Summer Cookbooks — Into The Orange

Many people have told me how much they admire the cooking of chef Mario Batali, famous for his orange clogs, bright red hair and generous body that shows just how much he puts his spatula where his mouth is. He’s authored a number of cookbooks and has come up with a new one for summer.

One thing that makes Molto Gusto: Easy Italian Cooking, by Mario Batali and Mark Ladner (hardcover, 272 pages, Ecco, list price: $29.99), a bit more interesting than the usual star chef’s cookbook is the large section on vegetables. You may recall we’ve mentioned that Batali is a promoter of the Meatless Mondays movement, featuring vegetarian dishes in his restaurants.

Every recipe had something new to add to your vegetable repertoire, and every page looks like a centerfold. You can vary your green bean routine by trying Green Beans with Charred Onions. Even kids will like Broccoli Rabe with Mozzarella Crema.

There’s more to the book, of course — mostly easy food like salads, pasta, pizza. They’re a mix of the familiar (penne all’arrabiata) and the less so (linguine with zucchini and bottarga), but most are within reach of a good supermarket.