Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home

Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home

by Mario Batali


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"The trick to cooking is that there is no trick." ––Mario Batali

The only mandatory Italian cookbook for the home cook, Mario Batali's Molto Italiano is rich in local lore, with Batali's humorous and enthusiastic voice, familiar to those who have come to know him on his popular Food Network programs, larded through about 220 recipes of simple, healthy, seasonal Italian cooking for the American audience.

Easy to use and simple to read, some of these recipes will be those "as seen" on TV in the eight years of "Molto Mario" programs on the Food Network, including those from "Mediterranean Mario," "Mario Eats Italy," and the all–new "Ciao America with Mario Batali." Batali's distinctive voice will provide a historical and cultural perspective with a humorous bent to demystify even the more elaborate dishes as well as showing ways to shorten or simplify everything from the purchasing of good ingredients to pre–production and countdown schedules of holiday meals. Informative head notes will include bits about the provenance of the recipes and the odd historical fact.

Mario Batali's Molto Italiano will feature ten soups, thirty antipasti (many vegetarian or vegetable based), forty pasta dishes representing many of the twenty–one regions of Italy, twenty fish and shellfish dishes, twenty chicken dishes, twenty pork or lamb dishes and twenty side dishes, each of which can be served as a light meal. Add twenty desserts and a foundation of basic formation recipes and this book will be the only Italian cooking book needed in the home cook's library.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060734923
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/03/2005
Pages: 528
Sales rank: 474,116
Product dimensions: 7.38(w) x 9.12(h) x 1.54(d)

About the Author

Mario Batali is the James Beard Award-winning author of eight cookbooks, including Molto Batali, Molto Gusto, Molto Italiano, and Spain...A Culinary Road Trip, as well as the app Mario Batali Cooks! With a host of television shows to his name; fifteen restaurants; and Eataly, a fifty-thouasand-square-foot Italian marketplace in New York City's Flatiron District that he co-owns with his partner, Joe Bastianich, Mario Batali is one of the most recognized and most respected chefs working in America today. Mario splits his time between New York City's Greenwich Village and northern Michigan with his wife and their two sons.

Read an Excerpt

Molto Italiano
327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home


Lasagne alla Bolognese al Forno

When I first arrived in Emilia-Romagna, I was shocked to see lasagne made so simply. Then I tried the dish and was surprised at how truly delicious it tasted. It is almost a miracle how a few such simple ingredients can create such a complex symphony of flavors.

Makes 8 servings

2 1/2 pounds Green Pasta Dough (page 196)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Ragu Bolognese (page 245)
8 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
3 1/2 cups Besciamella (page 65)
  1. Divide the pasta dough into 8 portions. Roll each one out through the thinnest setting on a pasta machine and lay the sheets on a lightly floured surface to dry for 10 minutes. Cut the pasta into 5-inch squares and cover with a damp kitchen towel.

  2. Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot, and add 2 tablespoons salt. Set up an ice bath next to the stovetop, and add the oil. Drop the pasta into the boiling water, 6 or 7 pieces at a time, and cook until tender, about 1 minute. Transfer to the ice bath to cool, then drain on kitchen towels, laying the pasta flat.

  3. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

  4. Assemble the lasagne in a 10-by-20-inch lasagne pan (or use two 9-by-12-inch pans): Spread a layer of ragu over the bottom and top with a sprinkling of Parmigiano, a layer of pasta, a layer of besciamella, another layer of ragu, a sprinkling of Parmigiano, and pasta. Repeat until all the ingredients are used up, finishing with a layer of pasta topped with besciamella and a sprinkling of Parmigiano.

  5. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the edges are browned and the sauces are bubbling. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Calamari Neapolitan-Style

Calamari alla Luciana

This simple classic is often interpreted to include anything from bacon to zucchini, all of which may be good but are not traditional. The hero in this game is the brief cooking time, which results in calamari with a silken, tender texture, complemented but not overpowered by the slightly spicy tomato sauce.

Makes 6 servings

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon hot red pepper flakes
1 cup Basic Tomato Sauce (page 71)
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 1/2 pounds calamari, cleaned, bodies cut into 1/4-inch-wide rings, tentacles left whole
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup Italian parsley, chiffonade
  1. In a 6-quart pot, combine 1/4 cup of the olive oil, the garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook over medium heat until the garlic is light golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and wine and bring to a boil.

  2. Add the calamari and stir to mix well, then reduce the heat and simmer until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, parsley, and the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, adjust the seasoning if necessary, and serve, or allow to cool and serve at room temperature.

Chicken in the Style of Canzano

Pollo Canzanese

This Canzanese recipe is anything but a peasant dish, with the prosciutto and wine -- it probably descended from Spanish royalty, long-time tenants in and around Napoli.

Makes 4 servings

Two 3-pound chickens, cut into 8 serving pieces each
1 tablespoon salt
2 sprigs rosemary
2 fresh sage leaves
4 bay leaves
3 cloves garlic, sliced
12 cloves
A small handful of black peppercorns, crushed
1 small dried hot chile
Two 1/4-inch-thick slices prosciutto di Parma, finely chopped
3/4 cup dry red wine
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
  1. Place the chicken in a large bowl and season with the salt. Add cold water to cover, and set aside for 30 minutes (see Brining, page 376).

  2. Drain the chicken, rinse, and pat dry with paper towels. Place in a large Dutch oven and add the rosemary, sage, bay leaves, garlic, cloves, peppercorns, chile, prosciutto, and wine. Cover, bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is almost tender, about 35 minutes.

  3. Remove the lid and simmer to reduce the sauce by half, about 15 minutes longer. Remove the chile, if desired.

  4. Transfer the chicken to a warmed serving platter, garnish with the parsley, and serve.
Molto Italiano
327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home
. Copyright © by Mario Batali. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Ahhn More than 1 year ago
This book is one that you'll turn to repeatedly - not the same old stuff. The recipes are easy and the tastes are sublime. Try the barbequed octopus with grilled escarole and mint - inspirational!
Car_a_Carn More than 1 year ago
The recipes are not intricate, yet taste great. Most of these are perfect to prepare on your average evening after work.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once you know the basics, use this book to refine your skills. Read the entire recipe before you begin. There are prep work and ingredient requirements that may need a little extra attention, but the results are worth it! This is mot "fussy cooking", it's bringing out the best in favorite Italian dishes. Don't be afraid to go that next step!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We fell for this book immediately for the beautiful photos, comprehensive menu categories (separate chapters for appetizers, pasta, poultry, etc.) and thorough indexing (easy to look up an ingredient like fennel and find recipes to use it in). Wide ranging recipes from simple to complex and Mario's commentary paints a good picture of the way these dishes are enjoyed in their native land. Just a few nits: I am an accomplished cook, but some of the recipes don't come out as described, (one specified such a minimal amount of liquid I couldn't imagine where the promised sauce would come from; sure enough the end result was quite dry; nor did it resemble the photo). Another small nit: like many "celebrity chefs," Mario can be quite cavalier with hard-to-find or expensive ingredients; eg lavish amounts of saffron.
vpbear1 More than 1 year ago
In this cookbook, chef Mario Batali leads the reader/cook through the wonderful workd of Italian cooking. It is a must for an cooking library and will be used again and again. The recipes are wonderful and the directions very easy to follow.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I went to CIA in new york and no lie this book tought me more i recomended it for anyone who is willing to try and learn the art of italian cooking.
jdwilbur More than 1 year ago
This is a book you will turn to again and again, not just for the delicious recipes, but also for the gorgeous food photos and the force of personality in each description. When I pull this out, I always announce that "We're having something from Uncle Mario." And it feels like Batali is my uncle: gently guiding me through important meals with all of the warmth and appeal for which he's famous.

His approach to food is easy, but consistently successful, whether you're trying to make homemade pasta for the first time, or attempting something more daring. Following the directions precisely isn't totally necessary - the basic flavor combinations are strong enough to pull you through and forgive you your mistakes - and that frees you up to discover your inner chef. The recipes teach you as you make them, sending the information up through your fingers, across your tongue, and into your brain. That's the mark of a truly good cookbook, and by that measure, this is the best one in my kitchen.

PS: The copy I have is signed: "Spaghetti is love." There is a man who thinks about the world completely through food. How could we not trust him?
Guest More than 1 year ago
i use my cookbook at least 4 times a week. its simple to follow directions make me look like a top chief, with very little experience on my part! mario you rock!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Where else can you find 300 great Italian recipes in one volume? You can tell Mario is a great chef just by looking at the guy. This is a man who knows and LOVES great food. I have several Italian cookbooks in my collection, but none capture the rustic Italian cooking style featured here.
janemarieprice on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There are some excellent recipes in here which are classic Batali ¿ few ingredients which mesh to form surprising flavors. There is a level of difficulty to these which may not be for everyone but anyone who is a fan of his restaurants will want this book.
nemoman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is my go-to book for cooking Italian. The food actually tastes like the food I had in Italy. The recipes are not bogged down with hard-to-find ingredients. The instructions are easily followed. The recipes for Bolognese ragu and saltimboca in particular are the best I have found.
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BrandieY1 More than 1 year ago
Great recipes, easy to make.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Recipes are very easy to follow. The ingredients are very easy to find, colorful pictures, and very detailed step by step instructions. I have tried several recipes already and I am very satisfied. If you enjoy cooking you will never get tired of Molto.
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I bought this book for my Grandson for Christmas, he loves the book, I did go into my local store first to see the various Italian books looked like because I couldn't tell online what it looked like inside the book, or how easy the receipes were because my grandson is only 11 but that was his request for his Christmas present an Italian cookbook. When I brought it home my husband browsed through it and thought it was an excellent book. I only wish the online picture showed more of what the book looked like so I wouldn't have had to make a trip into the store. Purchasing it on line was agreat value.
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