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The Babbo Cookbook Hardcover – April 30, 2002
"100 Million Years of Food" by Stephen Le
A fascinating tour through the evolution of the human diet, and how we can improve our health by understanding our complicated history with food. Learn more
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Before digging into any of the dozen-plus featured antipasti, Batali offers several specialty aperitivi, including the refreshing Blood Orange Bellini. Two of Babbo's signature dishes, Mint Love Letters with Spicy Lamb Sausage (little ravioli stuffed with a filling of sweet peas, mint, heavy cream, and Parmigiano-Reggiano) and Beef Cheek Ravioli (so good the book recommends doubling the filling and freezing a batch), are broken down and made more than accessible to the home cook. Other exceptional pasta options include Pumpkin Lune with Butter and Sage (finished with a dusting of Parmigiano-Reggiano and amaretti cookie crumbs) and Gnocchi with Oxtail Ragù (a reinterpretation of a Batali family classic, still served at Salumi, his father's must-visit Seattle shop). Chapters "Mare (From the Sea)" and "Terra e Bosco (From the Earth and Forest)" offer Crispy Black Bass with Endive Marmellata and Saffron Vinaigrette ("'crispy' sells more food than a barrage of adjectives," Batali reveals) and a succulent Osso Buco with Toasted Pine Nut Gremolata. There's a wonderful section on pre-desserts and cheese, and in "Dolci" pastry chef Gina DePalma wraps things up with Maple and Mascarpone Cheesecake, Meyer Lemon Semifreddo, and a tempting cookie plate.
The Babbo Cookbook is a gorgeous affair--nearly every recipe is accompanied by a color photo of the finished dish. Batali is an intelligent and inspiring guide throughout the book, and Babbo co-owner Joseph Bastianich (who cowrote the terrific Vino Italiano with Babbo wine director David Lynch) provides detailed notes on their topnotch table and wine service. Some of the recipes may seem daunting to tentative home cooks (the recipe for Warm Testa with Waxy Potatoes opens with "Place the pig's head in a large pot with water"), but Batali recognizes that readers don't have the benefit of being backed by a kitchen staff and offers tips and modifications to turn out a version of the dish as close as possible to the real deal. Whether you choose to cook your way through one recipe at a time or attempt to turn out an entire tasting menu for a special occasion, Batali's Babbo Cookbook is a keeper--a book you'll turn to again and again. --Brad Thomas Parsons
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
We're also both experienced cooks and avid cookbook readers, and neither of us like this cookbook. It's a beautifully produced book, and does contain a large number of recipes corresponding to famous dishes from Babbbo. Unfortunately, many of the recipes in this book have serious errors and don't work. Some recipes omit steps, others include incorrect descriptions of proportions, and others are vague about cooking techniques. For example, the recipe for the 2 minute calamari lists "1 cup couscous" as an ingredient, without telling you if it's supposed to be raw or cooked. (By trial and error, I figured out that it was cooked.) Or, there was the Bigeye Tuna recipe that asked you to prepare a half dozen ingredients, and doesn't tell you what to do with them. (For example, it tells you to sautee mushrooms, then doesn't tell you what to do with them. It also tells you to make parsley oil, then doesn't tell you what to do with it. We guessed that we should use it as a garnish.) Or take the Bolognese recipe, which produces a watery, smoky mess that tastes nothing like the sauce served in the restaurant.
Much as we wanted to like this book, we didn't like it, and can't recommend it. If you want to learn how to cook Italian food, try some of Marcella Hazan's books. If you want to eat Mario Batali's food, go to his restaurants. If you want to learn how to make the dishes served in his restaurants, wait for a better book.Read more ›
This book is a superb addition to any cook's collection.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the best cookbooks I have and I have a lot!
Every recipe works. Most recipes become part of my repertoire. Found our favorite drink ever: the Thistle! Read more
I am a true fan of Batali and hesitated buying this book due to the amount of negative and critical comments read. I decided since the book was under a $1, I would go for it. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Deblyn
I bought this book because I enjoy to cooking especially variations on pasta. .I tried two of the pasta recipes and found them very disappointing: the result of one recipe was... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Ethel Goldberg
Already tried a couple of recipes from this book. They were amazing.Published 12 months ago by Winnie
It is one of the best Italian Cook-book that I have read.
The Mint Past with Lamb is amazing.
A gift for my daughter, the restauranteur, who's own BABBO was destroyed . I was happy to find one of her favorite cook books and give it to her in such a speedy manner.Published 21 months ago by Carla stefani