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Kevin72

"Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes"

47 posts in this topic

That chicken is inspiring. My kid comes home from college this weekend and perhaps I will make it! I am relatively new to eG and was pleased to see this thread, since I am very fond of this book. I have no other Mario cookbooks; I've looked at them but Molto Italiano appeals in its simplicity. I've made many of the recipes and so far only one has been a failure. Currently I am completely enamored of that simple little clementine dessert w/balsamic and pepper. I have citrus cravings in the afternoon and this is just perfect.

Kevin, about problematic: has anyone made the radicchio pancakes? There's a wacky mistake in the recipe. Maybe he has a lazy editor. The ingredients list calls for 4 tbsps unsalted butter. In the direx there isn't a single mention of this butter. That's fine with me, since I try to avoid butter, but what would it be for? I ignore it and they are wonderful, with or without the ricotta salata. I usually have radicchio and eggs around, so this is a perfect emergency meal.

I have made the mostarda several times and served it as an app w/the suggested coppa, always to rave reviews. Recently I served a splurge dinner of the veal shanks and it was really easy (albeit absurdly expensive) and really excellent. I find his simple tomato sauce with thyme incredibly versatile. I keep it frozen and use it for all kinds of stuff--like the cauliflower soup and the shanks, but also for my own lasagne and eggplant parm.

The failure, by the way, was the Artichokes Roman Style. It was labor intensive and no one liked it. Could have been lousy artichokes, but I don't think so. Maybe I like artichokes better when sauteed til crispy instead of simmered as these are done. I like his tomato sauce on pasta topped with crispy artichoke hearts.

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Dunno! The texture was fine, they were cooked to the right degree of doneness--knife-tender as you say--and the dish looked lovely in the serving bowl. As far as I know I followed the direx closely, didn't make any gross errors or omissions. I cook with fresh chokes a lot, all seasons, and sometimes they are more flavorful than other times, but I've never had a "bad batch" so I doubt the vegetable was at fault. This method of cooking just didn't seem to bring out the best in artichoke flavor. Maybe it just isn't a good recipe? No one (except of course my husband after the guests were gone) said a critical word about them, but no one said anything good either, and there was some leftover--never a good sign when it comes to a small veg side-dish. I choked those down (aww) the next day out of principle. It was simply... underwhelming. You make it and lemme know what you think.

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I still get frustrated by the redundancy with his other works and that too many recipes are just variations of each other.

Tell me about it!

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Using Batali's caponata recipe as a rough starting point, last night I had:

Eggplant Caponata with Cinnamon-Scented Rice and Seared White Tuna

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Last night I made Devil's Chicken and it was a major hit with my husband and daughter. Having a kid who survives on dorm food and caffeinated drinks is a sure way to get appreciated for a nice home-cooked meal. I confess that I cut the amount of pepper in the mustard slather by a lot, but made up for it with liberal used of the hot oil later. I also used a big chicken--5 lbs--and tented it for the first half hour, adding as well a little chicken broth to the roasting pan at the beginning. I ended up with lots of yummy sauce. The chicken was juicy and perfect and the dish was as pretty as the pictures.

The caponata with tuna looks delicious, Tupac. But tell me, what do you think I should do with the six gallons of hot oil left over?

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Last night I made Devil's Chicken and it was a major hit with my husband and daughter. Having a kid who survives on dorm food and caffeinated drinks is a sure way to get appreciated for a nice home-cooked meal. I confess that I cut the amount of pepper in the mustard slather by a lot, but made up for it with liberal used of the hot oil later. I also used a big chicken--5 lbs--and tented it for the first half hour, adding as well a little chicken broth to the roasting pan at the beginning. I ended up with lots of yummy sauce. The chicken was juicy and perfect and the dish was as pretty as the pictures.

The caponata with tuna looks delicious, Tupac. But tell me, what do you think I should do with the six gallons of hot oil left over?

Sounds like a lovely dinner, Katie. I'm glad it was a hit with the family. I think our chicken was a bit over 4lbs, but the left-overs sure didn't last long, I can tell you that! I also scaled down the spicy oil recipe a lot, so ended up with very little leftover (which I just added to the leftover meat I shredded before popping in the fridge). But as for what to do with your leftover oil, I would think it should keep pretty well in a cool, dark place. It would be delicious drizzled over pizza, for sure. That's always the first thing that comes to mind for me with olio piccante. I also think it might be a nice way to flavor a meaty piece of fish before grilling, like swordfish or tuna. You know, I haven't really given it much thought, but I would think there should be several tasty uses for it. Let us know what you try!

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Tonight, I dipped into Molto Italiano once again and made:

Cauliflower Pancakes (p.17) with Eggplant Caponata (p.426), Basic Tomato Sauce (p.71), and Braised Kale & Turnip Greens

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If you're talking about chili oil, yes, put it in a squeeze bottle and toss it in the fridge. You'd be surprised how many uses you'll come up with for it. Pizza of course is as the top.

How much caponata do you have left, Tupac? :biggrin: Every time I make it I love it, but wind up having to toss it after eating off it in vain for the next couple weeks.

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How much caponata do you have left, Tupac?  :biggrin: Every time I make it I love it, but wind up having to toss it after eating off it in vain for the next couple weeks.

I didn't really look at the quantities listed in the recipe. Just did it by taste. Also, I added capers, anchovy, roasted peppers, cherry tomatoes instead of basic tomato sauce; and I didn't have any cocoa powder. So my interpretation of the recipe was, well, loose. That said, we got about 4-5 servings out of it. I just killed off the last of it right now. I was thinking of warming it up, and having it with crostini. Realizing I had no bread, I shamelessly devoured it cold straight from the fridge. :cool:

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is Mario Batali' an Italian chef?

he!he! He is as Italian as I am

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I'm not sure what you're getting at . . . he is of Italian descent and spent 3 years in Emilia Romagna cooking at a well thought-of trattoria. While it's easy to take shots at him now that he's moved into saturation marketing mode, he still remains intensely knowledgeable about Italian regional cooking.


Edited by Kevin72 (log)

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I'm not sure what you're getting at . . . he is of Italian descent and spent 3 years in Emilia Romagna cooking at a well thought-of trattoria.  While it's easy to take shots at him now that he's moved into saturation marketing mode, he still remains intensely knowledgeable about Italian regional cooking.

Yeah! Right! but he is NOT Italian born and I am glad. otherwise there would be millions claiming Italian citizenship and original recipes. I have no problems accepting him as an "American" (North of Rio Grande citizen).

Would you accept me as an American because I am blonde and blue eyed of Russian origin and Spanish speaker? Yeah right?! :biggrin:

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... He uses pasta, butter, garlic, cheese, no cream.  She describes alfredo sauce "the sexy, Roman way" as using (for one pound of pasta) a stick (quarter pound) of butter, 1 cup of cream, and handsful of good grated parmesan.  ...  This discussion is about cream vs. none. 

I feel like the last person on the planet who has never seen Mario Batali on television or read a word he's written -- though I saw him in person at a panel thing at the NY Public Library and was appalled at his Italian-language errors. In any case, cream is not original to the recipe for "fettuccine al triplo burro," which is the original Italian name of fettuccine Alfredo. But cream is at least on the same team as butter and cheese. But Mario calls for garlic????? And nobody has objected?


Edited by Maureen B. Fant (log)

Maureen B. Fant
www.maureenbfant.com

www.elifanttours.com

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I really like the meatballs and make them regularly. The recipe uses ground beef, eggs, bread, garlic, pecorino, plenty of fresh parsley, and roasted pine nuts (recipe here). The meatballs are browned first and then simmered in the sauce. They are very tender. The best part is the pine nuts inside - a delicious surprise!

Neapolitan Meatballs (Polpette alla Napoletana)

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They are delicious with homemade tagliatelle (purists, please avert your eyes), or on their own.

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I'm not sure what you're getting at . . . he is of Italian descent and spent 3 years in Emilia Romagna cooking at a well thought-of trattoria.  While it's easy to take shots at him now that he's moved into saturation marketing mode, he still remains intensely knowledgeable about Italian regional cooking.

Yeah! Right! but he is NOT Italian born and I am glad. otherwise there would be millions claiming Italian citizenship and original recipes. I have no problems accepting him as an "American" (North of Rio Grande citizen).

Would you accept me as an American because I am blonde and blue eyed of Russian origin and Spanish speaker? Yeah right?! :biggrin:

What an odd thing to say and to get hung up on. My kids are born in the US, they are still Lebanese as well. Man, Irish people who have been here for generations still say they are Irish.

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E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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Batali's meatballs are the only ones I make. My Batali recipe is a little different. It uses 2 kinds of ground meat, less egg, less bread product, but definitely the cheese and the pine nuts. Sometimes I make them with beef and veal, sometimes I add a little ground pork. I especially like the technique of quick saute for the meatballs and then warming them up in the red sauce so they don't overcook.

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Last night I was looking for a recipe for duck breasts, and found this recipe for Duck Scaloppine with Dried Cherries and Grappa in Molto Italiano (I don't have the book but the recipe was available online). The breasts are separated and cut into pieces. They are pounded until thin, dredged in flour, and cooked in olive oil (the recipe called for 1/4 cup but I used a couple of tablespoons). He uses dried cherries, red wine, grappa, chicken stock and butter for the sauce. I did not have any stock on hand so I just used water. As for the grappa, I decided to substitute armagnac and reduce the amount from 1/2 cup (!) to a more reasonable ~ 3 tablespoons.

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It's a great dish because it takes very little effort and only uses one pan. The sauce is a tad oily (it's not degreased) but it's very flavorful and has a luscious texture.

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I found the recipe here.


Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)

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Beet greens remind me of sorrel which I love. They are slightly acidic (from the oxalate). The recipe for beet green soup in Molto Italiano starts by cooking onions and garlic in olive oil, then adding diced potatoes and sliced beet greens. I adapted this recipe and mixed them with radish greens and turnips greens that I did not want to throw away. Everything is then cooked in water with a bay leaf and red pepper flakes. I chose to put everything in the blender but it would also work without that step for a more rustic soup.

The key for me is the pecorino garnish. Very comforting (although not especially photogenic) with a slice of rustic bread.

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It's another soup that changes color with the temperature, by the way. Hot (left) it's noticeably darker than cold (right).

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Frog Princesse, what is that dark bread you served with duck? Looks great!


"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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Marinated Zucchini in the Style of Naples, with a few substitutions. Based on of what was available to me, I used a large white patty pan squash instead of zucchini, rice vinegar instead of white wine vinegar, and mint instead of parsley & basil.

 

It is a bit involved with 3 steps required - salting, grilling, and marinating, but it's very delicious and works great as a side dish with grilled steak or sausages, or as a "salad".

 

Patty pan squash #batali

 

Recipe link.

 


Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)
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