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Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

4.26  ·  Rating Details ·  10,340 Ratings  ·  142 Reviews
Almost twenty years ago, with the publication of The Classic Italian Cook Book, followed by More Classic Italian Cooking, Marcella Hazan introduced Americans to a whole new world of Italian food. As Roy Andries de Groot wrote, “Marcella’s book is the most authentic guide to Italian food ever written in the U.S. Where other authors failed, Marcella has brilliantly succeeded ...more
Hardcover, 704 pages
Published October 27th 1992 by Knopf (first published February 12th 1992)
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Roukaya This book has piles of vegetarian recipes. The majority of Italian cuisine is Cucina Povera (cuisine derived from poverty) and out of nessesity they…moreThis book has piles of vegetarian recipes. The majority of Italian cuisine is Cucina Povera (cuisine derived from poverty) and out of nessesity they have based most of their cuisine around things they can do with vegetables and vegetarian dishes. (less)
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Community Reviews

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Jan 31, 2010 Cynthia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: myfavorites
My favorite when it comes to Italian food. I love Marcella, though my Italian friend Christiana says Marcella and her adorable husband are "trailer court Italian."

We actually own TWO copies of this book, the nice newer copy you pick up to leaf through, and a tattered older copy that I learned Italian cooking from. It has a permanent rip for the risotto recipe, the polenta recipe, the braised carrot with parmesean recipe and something else. Oh yeah, the braised leeks. Ah-MAHZ-ing.

Marcella can be
Maru Kun
Oct 15, 2013 Maru Kun rated it it was amazing
Time to tackle one of those eternal verities: to choose good, or to choose evil; is it nature, or nurture; hang to the left, or to the right? Can a cookbook be treated as read based on completion of a statistically significant sample of the recipes or do I have to go over every page of the damn thing?

Having majored in chemistry, I long fancied myself as a talented cook. My family did not agree, with my wife often bitterly complaining about the state of the laboratory after the experiment was com
Michiyo 'jia' Fujiwara
Tahun baru, harapan baru, genre buku baru..dan ini dia..jreng..jreng..culinary books..tebel benget lagi..buku bantal..untung maya bentuknya ;p dan bacanya aja sampe setahun..

Ahh..harus ngomong dari mana ya..Italia, bicara tentang tentang Italia..apa hal pertama yang terlintas dibenak anda? Sepakbola; milanisti..ayo siapa fansnya milanisti?? Atau mungkin anda fansnya the old lady alias La Vecchia Signora ? oke lanjut lagi..apa lagi yang terlintas dibenak anda, bicara tentang Italia? Fas
Sep 11, 2007 Kira rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone wanting to learn how to cook (especially italian)
I love this cookbook!

At the time I bought it, I was living in London with an italian man who was homesick and dreaming of mama's cooking back in Venice. I felt like the author, Signora Hazan, was my own private teacher and my live-in guinea pig definitely approved of the risotto (one of my first endeavors). And don't think it's all just pasta and starches! There are lots of recipes for soups that are easy and satisfying as meals, as well as frittate (like quiche), more than 150 pages on meats, t
Jul 06, 2013 Adam rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cooking
I've never used this reviewer's cliche before, but if I could give it ten stars, I would.

If you think your pasta sauces are good, make hers and stand astounded.
If you think you have a handle on making pasta, pizza, gnocchi, soups et cetera, let her school you.
If you want to eat really, really well every night, then work your way through this cookbook.

This is widely considered to be the definitive Italian cookbook, by a woman considered to be the Julia Child of Italian cooking. You will learn, yo
christina white
Apr 04, 2007 christina white rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone trying to cook Italian food
Shelves: cookbooks
This book is what I consider one of the three essential reference texts for anyone who is serious about the culinary arts. I have learned almost everything I know about Italian food from this book...and I'm still learning from it after ten years! I brought this book with me the year I lived in Milan and tried to cook my way through was impossible since it is such a tome. Fabulous recipes which are easy to execute thanks to brilliantly clear instructions. A prodigy of James Beard, you can ...more
Ethan Miller
Dec 11, 2008 Ethan Miller rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful and classic cookbook. My mother has used it for years and gave me a copy some years ago and I go to it often. For pasta dishes, meat dishes, salads. There are some extraordinary dishes in this book that you have most likely not had before and will cherish for all your years as a cook and food lover. A great book for a beginner or an expert cook or anyone in between. One for the ages of your kitchen.
Jan 18, 2008 Katie rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
O mia cara Marcella! Thanks to her I will never eat bottled tomato sauce again!

I have used this cookbook on a near daily basis since I received it as a gift two months ago. I have made and frozen almost all of her tomato-based sauces and I cannot imagine ever opening another jar of Prego in my life. Chicken cacciatora, pan-broiled steaks with tomatoes and olives, spaghetti alla carbonara... So many favorite dishes, so few days of the week.
Sep 30, 2009 Jules rated it really liked it
Marcella is the cranky Julia Child, but she does know her Italian cooking and with her husband who writes/translates into english her books teaches you the basics of Italian cooking. Her pesto and Bolognese recipes are amazing and staples in our house. You have to put up with her snottiness (which just cracks me up), but it's worth it.
Todd Templeman
Aug 07, 2012 Todd Templeman rated it it was amazing
This was the first "real" cookbook I ever had.

Well, that's not quite fair. The old stand by red and white checked "Better Homes" cookbook that Mom gave me when I went off to college worked well for some key dishes, and doesn't deserve the quite so much of the dissing it gets.

But Marcella Hazan's masterpiece can teach a raw novice how to love food. For twenty years I've been going back to it, after some pretty long detours through other classic cookbooks, and it just keeps dropping my jaw.

She tau
Probably one of the most comprehensive Italian cookbooks I've come across to date. While I did borrow this from my local library, Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking seems an indispensable cookbook for just plain good, beautiful, delicious Italian food. The book is filled with countless authentic recipes from Italy's many diverse regions, ranging in difficulty, but none that seem undoable for most home chefs.

The step-by-step instructions are easy to follow. The recipes generally do not requir
Jul 27, 2008 Angela rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Angela by: Sam's mom
A brilliant work of comedy! That would be anytime Marcella waxes authoritarian about the exact timing for adding dried pasta to rapidly boiling water. ;)

Well, this is your book if you want authentic, well-organized, and delicious instructions to prepare meals featuring lasagne, sauteed spinach, pesto, homemade pasta, or a shockingly simple sauce for spaghetti (recipe: heat olive oil. Add garlic - optionally, add as much hot red pepper as you can hack - cook for two minutes. Toss with spaghetti a
Jul 30, 2011 Shannon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
I absolutely love this cookbook. I'm not much of a cook, lack of experience in the kitchen. Well, I've been on a cookbook craze of late. I'm attempting to learn to cook. After seeing great reviews for Hazan's classic, I decided to get it. I was a bit nervous, given my lack of culinary skills. I'm here to tell you this cookbook is accessible even to the novice. One thing I love about this book is the information regarding the differences in cooking throughout Italy. I love history and learning ab ...more
Jun 02, 2007 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: cooks, italophiles, foodies
Shelves: foodandwine
This is the cookbook I probably use most often. Marcella's recipes, for as intimidating as they may sound (risotti, stuffed squid, spinach and ricotta gnocchi, carciofi alla romana, etc.) are all authentic, easy to follow, and turn out properly every single time. Furthermore, there's lots of great information about ingredients (and how to select the best and freshest), history and culture as relates to ingredients and dishes, and overall good, sound cooking common-sense. She is occasionally more ...more
Oct 23, 2012 Lfrisch rated it really liked it
This book was recommended to me by a Chef when he was teaching me the art of making fresh pasta. It is easy to use with the recipes being very clear and basically spot on. I love that Marcella has also included additional notes at the end of the recipes giving clarification and "Do ahead" pointers. I started with the pasta recipes and now have moved into the main entrees.

If you want a good starting point to produce results that will match a Chef, I suggest Drunk Roast Pork or make the Bolognese
Emily Lindenberg
Jun 04, 2007 Emily Lindenberg rated it it was amazing
This is truly the essentials of Italian cooking. Not only do you learn how to butterfly and chicken breast, stuff a squid and de-bone a leg of lamb, but her recipes are also basic, flavorful and the majority of them are easy to make with everyday ingredients you have in your pantry. Her bottom line is building flavor. If you take nothing except one lesson from this book, take her advise about being a patient cook and taking the time to build a strong base flavor with good olive oil, garlic, onio ...more
Feb 15, 2013 Ellen rated it really liked it
This book combines Hazan's first two books, the Classic Italian Cookbook and More Classic Italian Cooking. While the combined volume is convenient, something is lost. Specifically, in the original works, Hazan gave suggest accompaniments for each recipe. You pick a Primi course, for instance, and she suggests Secondis, and vice versa. This helps you to come up with a truly Italian meal, as two courses are characteristic there. I have found this to be very valuable, and it has been omitted from E ...more
Nov 03, 2014 Lynne rated it it was amazing
I still look to this book for recipes of many classic dishes that I rarely make but should make more frequently.
Gael Lundeen
Dec 27, 2014 Gael Lundeen rated it it was amazing
Absolutely essential. Amazing cooking methodologies. Don't miss the Ragu, Bolognese Style on page 127. Our book falls open to that page.
Elizabeth Minchilli
Aug 25, 2014 Elizabeth Minchilli rated it it was amazing
A classic that all those interested in Italian cooking should have on their shelves. Like many others, this is the book that truly taught me the basics of Italian cooking.
Feb 01, 2014 Mark rated it really liked it
Shelves: italiani, cooking
She's a wonderful traditionalist in many ways -- sometimes the recipes take on more steps than necessary, but she is -- was -- a taskmaster. And more than a few of us like that about her.
Jul 18, 2014 Tim rated it it was amazing
Best Italian Cookbook...Tastes Like You are There!
Sep 01, 2015 Monica rated it it was amazing
One of the best cookbooks of all time!
Dec 02, 2016 Deborah rated it it was amazing
Definitive resource for Italian cooking
Dec 22, 2016 Amev1 rated it it was amazing
Milk braised pork! This is my go to cook book for Italian.
Feb 08, 2017 Ivy rated it it was amazing
Marcela, where have you been my whole life? Obsessed!
Nov 22, 2013 Maxine rated it it was amazing
One of my go-to kitchen cookbooks.

Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking was the first traditional Italian cookbook available in North America and started the love affair that North America has with Italian cuisine. This cookbook goes through every course you could want; salads, soups, pasta, chicken, beef, lamb, pork, desserts, risotto and more.
There may not be large, glossy, colour photos in this book, but it more than makes up for it in style, attitude and general cookery awesomeness.

Jul 05, 2015 Ines rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ho visto questo libro negli USA ed ero molto tentata ad acquistarlo...... mi sono frenata per via del peso eccessivo che mi avrebbe creato nella valigia.....
trovato qui su Amazon e preso al volo direttamente in italia..... viene un pò da ridere che un'italiana vada a comprare un libro di cucina Italiana dedicato al mercato USA..... nulla di piu' sbagliato!!!!
ne ho provate tante di ricette e tutte mi sono riuscite benissimo..... ricette delle varie tradizioni regionali ,raccolte e rivisitate dall
Evan Hansen
Jan 04, 2009 Evan Hansen rated it it was amazing
"Cooking" in the United States has often become an exercise in precisely following instructions in glossy magazines that are more travelogues and guidebooks for the upper middle class than actually learning anything. I have been extremely pleased to find brief but high quality cultural explanations, multiple variations of dishes, and a focus on simplicity and authenticity in this compendium of Hazan's earlier cookbooks. It's broken down intuitively into various types of dishes and ingredients, a ...more
Stacey Krish
Jan 17, 2014 Stacey Krish rated it it was amazing
This is a good book for expanding one's cooking approach by using simple fresh ingredients with loving care.
Every recipe I've tried from this book has been good. Hazen explains what I assume are traditional Italian techniques that subtly change the flavors of various ingredients, such as soaking onions in water to make them taste more mild so they blend in with other flavors better in a dish and taking care to season each ingredient on its own before adding it.
If you love Italian food, have a l
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Born in 1924 in Italy, she later moved in New York where she founded a cooking school specialized in traditional Italian cooking. She published her first cooking book, The Classic Italian Cook Book, in 1973.
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“Once the pasta is sauced, serve it promptly, inviting your guests and family to put off talking and start eating.” 2 likes
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