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Molto Batali: Simple Family Meals from My Home to Yours Hardcover – October 25, 2011

47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

From Molto Batali: Leg of Lamb in a Clementine Crust



  • ½ cup grapefruit juice
  • 4 clementines, halved
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 boneless leg of lamb (5 to 7 pounds—always get the bigger one), rolled and tied by your butcher
  • Salt


1. Combine the grapefruit juice, clementines, wine, garlic, rosemary, 2 tablespoons black pepper, and the oil in a blender or processor, and pulse until the mixture forms a rough paste.

2. Place the lamb in a large, shallow, nonreactive dish or pan. Rub the marinade over it, and turn the lamb to coat it on all sides. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 12 hours (up to 36 hours).

3. Remove the lamb from the marinade, reserving the marinade, and transfer it to a roasting pan. Season the lamb aggressively with salt and pepper, and let it stand at room temperature for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°F.

4. Rub the reserved marinade over the lamb, and add 1 cup of water to the roasting pan. Place the pan in the oven and roast for 20 minutes.

5. Reduce the oven temperature to 400°F, and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer registers 130°F for medium-rare, roughly 1 hour and 25 minutes for a large roast. (It may be only 45 minutes for a small one, so be careful and check the temperature after 45 minutes in any case.)

6. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the lamb to rest for 20 minutes before carving.

From Molto Batali: Cool Chard with Peppery Ricotta



  • Salt
  • 3 pounds white or red Swiss chard, leaves sliced into ½-inch-wide ribbons
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1-½ cups fresh ricotta, preferably sheep’s milk ricotta, drained
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons freshly cracked black pepper


1. Bring 8 quarts of water to a boil in a large pasta pot. Set up a large ice bath nearby.When the water comes to a boil, add 2 tablespoons salt. Drop the chard into the water and cook until tender, 7 to 8 minutes.

2. Drain the chard and plunge it into the ice bath. When it has cooled, drain it well. Place the chard between two platters and press them together very firmly to release the excess water. Place the chard in a large mixing bowl, add the oil and vinegar, and toss. Season lightly with salt, and set in a cool place or in the fridge.

3. Mix the ricotta, nutmeg, and black pepper in a bowl until well blended. Set aside.

4. When ready to serve, arrange the chard on a wide, flat platter and spoon 10 to 12 small dollops of the ricotta around it. Serve cool.

From Molto Batali: Grapefruit & Honey Cake



  • 3 tablespoons plus ¼ cup finely ground fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 medium grapefruits
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1-½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Oil a 9-inch round cake pan with tall sides, and dust it with the 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs.

2. Using a grater, zest both grapefruits. Juice one of the grapefruits to yield ¾ cup juice. In a small bowl, combine the zest, juice, and olive oil. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and salt with an electric mixture until frothy and light. Slowly beat in the sugar and honey, and continue to mix until pale and thick, about two minutes more.

4. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, the remaining ¼ cup breadcrumbs, and the baking powder together. Then gradually beat the dry ingredients into the egg mixture. Fold in the citrus zest mixture just until incorporated.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then remove it from the pan and let it cool to room temperature.

From the Back Cover

The bestselling author of Molto Italiano and Molto Gusto shares 120 of his favorite seasonal recipes in month-by-month menus perfect for celebrating with family and friends

For Mario Batali, privilege is also a responsibility. Dedicated to giving back, the renowned chef believes that sharing is crucial to leading a fulfilling life—especially at the table. That spirit of togetherness is at the heart of Molto Batali, a collection of festive and delicious recipes meant for sharing with friends and family throughout the year.

From lush summer salads to hearty winter braises, the seasonal dishes in Molto Batali—all easy to prepare and made with simple ingredients—enliven any dinner table, from a weeknight meal to a holiday celebration. Better yet, the recipes are organized into perfectly paired combinations for stellar meals. Each month features a sumptuous main course such as Leg of Lamb in a Clementine Crust; three toothsome pastas such as Wine-Stained Gemelli with Sausage “Meatballs” and Eggplant; four delectable veggie sides such as Sautéed Rutabagas with Chile, Mint, and Maple; a rustic, flavorful soup such as Green Garlic Soup; and an indulgent dessert such as Nectarine and Black Pepper Cheesecake.

The tantalizing recipes in Molto Batali reflect Mario’s passion for food and family, his belief in the importance of eating together, and the joy that comes when we share lovingly made meals. This same spirit of community and family informs the charitable work of the Mario Batali Foundation, the mission of which is to feed, protect, educate, and empower children—encouraging them to dream big while providing them with the necessary tools to become an active force for change in today’s world.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco; 1St Edition edition (November 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062095560
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062095565
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #289,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mario Batali's world now encompasses three New York City restaurants -- Babbo, Lupa, and Esca -- as well as a wine store, The Italian Wine Merchant. He is the host of Food Networks popular Molto Mario, as well as an upcoming new series, Mario Batalis Italy. He lives in New York City with his wife and two sons.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Joanne on October 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I bought this to give as a little extra gift for my son to open on his birthday in November. He appreciates good food (like his mother) and likes to eat healthy but hearty. I have countless cookbooks but not a one by Mario Batali, that is until now. I am keeping this one and getting my son another one in time to gift. What immediately struck me in this book was the use of both familiar and some unusual (but accessible) and very unusual ingredients to use in cooking--kohlrabi, cardoons (like a huge celery), endive, radishes, plus others. To me, personally, I love trying out new spices and ingredients, or using familiar ingredients in an unusual way--that is the adventure for me. When I have guests over for dinner, I like to serve at least one thing that they may never have had before or recently, or something familiar served in a new way. This book does that for me. Then there are the basics, yummy roasts, short ribs, mostly meats & fowl, some shellfish, pastas (also many unusual kinds), polentas, vegetables, beans, etc.. There are a variety of soups, entrees, sides, and desserts to choose from. The recipes are overwhelmingly 'rustic,' and the pictures bring that forth--no fru fru here. (There's also a recipe for cannoli and shells, one that I make myself in the same way). Almost every recipe has its own picture which draws you right in. The Table of Contents is laid out clearly to find any recipe at a moment's glance. Each of the twelve chapters is organized by the months of the year so that the menu matches the season. As the title implies, none of these recipes are involved or complicated. The layout of the recipes has all ingredients and directions printed on one page and on the opposite page is the picture.Read more ›
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By minimalist on January 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
We are trying to eat more seasonal, vegetable heavy meals in our household and this book has been immensely useful in helping me get a good meal on table in a reasonable amount of time. Most Italian cookbooks I have (including Batali's previous ones) always leave me wondering what to serve alongside the the glut of pasta and meat dishes they contain. Not so with this one. The chapters are broken down by month of the year and a they are side heavy (I'd say a third to half of each months recipes are vegetables or salads). Some of the highlights I've cooked so far have been rutabagas with maple, chili and mint, roasted kohlrabi with parmesan, and roasted parsnips with horseradish, chives and poppy seeds.

My only word of warning is that the recipe measurements and cooking times sometimes seem a bit off so you'll need to use your experience and judgment, but all in all I'm very happy with this book. It's been in heavy rotation in my kitchen for the last month.
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38 of 46 people found the following review helpful By BillyBob on January 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Let me first say that I am a big fan of Mario Batali. This cookbook, however, is extremely disappointing. I have all of his cookbooks and over 100 other Italian cookbooks and believe this to be one of the worst in my collection. After just cooking four straight days out of the book, my entire family has been disappointed with the results. The ingredients are off, the cooking times dont make sense and he inexplicably uses toasted breadcrumbs on so many different pasta recipes it is both mystifying and frustrating. On every recipe I cooked from the book (except the clementine lamb) I had to adjust cooking times. Also, just look at the table of contents, every meat dish is a shank or roast. No fish, limited poultry. Big meat, poorly cooked. Pasta lacking flavor and complexity. Mario is off his game and should be embarrassed by this effort. If you like him, as I do, go to Lupa in Soho New York. Dont buy his cookbooks until he gets it back together again. Mario, shame on you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By spaghettio on September 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
simple delicious, seasonal and doable this is a perfect book for someone who already knows a bit about cooking and is curious about real seasonal changes in taste and texture
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Anne Donhardt on August 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I don't think there is another Italian chef like Mario Batali. This book is so personal, giving you recipes that he shares with his family. What can be better than that.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Francis Albert on February 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a young man I was raised in the kitchen of my families Italian restraunt In Brooklyn and i love to cook.
Mario Batalies book Molto Batali is the best ever. Its cooking like my family use to and I do.

He's the best

Francis Albert Sena
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I have always wanted a cookbook from Batali. I am a Chew fan and I like what he cooks on the show. I went to the library and picked up several of his cookbooks. This is the one I chose to order and have forever and ever on my shelf.

It has a lot of recipes of things I Have never heard of. Perhaps everything "Italian" isn't spaghetti sauce or Alfredo based. What???? There are actually a lot of healthier options which is good. Some of them, however, are things that are hard to find or involve several steps. This is not your come home on a weeknight and cook something real fast cookbook. But, It is great for a special meal for a dinner party. There is not an actual recipe that I have seen for "spaghetti sauce". There are a couple for several variations of red sauce though. Maybe that is what real Italians call Spaghetti sauce??? I don't know.

I did make several of the noodles in this book and all have turned out great! He goes into great detail on the different variations and shapes of the noodles. Yes, they're all the same basic ingredients wise but different shapes hold different purposes and make flavors come out different ways.

I think its a good staple for an Italian cookbook. It is kind of wordy but I guess the book fits his personality :)
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