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Video: A birthday bash with the Scottos!

  1. Closed captioning of: A birthday bash with the Scottos!

    >>> now on cooking with the scottos, it's a birthday celebration.

    >> and here to spread some good cheer are marian and her kids, elena, john and anthony of the new york famed restaurant, presto by scotto. where we had a nice little birthday lunch --

    >> who cares.

    >> a couple of days ago. and anthony brought us all our favorite --

    >> what is it?

    >> except for john. so anyway, welcome, everybody.

    >> we're doing something a little different. elena is always at the end. we decided to bump her up to the front of the train.

    >> it takes a birthday to get me to the front of the line here.

    >> tell me what you're making.

    >> this is the deal. we're celebrating your birthday. we brought our favorite dishes from fresco. this is a great way to cleanse your palate before a meal. three simple ingredients. from raspberry puree syrup. lemon sorbet, and then prosecco.

    >> an it's very refreshing. wonderful for the summer.

    >> so while you're looking at the other recipes and helping the rest of the family cook, it's a great way to start the meal.

    >> thank you.

    >> so happy birthday !

    >> great.

    >> kathie lee 's birthday? tuesday.

    >> mine don't count any more.

    >> this is your favorite. i'm seeing kathie lee 's favorite.

    >> the polenta is unbelievable.

    >> so i'm doing our famous creamy polenta. i am boiling the water. and milk. we're then going do add some polenta. when it reaches a boil, stir it in, it takes about six minutes until it actually absorbs all the liquid. uh-huh, uh-huh.

    >> and then our secret at fresco, is once it's done, we add marscapone.

    >> you know the first time i ever had it, i was in the restaurant. i wasn't on the show, it was years ago and al roker was sitting next to me. eating a plate of this stuff and i went -- what is this. and he said, you never had it? and he gave me a big bite .

    >> once you have one -- you'll never --

    >> unbelievable.

    >> you'll always have a second.

    >> it's delicious.

    >> uh-huh.

    >> come here.

    >> come here -- okay, this, wait, we had this at our birthday lunch at scotto's.

    >> this is red snapper ,ala hoda. and the polenta is ala klg.

    >> i salted, peppered, sauteed it. now we start with our onion. and our garlic.

    >> of course.

    >> is there anything you make at the restaurant that doesn't have a little bit of garlic in it?

    >> we're italians, this is our perfume. you got to have a base of garlic or onion.

    >> it's so good for you.

    >> i love it.

    >> and then tomatoes.

    >> tomatoes.

    >> and corn.

    >> now you're really supposed to cook the cherrybm minutes, okay?

    >> okay.

    >> we don't have that time. and then you top it off with corn.

    >> who is better than you?

    >> nobody!

    >> wait a second.

    >> come on, anthony . kathie lee has been dying for this.

    >> how many years ago.

    >> how many years ago?

    >> at least ten.

    >> at least ten. about ten years ago, you came into the restaurant and you wanted an idea for a new eggplant. you just didn't want eggplant. and you thought the idea was to add zucchini.

    >> i remember.

    >> and it's been that famous for that long at our restaurant.

    >> you kraelted it.

    >> you created it.

    >> kathie lee 's creation. ricotta cheese , eggs, mozzarella and some parsley and salt and pepper .

    >> kathie, what we're going to do is flour, egg, we've got this right. and then egg, the bread crumbs, got that. we're frying it. once we've gotten them cool. once we've gotten them cool. we're going to start the layers. i start the bottom layer. exactly right. you're going to add a little ricotta cheese on top? and then we're going to lakem a zucchini and eggplant.

    >> and keep doing it until it's finished.

    >> get your fork in there.

    >> i love you guys.

    >> tomato, three layers.

    >> it's great.

    >> one of the greatest restaurants in all of new york.

    >> you guys, come back monday, we have jeff bridges and lynda carter !

TODAY recipes
updated 8/11/2011 5:51:51 PM ET 2011-08-11T21:51:51

Recipe: Sgroppino toast

  • 1 tablespoon raspberry syrup
  • 1 scoop lemon sorbet
  • 1 cup sparkling wine (Prosecco, Asti Spumante or Champagne) (or ginger ale only for the children)

Here's how the Scottos prepared this toast to the birthday girls, Kathie Lee and Hoda:

Pour the raspberry syrup into a champagne glass, add the sorbet, and pour sparkling wine to fill the glass.

Recipe: Creamy polenta

  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup instant polenta
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone

1. To make the polenta, heat the milk and water in a large pot and bring to a boil. While it is simmering, slowly add the polenta. Stir constantly for 6 to 7 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed.

2. Remove from heat and stir in the mascarpone. Set the polenta aside.

Recipe: Red snapper alla Hoda

  • 4 red snapper filets, skin on, 6 to 7 ounces each
  • 2 pints mixed heirloom cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 table spoon minced garlic
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 3 ears corn, cleaned and roasted until lightly brown, kernels removed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, cut into fine strips

1. In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Season both sides of the fillets with salt and pepper and sear for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Remove from heat, transfer to a platter, set aside and keep warm.

2. In the same pan over low to medium heat, sauté the onion and garlic until lightly golden brown. Add the tomatoes and simmer covered for 30 minutes until soft. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. To finish, place the red snapper fillets on top of the tomatoes and simmer for 3 minutes longer then top with the roasted corn. Plate each fillet, and garnish with basil.

Recipe: Eggplant and zucchini pie

  • For the cheese mixture:
  • 2 pounds fresh ricotta cheese
  • 2 pounds fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 pound grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • For the eggplant and zucchini pie:
  • 2 eggplants
  • 4 zucchini
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 10 eggs
  • 4 cups breadcrumbs (store-bought)
  • 1 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 quarts extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 cups tomato sauce

1. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, parsley and eggs. Mix well and season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate briefly to make the mixture firm.

2. Slice the eggplants and zucchini into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Set the zucchini aside. Fill a bowl with lightly salted water, add the eggplant, and soak for 1.5 to 2 hours to remove the bitter taste.

3. In one shallow bowl, place the flour. In a second bowl, beat the eggs with a fork until blended. In a third bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. Line up the bowls on a work surface.

4. One at a time, carefully dip the eggplant and zucchini slices first into the flour, making sure both sides are covered; then into the egg mixture; and finally into the breadcrumb mixture. Coat both sides very well, and gently tap off any excess coating. Transfer to a large plate and season with salt and pepper.

5. In a large, heavy skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the zucchini and eggplant and sauté on both sides until golden brown, about 3 minutes, making sure that they are cooked all the way through and soft. Try not to crowd the pan and fry eggplant first. Place the cooked eggplant and zucchini on paper towels to drain off the excess oil.

6. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. In a large 9-by-13-inch baking pan, add 1 cup tomato sauce, a layer 1/4 eggplant and zucchini, and top with a layer of 1/4 cheese mixture. Repeat the process three more times. Top with a layer of tomato sauce and sprinkle with 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.

7. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

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