From Publishers Weekly
It takes a kind of genius—or obsessive personality—to open five successful restaurants, host two Food Network shows and write three cookbooks, and Batali’s manic energy comes alive on every page of this fourth book devoted to dishes for the home cook. With over 300 recipes, the volume is an overstuffed celebration of the rustic local fare Batali loves, organized by course (antipasto, soup, pasta, fish, etc.). Fans will find repeat renditions of signature Batali dishes found in his earlier volumes, such as Bucatini all’Amatriciana, but can also discover tantalizing new ones, such as Malloredus with Fennel, Game Hen with Pomegranate, and Lamb Shanks with Orange and Olive. Batali excels when he translates complex traditional dishes for the modern kitchen, such as Pork Loin in the Style of Porchetta. But in his desire to keep things “simple,” he sometimes goes astray, as in the case of homemade sausage, which is reduced to two not-very-simple steps of instructions. Such compression threatens to undermine Batali’s true passion for teaching Americans to savor the intense flavors of local ingredients simply prepared. All in all, the book tries to pack in too much; the two pasta sections would make a book in themselves. What the home cook really needs is more Mario, fewer recipes. Photos, drawings. (May)
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“The trick to cooking is that there is no trick.” ––Mario Batali
The only mandatory Italian cookbook for the home cook, Mario Batali’s MOLTO ITALIANO is rich in local lore, with Batali’s humorous and enthusiastic voice, familiar to those who have come to know him on his popular Food Network programs, larded through about 220 recipes of simple, healthy, seasonal Italian cooking for the American audience.
Easy to use and simple to read, some of these recipes will be those “as seen” on TV in the eight years of “Molto Mario” programs on the Food Network, including those from “Mediterranean Mario,” “Mario Eats Italy,” and the all–new “Ciao America with Mario Batali.” Batali’s distinctive voice will provide a historical and cultural perspective with a humorous bent to demystify even the more elaborate dishes as well as showing ways to shorten or simplify everything from the purchasing of good ingredients to pre–production and countdown schedules of holiday meals. Informative head notes will include bits about the provenance of the recipes and the odd historical fact.
Mario Batali’s MOLTO ITALIANO will feature ten soups, thirty antipasti (many vegetarian or vegetable based), forty pasta dishes representing many of the twenty–one regions of Italy, twenty fish and shellfish dishes, twenty chicken dishes, twenty pork or lamb dishes and twenty side dishes, each of which can be served as a light meal. Add twenty desserts and a foundation of basic formation recipes and this book will be the only Italian cooking book needed in the home cook’s library.