cover image Molto Batali: Simple Family Meals from My Home to Yours

Molto Batali: Simple Family Meals from My Home to Yours

Mario Batali. Ecco, $29.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-209556-5

In this sincere, solid collection of 120 family-style recipes there is little kidding around for Batali, who turned 50 last year. In the introduction, he references Proust, notes his role as husband and father, and calculates that he oversees a combined staff of 3,000. That number includes employees of the Mario Batali Foundation, his hunger relief charity, to which a quarter of this books profits will be donated. With the calendar in mind, Batali assigns each of the 12 chapters a month, counting down a year’s worth of feasts that feed eight to 12, though he points out that every dish can easily be halved or doubled. Each chapter contains a main meat dish along with several pastas, soups, vegetables, and desserts. In May, for instance, there is veal shoulder, an onion frittelle, dandelion salad, sautéed spinach, nettle soup spaghetti, ziti, and chilled zabaglione with raspberries and amaretti. Seafood pastas have always been one of Batali’s strengths, and with these he shows that he can still bring on the heat with dishes like fusilli bucati with soft-shell crabs and hot chiles; bucatini with crayfish, jalapenos, and basil; and spaghetti with garlic, crab, and Serrano chiles. (Oct.)