Mike serves spicy calamari, fresh rigatoni in tomato sauce. The judges note that the pasta is undercooked, and Junior reports that he did tell them that they could use dried pasta. If Mike had, he'd be a lot better off, although I do wonder if Colicchio would have called him on it, since he was mad previously about someone using canned beans. Dale made fresh pasta, pancetta, Brussels sprouts, chanterelle mushrooms, pecorino romano. The judges don't like that there's no sauce and nothing to pull the components together. They figure that he cooked everything separately and then just tossed it together at the end. Dale mentioned that he cooks this dish for his girlfriend and Lorraine cracks that her boyfriend wouldn't get laid for that dish. Oh, ho ho ho. You are so bawdy, Lorraine Bracco. Tre made grilled vegetable risotto, marinated tomatoes and fresh basil. The judges think that he focused too much on the vegetables, and the rice suffered for it. Bourdain says it's a dish you would use to cover up a body. In fact, Bourdain is outraged at the group overall for fucking up the pasta course completely.
Finally, the secondi group starts cooking. Blais points out that Fabio always looks like he's not going to finish on time, and Fabio even admits that he might not have left himself enough time. Angelo wants Fabio's approval for his food, because he doesn't really feel comfortable cooking so traditionally. I have to say, Fabio's chicken looks amazing, and it does get finished on time.
Fabio made pollo alla cacciatore polenta al pecorino. The judges like that it's Old World, and Bourdain thinks that the polenta helped him forget how bad the previous course was. Angelo made a sautéed pork chop, cherry peppers, green olives, tomatoes, and pancetta. The judges think it was too busy, and didn't feature the pork enough, which makes sense, since Frankie No talked about how his aunt kept the dishes simple with a few important ingredients. Blais made a fresh pancetta cutlet, broccolini, pickled cherry tomatoes. The judges liked how simple it was, and delicious. Frankie No concludes the meal by praising the brilliance of Colicchio and Bourdain, and also Lorraine Bracco. Nothing about Padma, though. Hilarious. Meanwhile, Mike is in back talking about how pasta was al dente, and he knows that it was al dente, and he hopes the judges didn't get any pieces that were undercooked. Is he delusional or just in denial?