Comments: We do not want to nit-pick – although it seems we do more than our share – but we would really call this a skillet or fry pan, rather than a sauté pan. A sauté pan traditionally has a flat bottom and relatively high, straight sides. With such an arrangement, the cook (showing courage and skill) jerks the handle of the pan back toward his or her midsection, causing the ingredients in the pan to hit the edge of the pan on the opposite side and jump (or sauter in French), so that they turn themselves over, are stirred as they jump around, and cook evenly. The courageous cook performs this move multiple times.
The sides of this pan are flared, like a more traditional skillet or fry pan. If you jerk the pan toward you, it is quite likely that some of the ingredients will jump and fall back in the pan (the desired outcome) while some may tumble beyond the edge of the pan and all over the stove (a disappointment). Furthermore, the instructions are explicit in asking you to pick up the pan rather than slide it on the surface of your stove (to protect the enameled surface), so sautéing opportunities are quite limited.
As a skillet, though, it's lovely. This pan has heavy cast iron construction, with a porcelain enamel finish on the exterior, and a gloss enamel finish on the interior. It is not exactly a non-stick finish in the strictest sense of the word, but we couldn't get much to stick to it, and when we did, it cleaned up well. It can be used on a gas, electric, or ceramic stovetop (low to medium heat only) or in the oven up to 500°F (260°C). The handle gets hot no matter where it is, so keep a towel or oven mitt handy. There is a pouring spout on either side. The pan is dishwasher-safe, but over time, the harsh environment of the dishwasher will dull the finish. Hand washing is recommended.
It is a lovely thing that Chef Mario Batali includes a few recipes from his many cookbooks. Apparently the same booklet accompanies each piece of cookware in the Italian Kitchen line, though, and most of the recipes actually utilize the Dutch Oven, rather than this pan.
We are fans of cast iron cookware, and think everyone should have at least one skillet. This is a great choice, with the added benefit that it costs half or less of some others on the market. It is not a pan not to be sneezed at – no matter what you call it.