Books: Cooking by Cuisine -> Cooking Italian
Mario Batali Simple Italian Food: Recipes from My Two Villages
Published: September 29, 1998
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Sure to excite lovers of the best Italian cooking, Mario Batali Simple Italian Food: Recipes from My Two Villages reenvisions classic home cucina with enticing results. Batali, known to fans as "Molto Mario" from his Television Food Network
shows, and as chef-owner of Manhattan's much-loved Po and Babbo restaurants, presents nearly 250 of his favorite recipes, traditional and innovative, for delectable salads, pastas, grilled specialties, ragus, and desserts, among others. The collection,
inspired by the cooking of Borgo Cappene, a hillside village in northern Italy, and Greenwich Village, where Batali culls exemplary ingredients for his restaurants, reflects Batali's commitment to simple cooking--impeccable ingredients sensibly combined
and properly prepared. Cooks seeking deeply flavored, smartly presented dishes will embrace Batali's recipes for everyday meals and for entertaining.
Arranged by courses, antipasti through formaggi and dolci (cheese and sweets), the uncomplicated
dishes include White Bean Bruschetta with Grilled Radicchio Salad, Baked Lasagna with Asparagus and Pesto, and Roasted Porgy with Peas, Garlic, Scallions and Mint. Gorgonzola with Spiced Walnuts and Port Wine Syrup with fresh fruit would make a lovely
conclusion to any dinner. Throughout, Batali provides advice on dish preparation; there are 32 pages of color photos and dozens of black-and-white shots of life in Batali's two villages. Batali's reliance on the best ingredients simply prepared, rather
than on fussy restaurant techniques, places his dishes squarely in the realm of home cooks. They'll find his book a keeper. --Arthur Boehm
Perfectly pristine ingredients, combined sensibly and cooked properly, are the
unmistakable hallmarks of the best Italian food. Chef Mario Batali, known to fans far and wide as "Molto Mario" from his appearances on television's Food Network and as chef of New York's much-loved Pů restaurant, has elevated these simple principles to
fine art, creating innovative new fare that pays tribute to traditional Italian home cooking in a distinctly modern way. Now, for the first time, more than 200 of his irresistible recipes for fresh pastas, sprightly salads, grilled dishes, savory ragus,
and many others are gathered in Simple Italian Food, a celebration of the flavors and spirit of Italy.
Mario draws inspiration for his distinctive dishes from the two "villages" that have left their stamps on his cuisine: Borgo Capanne, the tiny
hillside village in Northern Italy where he lived and cooked for several years, and New York's Greenwich Village, where he has ready access to bountiful produce and outstanding artisan-made products; his full-flavored, smartly presented fare combines the
best of both worlds. Chapters covering antipasti, pasta and risotto, fish, meat and poultry, contorni (side dishes), and cheese and sweets offer classic dishes such as Baked Lasagne with Asparagus and Pesto and pork loin cooked in caramelized onions and
milk alongside Batali's own enticing improvisations--Penne with Spicy Goat Cheese and Hazelnut Pesto or Tuna Carpaccio with Cucumbers, Sweet Potatoes, and Saffron Vinaigrette. And because his recipes succeed on the strength of their ingredients rather
than on virtuoso techniques, home cooks can easily duplicate the clear, clean flavors and lively presentations that are Mario's signature. Thirty-two pages of color photographs showcase Chef Batali's colorful and approachable
Traditionalists as well as those who thrill to the new will want to make dozens of these crowd-pleasing dishes a permanent part of their repertoire and embrace Mario Batali'sphilosophy of Simple Italian Food.
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