October 2008 COTM: "Batali": Babbo, Molto Italiano & Simple Italian Cooking
October 2008 COTM:
Mario Batali’s Babbo, Molto Italiano, and Simple Italian Cooking.
Welcome to the links thread for the October 2008 Cookbook of the Month. You may wish to bookmark this thread for future reference, as it contains links to all the other threads for these cookbooks.
Instead of having another thread for general discussion, recipe planning, links, and previous picks and pans, let's use this one. I'll copy over the links posted earlier, as well as some additional ones. Others are welcome of course to post more links. Since we’re doing three books, let’s try to use on-line recipes that are from one of the books, so that we don’t get too diffused.
Here are the links for the threads for the full length recipe reviews. Once again, I decided to go with combining the books into each of the threads (rather than having different threads for the three books), which I think helps maintain the spirit of COTM of "cooking together", even though we are three books.
Primi (including pasta, risotto, soup, etc.
Vegetable Side Dishes (Contorni
Desserts, Cheese & Drinks
re: c oliver
Hi - there really aren't any 'rules' about possting. You're welcome to post about Batali dishes you've cooked on the appropriate threads listed above, and it doesn't matter if anyone else has posted about a dish before or not. Please just mention the name of the dish, the book, and the page number if possible when you post. People are still posting on COTMs from last year etc., so no problem bringing up old threads.
You might want to book mark this thread since it's October's COTM and will probably get 'unstickied' soon.
Despite some of my initial bitching, I cooked a lot of delicious things from this book. Some of my favorites include the duck ragu, the mozzarella grilled cheese sandwiches, the lamb sauce, the osso bucco, the roasted potatoes, clams casino - and more I'm sure. I particularly like the idea of having that tomato sauce on hand, which makes making a number of the other dishes a lot quicker, and I used it on pizza this weekend.
re: The Dairy Queen
Oh - I should have mentioned that. Everything I cooked from was from Molto Italiano. Hmm - if I had to have only one book, I'd have Hazan's, and, I don't think that his dishes are any better than hers, in terms of the ones I've made from both of them. But, those roasted potatoes and mozzarella sandwiches are worth the price of the book!
OK, my post mortem on this one (and I used Molto Italiano only - except the online recipe for the lifeguard's squid- which I loved):
I started the month thinking I'd probably find some good stuff; not totally excited but upbeat. And I'd have to say that is pretty much how I've ended it. There have been some things I wouldn't bother making again (the spicy sicilian chicken was just ok, I wasn't that big a fan of the mozz sandwiches or the crab pasta) but I've also found a few that will definitely be made again and again (the spaghetti with caramelized onions, the aforementioned squid, the marinated eggplant, the scampi with garlic, chilies and fennel). And there are still quite a few on my must-try list (which suits me well, considering I'm not doing the Alice Waters this month). Like MMRuth, I really like the idea of making up a batch of the basic tomato sauce to have on hand. A heck of a lot of these recipes are dead easy once you have that, and its easy to make. So overall this was a hit for me, not a knock-me-over-I'm-in-love hit like the Vietnamese or Dunlop, but still a hit.
The first recipe I ever made from Molto Italiano (which I've now had for a couple of years) was the Basic Tomato Sauce. It made a subtle difference in the dish I made that night, Italian sausages crumbled up, sauteed in a bit of olive oil and garlic - tomato sauce added - and served over store-bought spinach/ricotta ravioli. I've been using it ever since.
I made a couple of recipes I really loved: Chicken Liver Crostini being one. The livers are sauteed with anchovies, capers, red onion, wine and a bit of tomato paste. Wow! I've now made it several times. It's fabulous spread on good bread like the Acme Levain we can get here in Oakland. I'm sure it'd be great on any "artisan" bread.
I also liked the Grilled Mackerel with Eggplant and Salsa Verde, although I didn't use mackerel, but ling cod. A really nice combo with the salsa verde.
Chicken from the Town of Avellino was a huge hit with my husband. I liked it a lot, too.
The stuffed meatloaf I'd made several times before and liked. I think I used some stronger cheese than Caciocavallo, but I can't remember which. I've also used Feta once, to good effect.
I wish I'd made the Grandma's Pine Nut and Ricotta Tart abd tge Easter Grain and Ricotta Pie. Oh, and the Potato Doughnutts, but that will be remedied in future. Oh, and the Radicchio Pancakes.
it seems whenever I vote and get my choice something happens and i never post and October was another one of those months. But the first Sunday in November we finally made the root vegetable mash that Mario uses under roasts and it was eh. I followed the original recipe to a T, even bought chives but it was too bland for us. I never got around to trying the tomato sauce and wish i had but had to return the book to the library.
I didn't get a chance to do much cooking from Babbo, a book I've had for a while, mainly because so many of the recipes I'm eager to try are the homemade pastas and that's not often something I'll do just for myself. I'll have to get back to it when I plan on entertaining.
I did have "Molto Italiano" from the library and tried a few, but the recipes just didn't appeal to me as much as those from the Babbo book. I did, however, make the Basic Tomato Sauce, something I'll be making again and again. So simple; so versatile; so satisfying. Here's a link to the recipe so you can try it if you still want to:
I found it was much easier to tie a few sprigs of thyme together and dump them in the pan rather than trying to chop leaves.
I used Mario Italiano only this month. I was not able to bookmark a lot of recipes in the beginning of the month, but ended up with couple of keepers.
My first recipe of this month was a big hit, chicken with “cooked wine” and second recipe – spicy sicilian chicken, we never finished the batch.
Some other recipes I made: spaghetti with caramelized onions (loved it), tuna and ricotta fritters, pg 86 (such a great recipe), chicken in the style of canzano, pg 320 (husband and my 2 ½ yr old love it so much that I made this dish twice this month, I found it just okay) and stuffed meat loaf, pg 397 is also a keeper.
Although the month has ended, there are few more recipes I am planning to try till I have the book from the library, especially the roasted potatoes everybody is raving about. Also I am wondering to cook veal shank and lamb shank or not, especially since they are hard to find.
re: c oliver
I concur regarding the basic tomato sauce! In fact, I just made another batch this morning. I like waiting for it to look "like thick porridge" which it really does end up resembling in texture. I add a bay leaf but otherwise I follow the recipe exactly.
My favorite recipe from the Mario month, and now on my top five recipes I make, is his chicken cacciatore -- with pancetta, yum. So I make the sauce and use half the batch in the cacciatore, freezing the other half for the next time I make cacciatore. YUM. I brought the cacciatore to a holiday party and EVERYONE WENT CRAZY and said things like "Wow, I knew you cooked a lot, but this is just spectacular." I think someone wanted to ask me on a date after trying it, even! ha!
re: foxy fairy
I also have sung the praises of the basic tomato sauce. One would never know if one just read the recipe. Is it the shredded carrots?
Another recipe from that cookbook I make often is the chicken liver crostini. We had them for dinner Sunday night with some fresh asparagus soup (aspar. in our CSA box this week) and a cuke and tomato salad. This chicken liver spread, with capers and anchovies, is stellar!
I should make the chicken liver crostini for my husband. I actively dislike them and he loves them so. I imagine it would hold a while in the fridge so he could eat over several days?
I've switched from Batali's tomato sauce to Hazan's with onion and butter. Love them both. Do you have a strong preference? Hazan's is just a little easier.
re: c oliver
c.o.: I used to hate chicken livers, too. Now I can't understand why everyone in the world isn't rioting to obtain them.
I'm sure the spread would last in the fridge for a few days. Is it the texture or the taste you don't like? Or both?
I haven't tried Marcella's tomato sauce. For some reason, although I have Classic Italian and More Classic, I rarely use them. I used to be irritated with her imperious stands on what's right and wrong as well as her smoking.
Now, I'm open to learn from her but just haven't gotten around to it. Will have to try Hazan's tomato sauce recipe. I just love the shredded carrots in Batali's sauce. Amazing how their addition gives the sauce that extra sweetness and zing.
I promise I will try Marcella's sauce.
I've been toying with the idea of trying chicken livers again. I love foie gras and like some pates, mostly the ones with pork liver. Maybe with a good recipe.... And it's the taste and texture, ...I guess. I also don't like calves' liver.
I do love Mario's (I call him Mario!) tomato sauce. I've almost found it too flavorful :) Meaning I have to use a light hand with it. Made some really flavorful stuffed shells one time and covered with his sauce and I could barely taste anything other than the sauce. Hazan's is very easy and very good. Karl S serves it as soup! It's just tomatoes, an onion cut in half and 5 T butter. After cooking for 45 or so, you throw the onion away and that's it.
Speaking of chicken, maybe you could give me a recipe for whole livers? Although honestly I kinda shudder thinking about that :)
Thanks for your help.
re: c oliver
I used to be adamently (sp??) anti-liver, and then I made chicken liver pate. Changed my world. The texture is heavenly on a crispy slice of oily baguette, and the flavor is not so intense as when you just eat the whole things (although now I can do that too, but not in big amounts).
I was just thinking that I would like to try the Marcella sauce again :) Such a fantastically easy trick.
I have another two cups of the Batali sauce. I was thinking I might freeze it for next time I make the cacciatore.... or I could do an eggplant parmesan or something. Interesting that it's overpowering. I also thought of getting some interesting flavored raviolis, but maybe the sauce would compete with the filling.
I think I used Marcella's sauce and added a touch of cream for my favorite -- pink sauce -- and had that with some eggplant ravioli one time.
We had a wonderful time with some local Chowhounds this past Saturday night for a Batali-themed Italian potluck. Everything was really delicious, I couldn't say which were my favorites - I think I went back for seconds on EVERYTHING.
Thanks to the friendly Chowhound community, of course, where I was able to invite a bunch of Phoenix CHs to come over to our home bearing home-cooked food and bottles of vino. As a newbie to Arizona, I'm grateful for the chance to get to know such nice, generous people and, of course, spectacular cooks! Hopefully some will post on their delicious recipes.
Here's the menu with pics and some recipe links:
For a couple of italian-influenced cocktails to start, E made limoncello 'martinis', and Amarinas (Babbo Cookbook, p. 16)
I also served an Italian cheese platter (Parmigiano-Reggiano, Taleggio, Gorgonzola Piccante, and Toma Maccagno) with Marcona almonds and port-marinated raisins, with thin-sliced Fra'Mani sopressata. Also, another Batali dish - Peperoni Ripieni (MI p 56).
My contribution to a main dish was Pasticcio do Maccheroni - MI, p. 190
The rest of the delicious contributions:
Hohokam and M:
Pork Sausage from Lucania (Molto italiano, p. 368) and braised broccoli rabe
Chocolate Hazelnut Cake - Babbo, p. 281
Honey Vanilla Gelato - Babbo, p 314
Their friends E, and P:
Chicken with Sweet Peppers: Pollo con Peperoni - Molto Mario
and wonderful homemade biscotti.
ArizonaGirl and hubby:
Herb Frittata (Frittata alle Erbe - Molto Italiano, p 51
)Ricotta Pound Cake with homemade whipped cream and fresh fruit (Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen)
Ziti Gratinati (Baked Ziti with Cauliflower, Saffron, and Pecorino - Molto Mario)
Radicchio al Rosmarino (Radicchio with pancetta and rosemary
Everything was spectacular, with lovely dessert wines to go with the desserts. What a great excuse to have a fantastic meal and meet some new friends!
Peperoni Ripieni, Pollo con Peperoni, Ziti Gratinati, and Radicchio al Rosmarino:
Truly, we are blessed ;).
I think of all the recipes the pollo con peperoni was the one that will go into heavy rotation for the cold season (can't really call it winter, here). I was partial to the Amaroni cocktail and hohkam's honey vanilla gelato was perfectly on point. My mouth still waters when I think of that cheese plate, though. Oh, and the pound cake. And the homemade sausages ...
It was just the perfect confluence of setting, hospitality, gracious hosts, and some guests who really knew their way around Italian techniques and ingredients.
Plus, good booze. Never hurts!
Thanks for all the links, folks. I really must get my arse into gear and cook some of the online recipes. I'm very much enjoying reading about everyone else's efforts (some of the reports are hilarious!) but I have to say I'm quite pleased I didn't buy the book this month.
I can't wait for the November suggestions thread now!
Some links posted in the suggestions thread:
Molto Italiano recipes:
Mario Batali's posts and recipes:
Radicchio with Bacon and Rosemary - Radicchio al Rosmarino
Bread Soup -Zuppa di Pane
Jumbo Shrimp Marsala (Housewife-Style) -Gamberoni alla Zasalinga Siciliana
Ricotta Gnocchi with Sausage and Fennel
(and links to other Batali recipes):
Pappardelle with Peas and Parmesan
re: The Dairy Queen
Hmm - that's odd - I think JoanN provided that link and when I checked it a while ago, it did bring up those recipes. I wouldn't assume though that all the recipes in the show are in that book. I'll go back and see if I copied the link incorrectly.
Edit. It's the right link - I wonder if this has something to do with the redesign of the FN website?
I think you're right, MMRuth, about the link not working having something to do with the redesign of the Website. I tried to recreate the original link using Google's advanced search feature, and the first four links I clicked on returned a message saying the page couldn't be found. Something's definitely not working properly over there.
The website of the restaurant has a lot of overlap to the Babbo book recipes...but not all the site is from that book. Here's the list on the site.
• AGRETTI ALLA ROMANA
• APPLES OF THE VAL DI NON
• ANISE AND LEMON TARALLI
• ASPARAGUS AND RICOTTA RAVIOLI
• AUTUMN VEGETABLE SALAD WITH FRICCO
• BACCALA ALLA VICENTINA
• BARBECUED OCTOPUS WITH SPICY TANGERINE CITRONETTE
• BIGOLI CON SALSA
• BISCOTTI DI FARRO
• BLACK SPAGHETTI WITH ROCK SHRIMP AND SPICY SOPPRESSATA
• BOLLITO MISTO
• BOLLITO MISTO WITH CRANBERRY MOSTARDA
• BONET ALLA PIEMONTESE
• BRAISED FENNEL SALAD WITH PEARS AND GORGONZOLA
• BRAISED LEEK AGNOLOTTI WITH SWEET CORN AND CASTELMAGNO
• BRUSCHETTA WITH FAVAS AND NEW YORK STATE RICOTTA
• BRUSCHETTE AL'INFERNO
• BUCATINI ALL'AMATRICIANA
• BUDINO DI CASTAGNE
• CALAMARI - TWO MINUTE SICILIAN LIFEGUARD STYLE
•CAPRETO CACIO E UOVA
• CARCIOFI ALL ROMANA
• CARPACCIO DI ZUCCHINI CON ANGURIA E TARANTELLO
• CAVATELLI CON CIMA DI RAPE
• CHEESES OF LE MARCHE
• CHEESES OF PIEMONTE AND THE BRA CHEESE FESTIVAL
• CHEESES OF SALERNO
• CHEESNUT FLOUR OF GARGAGNANA
• CIAUSCULO WITH WATERCRESS AND CHERRIES
• CITRUS FRUITS
• COCKLES -STEAMED IN A HABANERO CHIVE BROTH
• COPPA WITH PUMPKIN IN SCAPECE
• COTECHINO WITH LENTILS
• CRISPY TROUT WITH INSALATA CRUDA AND HEIRLOOM TOMATO SEED VINAIGRETTE
• CULATELLO WITH FIGS
• DUCK BRESAOLA WITH CANNELLINI AND RED ONION JAM
• DUCK W/ SAVOY, SPECK & BROVADA
• DUCK EGG WITH GUANCIALE, FETT'UNTA AND WHITE TRUFFLES
• FIG & WALNUT BISCOTTI
• FRUITS OF FRIULI
• FUSILLI WITH BRAISED RABBIT - ISCHIA STYLE
• GORGONZOLA WITH MINT, WALNUTS, & SOUR CHERRY JAM
• GRILLED RADICCHIO TREVISANO WITH ASIAGO & HORSERADISH
• GRILLED GUINEA HEN WITH FREGULA AND BLACK TRUFFLE VINAIGRETTE
• HAZELNUT CAKE
• HONEY AND HONEY COOKIES
• KIWI FROM VERONA
• LAGANNE ALLA MOLSANA
• LAMB WITH EGG AND CHEESE SAUCE
• LEMONS OF SORRENTO AND THE AMALFI COAST
• LONZA WITH CARDOONS AND PECRORINO DI FOSSA
• LUGANEGA WITH SOFT POLENTA AND ASIAGO
• MACCHERONI DI FUOCO
• MODENESE CRUMBLY CAKE
• NECI CON FUNGHI MISTI
• OCTOPUS WITH SPICY TANGERINE CITRONETTE
• OLIVE OIL & POLENTA CAKE
• ORECCHIETTE WITH RAPINI AND SWEET SAUSAGE
• ORZOTTO WITH FUNGHI
• PALACINCHE (Sweet crepes of Friuli Venezia-Giulia
)• PAN DI SPAGNA
• PARROZZO ABRUZZESE
• PEAR & CHESTNUT CAKE
• PEARS OF MANTOVA
• PANE FRATTAU
• PANZANELLA SALAD
• PAPARDELLE WITH BUTTER, PARMESAN AND WHITE TRUFFLES
• PASTA ALA NORMA
• PASTA CON LE SARDE
• PERCH WITH WATERCRESS PESTO AND PEPERONATA
• PIZZOCHERI WITH CABBAGE AND BITTO
• PORK BRACIOLONA
• PORK LOIN ALLA PORCHETTA
• PROSCIUTTO SAN DANIELE WITH BLACK PEPPER FETTUNTA AND FIGS
• PUMPKIN LUNE WITH BUTTER AND SAGE
• PUNTARELLA IN SALSA
• PURSLANE SALAD WITH SMOKED TROUT
• RABBIT -BRAISED WITH FUSILLI - ISCHIA STYLE
• RADICCHIO TREVISANO - GRILLED WITH ASIAGO AND HORSERADISH
• RHUBARB PANNA COTTA
• ROASTED PINEAPPLE
• ROASTED BEET FARROTTO
• SAFFRON PANNA COTTA
• SCUNGILLI ALLA SORRENTINA
• SEA SCALLOPS CRUDO - WITH SHAVED FENNEL AND OLIO NUOVO
• SMACAFAM; POLENTA AND SAUSAGE "HUNGER KILLER"
• SMOKED TROUT - WITH PURSLANE SALAD
• SPAGHETTI ALLA PANTELLERIA
• SPAGHETTINI CON FIORE DI ZUCCA
• SPAGHETTINI WITH BLACK TRUFFLES
• SPAGHETTI WITH RAMPS
• SPAGHETTI WITH CARDOONS
• SPAGHETTI WITH SNAILS - LE MARCHE STYLE
• STINGING NETTLE PAPPARDALLE WITH BOAR RAGU
• STINGING NETTLE AND RICOTTA TORTELLI
• STRANGOZZI WITH SPRING LAMB AND RAMPS
• STRANGULAPRETI ALLA SORRENTINA
• STINGING NETTLE PAPPARDELLE WITH WILD BOAR RAGU
• SWEET ALMONDS FROM PUGLIA
• TAGLIATELLE WITH RADICCHIO CASTELFRANCO, PANCETTA AND CAPRINO
• TARALLI WITH ANISE AND LEMON
• TORTA SACHER
• TWO MINUTE CALAMARI SICILIAN LIFEGUARD STYLE
• VENISON (GRILLED) WITH ACORN SQUASH CAPONATA
• WALNUT AND ORANGE SPICE CAKE FOR LENT
• ZUCCHINI CARPACCIO WITH SICILIAN SEA SALT & BOTTARGA
A million thanks pitu! This is a great list.
If anybody comes across a recipe on the Molto Mario/Food Network site (or whatever they've changed it to) they want to check to make sure it's in Molto Italiano, I'd be glad to look it up in my book. I'm sure MMR will be lax in her punishment of those who make and post recipes that just appear online! ;+)