As a New Yorker, Mario Batali is everywhere, from the impressive Eataly and the tantalizing Otto to the places a little farther out of my budget. Batali is known more for his amazing cooking than just his TV personality, and the word on the street is that Batali is also a fairly normal, cool, NYC family man who goes around town doing his thing just like the rest of us…well, maybe not just like us.

So we were stoked to hear the chef has just released a fabulous new cookbook, which stands out as pretty special. And those with families will agree, seeing that his partners in this collection are in fact his own sons, Benno and Leo.

Batali Brothers Cookbook cover on Cool Mom Picks

The Batali Brothers Cookbook, which features some of the family’s favorite dishes, actually started as a 50th birthday present from the boys to their culinary patriarch. (How sweet is that?) It was presented to Mario on his milestone celebration as a collection of the most loved foods that they have made together.

A man who’s gone to great lengths to spend time preparing and eating meals with his family (despite his life as a busy superstar chef!), Mario was understandably moved by his sons’ gesture. So he’s sharing this wonderfully thoughtful collection with his fans, adding some of his own top family-friendly selections to make this book a more useful tool.

Batali Brothers photo on Cool Mom Picks

The Batali Brothers Cookbook is split into two parts, part #1 Benno and Leo, and part #2 Mario. From the boys you’ll find 17 simple, fun and easy-to-follow recipes like Brown Sugar Pancakes, Sloppy Joes, Kale Salad (they eat it!), Italian style Corn and “Summer on a Plate” Blackberry and Peach Cobbler (yes, please). Twenty-six more recipes from Mario follow, including some classics like his Carbonara Pasta recipe (I am still in shock to have this recipe that I have ordered countless times at Otto), plus Lamb Chops, Chicken Cooked Under a Brick, Green Tomato Pesto and a variety of amazing desserts. 

One of the best things I took away from this is that the Batali brothers have been raised to eat, taste and to cook. It feels a little voyeuristic, finding out what an Iron Chef feeds his own kids, but it’s comforting to know that he too can be content with tacos and baked ziti.

This book provides a wonderful opportunity expand your repertoire of family-friendly dishes, and also to identify some recipes that can belong to the kids. Maybe try making them together once or twice and then pass them on, giving older kids a little confidence and ownership in the kitchen.

Thank you for sharing, Batali family. And possibly, for getting more of our kids to eat Kale Salad. Stephanie M

Find The Batali Brothers Cookbook at your local indie bookstore or our affiliate, Amazon.