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The Babbo Cookbook Hardcover – 1 Aug 2002

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Publications (1 Aug. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609607758
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609607756
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 2.5 x 26.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 675,374 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Every time I go to New York, I see Mario at the ÝUnion Square¨ farmers' market. It is his attention to fresh, seasonal ingredients that makes these dishes so irresistible."
--Alice Waters
"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."
--Jim Harrison
"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."
--Michael Stipe

"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."
--Alice Waters
"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."
--Jim Harrison
"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."
--Michael Stipe

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.
Alice Waters
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.
Jim Harrison
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.
Michael Stipe"

From the Inside Flap

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 entrees; 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.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
First things first, I love food more than I love my family. Well, almost, and Italian food certainly ranks high up on my list, and many trips to Italy have made me pickier than ever about what I'm going to eat, enjoy eating, or even contemplate making when it comes to Italian.
What is very special about this book is the originality of the recipes held within within its bindings - Mario takes some of the least obviously appetising ingredients and turns them into mouthwatering perfection. I prepared fresh ravioli for the first time based upon a recipe from this book - it contained a wine and shallot beef brisket since I couldn't locate the beef-cheek that the recipe called for - and served it up in a rich lamb sausage ragu with a garlic butter emulsion poured over prior to serving. It was the highlight of a New Year's meal, has given me a reputation as a great chef (and I'm only 23), and was so tasty as to surprise me - this is only the tip of the iceberg - or should I say Valpollicella? For that is the secret ingredient to the world's best chocolate pot, contained herein.
The book also goes into helpful detail about cocktails, wines and cheeses that suit the different courses. Oh, but the food - che posso dire?
Since purchasing this book, I have flown to New York and eaten in the author's restaurant. Not only was he there talking to diners, the service was impeccable, friendly, and the food indescribably good. Which is why I'm not going to describe it - go there, or buy this book and enjoy it all vicariously. More than worth the relatively dear price tag.
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By A Customer on 23 Sept. 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is a peach (grilled) of a publication which captures not only the spirit of the restaurant but his encyclopeodic knowledge and unique take on Italian epicurian delights. Not content to punt out a list of recipies and wait for the $$$$, he discusses the things which make Babbo special, including their philosophy on wine service and which dishes sell well on a Saturday night. Recipes are truly superb (and do-able), with something for all capabilities and seasons (or just to read and salivate over). For me Mario is way ahead of the other stars of the "New Italian" cuisine and if food is the new Rock and Roll, Gordon is Elton to Mario's Elvis. Vegas, 'natch.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
NOT your grandmothers cookbook! Some of the best recipes I've ever found. I find myself skipping some of the steps to make them less complicated, but all I've tried have been outstanding, even with the shortcuts.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars 44 reviews
243 of 253 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars great chef, awful book 25 Dec. 2004
By Joseph Adler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
My wife and I are huge fans of Mario Batali. We used to live in NY and ate regularly at his restaurants: mostly Lupa, Babbo for special occasions, and Esca when we were stuck in the theatre district. I love many of the dishes featured in this book (for example the "2 Minute Calamari, Sicilian Lifeguard Style," or his Bolognese sauce).

We're also both experienced cooks and avid cookbook readers, and neither of us like this cookbook. It's a beautifully produced book, and does contain a large number of recipes corresponding to famous dishes from Babbbo. Unfortunately, many of the recipes in this book have serious errors and don't work. Some recipes omit steps, others include incorrect descriptions of proportions, and others are vague about cooking techniques. For example, the recipe for the 2 minute calamari lists "1 cup couscous" as an ingredient, without telling you if it's supposed to be raw or cooked. (By trial and error, I figured out that it was cooked.) Or, there was the Bigeye Tuna recipe that asked you to prepare a half dozen ingredients, and doesn't tell you what to do with them. (For example, it tells you to sautee mushrooms, then doesn't tell you what to do with them. It also tells you to make parsley oil, then doesn't tell you what to do with it. We guessed that we should use it as a garnish.) Or take the Bolognese recipe, which produces a watery, smoky mess that tastes nothing like the sauce served in the restaurant.

Much as we wanted to like this book, we didn't like it, and can't recommend it. If you want to learn how to cook Italian food, try some of Marcella Hazan's books. If you want to eat Mario Batali's food, go to his restaurants. If you want to learn how to make the dishes served in his restaurants, wait for a better book.

(Despite our experience with this book, we bought Mario's new book "Molto Italiano : 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home." I'm happy to say that this book is much, much better. This book shares a lot of recipes with the Babbo book, but so far it appears that all the directions are complete, and the recipes work correctly.)
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Love Batali's prose, but some recipes needed testing 11 April 2005
By J. A. Flynn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This cookbook does an excellent job at capturing the magic of dining at Babbo. Both Batali and Bastianich offer interesting tidbits throughout the cookbook - one describes exactly why they clear crumbs off of diners' tables not with a crumber, but with a spoon. The book does a great job - stylistically - of condensing the experience of eating at Babbo into cookbook-form. Some of the recipes are transcendent. Batali's olive oil gelato is a winner, and the recipe in the cookbook creates a smooth, creamy gelato very similar to the one that he serves at Otto. Other recipes - as other reviewers note - needed a test-kitchen before publication. I've made the saffron panna cotta twice, and it needs significantly more gelatin (about 50% more) than the recipe calls for to make the panna cotta set. The cookbook's recipes indicates that the "castagnaccio" (chestnut cake) should cook at 300 degrees for 20 minutes. After 50+ minutes of cooking at that temperature, my cake was still raw in the center. Maybe it was a typo? Maybe it needs a convection, rather than conventional oven? Disappointing, given the expense of the ingredients that go into the recipe. Overall - beautiful cookbook, but I've run into too many recipes that needed "tweaking" for them to turn out correctly. Maybe this is a problem with the baking section only.
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than a cookbook 25 Oct. 2002
By George S in Tx - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Mario Batali's Babbo Cookbook is no mere cookbook. While delivering the recipes that have been developed and presented at his Village restuarant, it's through Mario's brief pre-chapter and pre-recipe writings where he lovingly conveys his passion for Italian food and cooking. His core passion is for fresh ingredients in simple (unlike the French) yet tasty preparations. He cannot stress enough how important it is to have relationships with the local baker, butcher, fishmongerer, grocer, etc. to insure the delivery of the best quality ingredients. He stresses the use of ingredients that are in-season to maximize the taste and appeal to the senses. His passion extends to the presentation and delivery of food. Simple suggestions in the cookbook include priming the wine glass before serving fine wines.
This book is a superb addition to any cook's collection.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great recipes and wonderful photos 28 Dec. 2002
By Stephanie Manley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For years I have watched him on the Food Channel and I have tried a few of his recipes from the show. He makes wonderful dishes. This was my first purchase of one of his cookbooks. I really enjoyed the way the book was laid out. Easy to read recipes, clear and concise directions, and lovely pictures to view. I am amazed at the variety of ingredients that he uses in his dishes. Its not that they are typically hard to find or anything, I simply didn't realize the variety of food in Italian cooking. Now if you are simply looking for pasta and sauces this isn't the book for you. This book does cover pasta, some delightful desserts, but there is a large variety in meats that this book uses. Like variety ? Then this cookbook is for you if you want to cook something a bit out of the ordinary.
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nicely done... 23 July 2002
By Sonja Fulton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The Babbo cookbook is nicely done, not in a class of it's own...but solid nonetheless. These recipes rely overwhelmingly on the quality of each and every ingredient in each dish and if unwilling to hunt for (and invest in) this caliber of ingredient, best look elsewhere. The pictures are superb and the sprinkling of culinary philosophy is good. I would purchase the book again just for the veal shank recipe!
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