Cookbook review Simple Italian Food by Mario Batali Po Babbo Restaurants, Wine, Travel, Opinions

Simple Italian Food by Mario Batali

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane
Food Style: Italian

The enthusiasm that Mario Batali, author of Simple Italian Food, harbours for his native cuisine is infectious. You cannot help but be swept up by this book and immediately want to head for the kitchen to try out some of the well-crafted recipes.
Emilia-Romagna, in northern Italy, is one of the world's greatest food regions. After all, it is the home of Parma ham, parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar to name just a few of its better known products.
The dishes are not exclusively from this region, however the techniques and the approaches he uses are certainly strongly informed by the cooking of this northern area.
Some of the dishes can be difficult to prepare. His warm terrine of sausage, peppers, polenta and mozzarella will challenge many home cooks.
However, a simpler, yet deeply satisfying, dish is his salad of shaved fennel with blood orange, pomegranate and pecorino. It is visually stunning, simple to prepare and packed with flavour.
His recipe for prosciutto di Parma with grilled and fresh figs is also simple to prepare yet delivers complex flavours.
You might also like the white bean ravioli where the paste of white beans is bound with egg and parmesan and flavoured with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and parsley.
Overall this is a useful book that will give you an insight into the techniques used by one of New York's most successful chefs.
Publisher: Clarkson Potter
Year: 1998
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