds
Buffalo Ricotta Stuffed Cannelloni
Recipe courtesy of Rob Gentile, BUCA
4 lb fresh Roma tomatoes
1 cup olive oil
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves
3 cups small basil leaves
2 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp Spanish or white onion, chopped
10 oz fresh spinach
1 500 gram package buffalo’s milk ricotta
6 sheets fresh pasta, cut into 18 pieces, 3 by 5 inches each
6 – 8 prosciutto slices, torn
2 handful basil leaves
Parmigiano-reggiano, for garnish
To prepare the sauce, slice an X in the bottom of each tomato, and blanch in a large pot of boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes until the skin begins to peel, then immediately plunge into ice water. When cool, remove from water, peel and quarter. Chop coarsely in food processor.
Coat a large saucepan with olive oil and set over medium heat. Cook the onion and garlic for 1 to 3 minutes until translucent, then add the tomatoes and simmer over medium-low for 1 hour until thickened. Add the basil for the last 30 minutes of cooking, then remove from heat. When cool enough to handle, push through a food mill then let cool completely.
To prepare filling, coat a medium frying pan with olive oil and heat over medium-low. Cook the onion for 2 to 3 minutes until translucent, then add the spinach and cook until wilted. Remove the spinach-onion mixture from the heat and when cool, squeeze with paper towel until dry then finely chop. Whip the ricotta in stand mixer for 1 minute until fluffy. Stir in spinach mixture then spoon into a piping bag.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Pipe the spinach-cheese mixture into thick strips along the length of each pasta sheet, leaving 1/8-inch exposed at the edges. Lightly spray with water and roll up. Coat the bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish with sauce. Place the cannelloni seam-side down and spoon more sauce overtop. Cover any remaining sauce and set aside.
Cover and bake in centre of oven for 40 minutes until the pasta is cooked and the sauce has thickened. If needed, remove the foil for last 10 to 15 minutes of baking to thicken. Serve 2 or 3 cannelloni per plate and spoon any remaining sauce overtop. Top each serving with prosciutto, basil leaves and cheese.
Recipe courtesy of Rob Gentile, BUCA
This is the way it’s done at Buca. The recipe for fresh pasta follows, but you can use dried.
5 lb duck legs, skin removed
3 1/2 oz duck heart
3 1/2 oz duck liver
3 1/2 oz duck gizzard
7 oz diced onion
7 oz diced carrot
7 oz diced celery
53 oz canned whole tomatoes
3/4 piece of cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
2 cups white wine
Kosher salt, pepper, olive oil, to taste
Combine the cinnamon, bay leaf, cloves and peppercorns in a sachet. Set aside. Season duck legs with salt and pepper. In a rondeau pan, add olive oil and bring to high heat. Sear legs on both sides and remove from pan. Set aside. Sear duck offal, remove from pan. Set aside. Add the mirepoix to pan and sweat. Deglaze with white wine and reduce by half. Add seared duck legs, offal and sachet to the pan. Cover with 74-40 tomato filets, or canned tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Cover pot and braise in oven at 325°F for 3-4 hours or until the leg meat is falling off the bone. Cool the braise by submerging the pot into an ice bath. This will speed the cooling process. Once cooled, remove the duck legs from sauce and pull duck meat from the bones. Roughly chop the meat and set aside. Crush sauce with hands, added chopped duck back to the sauce and set aside for finishing.
1.1 lb semolina flour
1.1 lb all-purpose flour flour — Arva Mill, if you can get it
1 whole duck egg
Combine all ingredients in a stand mixer outfitted with a dough hook attachment. Mix on speed 1 until well integrated. To shape, cut 1/4 lb blocks to be cranked through a Torchio hand press.
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 piece medium-sized fresh garlic
1.1 lb duck ragu
1 lb fresh duck egg pasta
6 oz mascarpone cheese
8 basil leaves
In a large sauté pan, heat oil on medium heat along with garlic and gently toast garlic long enough to be infused in oil. Add duck ragu to sauté pan and bring to medium simmer. Drop pasta into a pot of seasoned, boiling water. While pasta is cooking (about 1-2 minutes for fresh; 8-10 minutes for dried), add the basil and mascarpone cheese to the sauce and mix until fully incorporated. Remove the garlic and discard. After pasta has been cooked to al dente, pull the pasta from water and add to the pan. Cook the pasta in the sauce for 1 minute and add a splash of hot water while adjusting the sauce consistency to your liking. Serve immediately with a garnish of baby basil leaves.