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babbo or everyday italian?

ctl98 Mar 11, 2007 06:46 PM

Looking to buy an italian cookbook and both are on sale. Which one should I get? Babbo by Mario Batali or Everyday Italina by Giada di Laurentis? Please don't tempt me by saying both :-P

  1. s
    Seattle Rose Mar 12, 2007 01:48 PM

    Babbo is a beautiful book. But, as others have said, it is more of a restaurant cookbook. For everyday-type cooking, I'd go with Everyday Italian.

    1. CindyJ Mar 12, 2007 12:34 PM

      I also own the Babbo cookbook, but I've never actually used it. I've looked up recipes in it, but always turned to a recipe from another source in the end.

      1. ccbweb Mar 12, 2007 12:10 PM

        I have both and like them very much for very different reasons. As noted above, Everyday Italian is an everyday book. The recipes are accessible, the ingredients to make them are fairly easily found (and substitutions are obvious and easy to make). The food in the book is staple, every day stuff.

        Babbo is high end, refined and much more difficult to make. Many of the ingredients are hard to find speciality items for which subtitutions are difficult to figure out. I agree with pitu that the recipes are not complicated, but some of the ingredients may be difficult to locate and the food is certainly more involved than in Everyday Italian.

        1. pitu Mar 12, 2007 12:03 PM

          I love the Babbo book, and really don't find it obscure or complicated; the Molto Mario book is the easier one but just as delicious.
          (I post on the recipes here all the time . . . plus a bunch are on the BabboNY website if you want to try 'em out.)

          1. c
            ctl98 Mar 12, 2007 05:58 AM

            Thanks for the replies!! Will def check out Silver Spoon then. And maybe take a second look at Everyday Italian...

            1. troutpoint Mar 12, 2007 05:40 AM

              Everday italian is just that-an everyday cook book. Simple, straightforward recipes that always work. Babbo is more of a food porn book for me...Not that that's a bad thing! They just have different places on the bookshelf.

              1. s
                skimc Mar 11, 2007 09:10 PM

                I agree with AnnaEA that Babbo is a restaurant cookbook. There are many components to most dishes and each component is essentially another recipe. However - the results are delicious! I love Everyday Italian. It is my go-to cookbook for everyday meals. Simple and delicious.

                1. s
                  smtucker Mar 11, 2007 08:30 PM

                  If you want a Mario cookbook, My Two Villages is a great one. I find Babbo intimidating, and I love to cook!

                  1. coastie Mar 11, 2007 08:09 PM

                    The Silver Spoon is my all time fav. Its a bit of an investment but an amazing resource

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: coastie
                      don giovanni Mar 11, 2007 08:48 PM

                      I agree. The Silver Spoon is my Bible in the kitchen. Very straightforward; a good variety of flavors. You can get it at Costco right now, for about half the normal price, I think.

                      1. re: don giovanni
                        MMRuth Mar 12, 2007 04:06 AM

                        I like The Silver Spoon - but I've had trouble, as a relatively experienced cook, with some of the recipes - I don't think the instructions are particularly comprehensive. That said, I'm glad I have it and I do use it.

                        1. re: MMRuth
                          JasmineG Mar 12, 2007 10:23 AM

                          And this is why I didn't like The Silver Spoon at all -- the instructions aren't particularly good, and it's just not laid out in an engaging way for me. I bought it and sold it to a used bookstore, because I realized it just wasn't the kind of cookbook that I would turn to. If the OP is looking for a good all around Italian cookbook, I'd go with Marcella Hazan (and I find her cookbooks in used bookstores all the time).

                          1. re: JasmineG
                            MMRuth Mar 12, 2007 11:04 AM

                            I agree about Marcella - I have a number of Italian cookbooks, and would not want the Silver Spoon to be the only one. That said, I have made some wonderful things from it.

                          2. re: MMRuth
                            don giovanni Mar 12, 2007 01:08 PM

                            Good point. It is pretty concise. But I still love it ;)

                      2. a
                        AnnaEA Mar 11, 2007 08:07 PM

                        I don't know anything about Everyday Italian, but I have the Babbo cookbook, and it is definitely a "restaurant" cookbook -- the recipes are on the tricky and involved side, and there are a few that I just haven't been able to get work. It has a great recipe for a plain red sauce though.

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