Friday, April 20, 2012
Mozza: earnest summation
Nancy Silverton's Mozza Cookbook veers sharply from the magnificent (pizza crust, meatballs, an incredible dish of mussels with tomato sauce) to the not-quite-right (a bland pan-roasted halibut; a glitchy brussels sprouts recipe, a slushy Meyer lemon gelato), but cooking from this book was never less than enthralling for me. It is full of exciting and exotic dishes (stinging nettle tagliatelle, caramel coppetta with marshmallow sauce and salted Spanish peanuts) that I still want to try on the chance that they'll fall on the magnificent end of the spectrum. And based on the record of the recipes I've already tried, it seems probable that a few of them would.
I cooked 27 recipes from Mozza in January and February:
worth the price of the book -- 3 (the ones I mentioned in the first sentence of this post)
great -- 9
good -- 8
so-so -- 6
flat-out bad -- 1
The book has problems, probably more than it should given Silverton's reputation. But I love this book. It's challenging and interesting and inspiring and I consider it a shelf essential.