In this special weekly feature, “Today” food editor Phil Lempert brings you recipes “stolen” (with permission) from notable restaurants across America. See how much fun you can have (and money you can save) by cooking these dishes at home.
THIS WEEK: Crisp Polenta a la Puttanesca by chef Matthew Jansen of Mateo Restaurant Provençal in Boulder, Colo.
We have one of our readers, Carol W. from Colorado, to thank for encouraging us to track down this recipe for Crisp Polenta a la Puttanesca from Mateo Restaurant Provençal in Boulder, Colo. Well, guess what, Carol? Chef Matthew Jansen not only told us how to prepare the dish, but he also shared his secret blend for the perfect puttanesca sauce! We suggest that if you're near Boulder, you take Carol's advice and treat yourself to the traditional cooking and warm atmosphere of Mateo Restaurant Provençal. And if you're not, give this recipe a try!
By 1996, Jansen wanted to leave Boulder to gain experience at some of the best restaurants around the country. Soon after his departure, he became sommelier and captain at Valentino in Santa Monica, Calif. With one of the most extensive wine lists in the world and the country's top-rated Italian cuisine, Valentino gave Jansen the opportunity to refine his skills and gain invaluable insight into the world of fine dining. After a year in southern California, Jansen went to San Francisco, where he found a position as general manager and sommelier with the Next Century Restaurant Group.
While continuing his work with the Next Century Group, Jansen went on to hold leading roles at well-known local establishments such as Aqua, Aqua Bellagio, and Charles Nob Hill. Jansen then decided it was time to take the important step towards running his own establishment. After returning to Boulder, he formed 75 LLC and conceived his original concept for Mateo, which opened in October of 2001.
Crisp Polenta a la Puttanesca is served at Mateo Restaurant Provençal for $17.
Mateo Restaurant Provençal
1837 Pearl Street
Boulder, Colo. 80302
Want to nominate your favorite restaurant dish for a "Steal This Recipe" feature? Just e-mail Phil at Phil.Lempert@nbc.com (or use the mail box below) with the name of the restaurant, city and state, and the dish you would like to have re-created. Want to know more about Phil and food? Visit his Web site at www.supermarketguru.com.