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babbo or everyday italian?

  • c

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

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  1. 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.

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

      5 Replies
      1. re: coastie

        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

          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

            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

              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

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

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

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

                1. 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. 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. 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. 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.