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Mario Batali Simple Italian Food: Recipes from My Two Villages

May 13, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Italian food books

Mario Batali Simple Italian Food: Recipes from My Two Villages

  • ISBN13: 9780609603000
  • Condition: New
  • Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! BUY WITH CONFIDENCE, Over one million books sold! 98% Positive feedback. Compare our books, prices and service to the competition. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed

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 Pó 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

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3 Responses to “Mario Batali Simple Italian Food: Recipes from My Two Villages”
  1. B. Marold "Bruce W. Marold" says:
    95 of 100 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A Professional Chef and Successful Communicator, January 19, 2004
    B. Marold “Bruce W. Marold” (Bethlehem, PA United States) –

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    This review is from: Mario Batali Simple Italian Food: Recipes from My Two Villages (Hardcover)

    I find it hard to be entirely objective about this book, as Mario Batali is my number one culinary hero. Through his show `Molto Mario’ on the Food Network, he exposed me for the first time to Italian regional and microregional cuisines and the `if it grows together, it goes together’ doctrine. This is called `terroir by the fans of cooking from `the F country’, which Mario loves to hate. This also brought into full light the doctrine of `buy the very best of what is fresh today and that will determine what you cook tonight.’ Mario does not give you the cerebral approach of someone like Paul Bertolli or Tom Colicchio or, ultimately, like Thomas Keller, but Mario gets all the important stuff right, in a way we can appreciate and use.

    I love the way Mario quite honestly confesses to having lifted most of his recipes from Italian grandmothers, as he believes that the best Italian cooking is done in the home and not in the Restaurante. In spite of his heart being with Italian cuisine, he is never disrespectful of American food and produce, especially when the American product is superior to the Italian.

    This book is comprised of recipes primarily from the extended three-year stage he served in a little trattoria in Emilia-Romagna, a stones throw from the border with Toscana. But, it does contain several recipes from other parts of Emilia-Romagna, Toscana, Lazio (Rome) and even Sicily. His two `villages’ are Porretta Terme in Italy and Greenwich Village in Manhattan.

    The book has six chapters of recipes, these being:

    Antipasti, 43 recipes including crostini, bruschetta, polenta, pickled vegetables, mushrooms, and cured fish.
    Primi (pasta or rice), 49 recipes including recipes for fresh pastas, gnocchi, couscous, and risottos.
    Seconde (main dish)
    Pesce (fish), 27 recipes including scallops, calamari, prawns, crabs, lobster, snapper, and even frogs’ legs.
    Carne (meat), 32 recipes including rabbit, pheasant, lamb, veal, beef, sausage, liver, and sweetmeats.
    Contorni (side dishes) 26 recipes including polenta, many vegetable dishes, grilled, fried, and pickled.
    Formaggi & Dolce (cheese and sweets) 27 recipes including fruit and confections with funny names.

    Each section includes pantry recipes for sauces and dressings not included in this count.

    I would recommend this book primarily for the reading of Mario’s unvarnished enthusiasm for food and the Italian dedication to (relative) simplicity of method and freshness of your `prima materia’. I would also highly recommend his basic tomato sauce (I make it all the time) and his recipes using fresh pasta. As he points out, there is a big difference between the fresh pasta of the north and the dry pasta of the south both in the way they are made, in the types of flour used, and in the sauces appropriate to each. Mario’s recommendations on making and dressing pasta are worth the price of admission.

    The black and white or sepia photographs of Mario and his colleagues at the trattoria lend a warm `gemutlichkeit’ (sorry, I don’t know the Italian word) to the proceedings. The color photos are better than average, in that the photographer succeeds in getting the entire dish in focus.

    I highly recommend the book for the authenticity of the recipes and his introduction into a deeper appreciation of Italian food. It is not a complete presentation of Italian dishes, but it is a great partner to a broader treatment done by Marcella Hazan, Lydia Bastianich, Giuliano Bugialli, or the Cooks Illustrated volume on Classic Italian recipes. I agree with those who warn that the book is not for novices, but is the sort of book which can show the way from innocence to experience.

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  2. caseybean says:
    135 of 148 people found the following review helpful:
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Fun to Look Through-Not as Fun to Use, November 1, 2000
    caseybean (Tucson, AZ.) –
    This review is from: Mario Batali Simple Italian Food: Recipes from My Two Villages (Hardcover)

    This book is enjoyable to read, but not as useful as I had anticipated. Many of the recipes just don’t use ingredients that I can easily find or even care to use like rabbit, squab, pheasant, frogs’ legs etc… That said there are some good, practical recipes-just not as many as I hoped for. I’m Italian and grew up around delicious homemade Italian food, just not the type of dishes Batali creates. Batali’s recipes are indeed authentic, but not necessarily tempting. There aren’t enough pasta recipes, but plenty of meat and seafood recipes in the book. Unfortunately this book spends more time on my bookshelf than in my kitchen. Try to look at a copy before purchasing this one.

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  3. "kstoltz3" says:
    40 of 41 people found the following review helpful:
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    A fine book, but read the intro before buying, December 31, 2003
    “kstoltz3″ (Leesburg, VA) –
    This review is from: Mario Batali Simple Italian Food: Recipes from My Two Villages (Hardcover)

    Far too many people look at the title “Simple Italian Food” and think that the book is going to include tons of 30 minute recipes for everyday Italian cooking.


    Anyone who has watched Batali’s show, or anyone who reads the introduction to this book will find out that what he is referring to is the use of a few, excellent ingredients in each dish, as opposed to a long list of ingredients that will require one whole cart at the grocery store to carry. Most of the recipes require 6 or 7 ingredients, tops. Some are exotic (most have easy substitutes), yet one of Batali’s primary but often-missed points is that the kind of ingredient isn’t important, but its quality. I’m surprised by how few a number of people took this concept away from the book.

    The recipes turn out delicious. They can be intensive at times, particularly the pasta dishes. Most of the meat dishes also require long periods of braising. Few of the dishes are quick-prepares. THAT’S FINE IF THAT IS WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR.

    So look through the book a little bit before buying and determine if this is what you are expecting. If so, you’ll likely enjoy it.

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