The Babbo Cookbook
By Mario Batali
(Clarkson Potter, Hardcover, 9780609607756, 336pp.)
Publication Date: April 30, 2002
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Some of the most inspired (and acclaimed) Italian food in the country is served at Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca, Mario Batali’s flagship restaurant in the heart of New York City’s Greenwich Village. Diners in this converted town house have come to expect innovative flavors and artful presentations that make the most of seasonal, local, and artisanal ingredients—all with a sensibility that is distinctly Italian. Now home cooks can re-create these showstopping dishes, just as they are served at the restaurant, to win raves of their own.
The Babbo Cookbook is Mario’s biggest yet, filled with 150 recipes that have redefined contemporary Italian cooking. Here for the first time he shares such signature dishes as Mint Love Letters with Spicy Lamb Sausage and Beef Cheek Ravioli, all showcasing his unparalleled ability to reinterpret the Italian culinary tradition in a completely original way. Recipes for dozens of Babbo’s renowned antipasti, many based on fresh seasonal produce, are followed by an alluring collection of pastas; fish, fowl, and meat entrées; and a selection of Babbo’s irresistible dessert offerings. From Grilled Pork Chops with Peaches and Balsamic Vinegar to Spicy Lamb Tartare with Mint Crostini and a Quail Egg and Wild Striped Bass with Charred Leeks and Squid Vinaigrette, The Babbo Cookbook is filled with vibrant, complex flavors that belie their straightforward preparations. Even classic recipes like Bollito Misto and Pappardelle Bolognese come alive again in bright new renditions that delight the palate.
Also included are notes on the unique touches that make a meal at Babbo such a singular dining experience, from suggestions on wine service to recipes for “predesserts” that smooth the transition from savory to sweet—all representing the distinctive brand of Italian hospitality that has become the Batali trademark.
The Babbo Cookbook is that rarity in the world of restaurant cookbooks: a collection of accessible, appetizing recipes that brings the spirit of a remarkable restaurant into the home kitchen without losing an iota of tantalizing flavor in the translation.
MARIO BATALI is known to viewers of Food Network coast to coast as the host of Molto Mario and Mario Eats Italy, his influential cooking shows exploring the regional cuisines of Italy. He co-owns and operates three enormously popular New York restaurants, Babbo, Esca, and Lupa, as well as Italian Wine Merchants, a store devoted exclusively to the wines of Italy. Mario is the author of two previous books, Mario Batali Simple Italian Food and Mario Batali Holiday Food. He lives in New York City with his wife, Susi, and two sons.
“Every time I go to New York, I see Mario at the [Union Square] farmers’ market. It is his attention to fresh, seasonal ingredients that makes these dishes so irresistible.”
“Historically, when we adapt an ethnic cuisine to our own uses we start with the most ordinary and work our way up, frequently making a mess along the way. In our lifelong search for the genuine we need a guidebook to get close to the pinnacle and, in the case of Italian cuisine, it has been delivered in the shape of Mario Batali’s Babbo Cookbook, which is a new standard of excellence. Babbo is my favorite American restaurant and this book allows me to bring its grace to my home kitchen.”
“Funny. Bold. Beautiful. Full of life and full of flavor. From the Blood Orange Bellini to the Mint Love Letters (irreverent ravioli) and Barbecued Skirt Steak with Endive, this book is pure Mario. Great food, great snapshots (they exude the restaurant hustle-bustle), and Joe’s great wine notes take you right to the heart of the Babbo experience.”
—Rick Bayless, chef, author, and host of Public Television’s Mexico—One Plate at a Time
“Babbo is revelatory—the freshest ingredients, simply or elaborately prepared, combine into nothing short of a celebration. If food could rule the world, Mario Batali would be Emperor. In fact, he is. Or should be.”