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Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  19,425 ratings  ·  193 reviews
Title: Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking <>Binding: Hardcover <>Author: MarcellaHazan <>Publisher: AlfredA.Knopf
Hardcover, 704 pages
Published October 27th 1992 by Knopf Publishing Group (first published February 12th 1992)
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Roukaya It's the same book just a different edition. This one is the older one. It was first published in 1992. It's a classic.…moreIt's the same book just a different edition. This one is the older one. It was first published in 1992. It's a classic.(less)
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 h…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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Cynthia Paschen
Jan 31, 2010 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 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
Jul 06, 2013 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 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
Jan 18, 2008 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 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. ...more
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
May 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys food
Shelves: favorites, cooking
We have cooked many recipes from this cookbook, and they have all turned out well. I almost think you could pick a recipe at random, and it would be good. I think we eat from this book at least once or twice a week.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cooking, italy, foodie
You won't find a better cookbook about classic Italian cooking than this one.

It covers everything you need to know---pasta, pizzas, soups, risotto---and Marcella Hazan exuberantly shares not only her recipes but also her thoughts and opinions about the ways others do Italian cooking.
Casper Van
Oct 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Haven't made every recipe yet, but I am planning to do so. The recipes simply haven't failed me yet (and probably will not). It also includes some in-depth knowledge on cooking skills specifically used for traditional Italian recipes as well as more general used skills and knowledge about ingredients. For inexperienced cooks it might pose a bit of challenge as it doesn't save you from gaining years of cooking experience.
Though, to me this is the Bible of Italian cooking.
Sep 11, 2007 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
Dec 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I'm a not-very-good cook who would love to be a great chef. Hazan's cookbook was recommended by a friend who is a fantastic cook, and it was absolutely illuminating. About 30 pages in, I thought "man, I'm doing everything wrong!" And you will feel like that as you read this book. She has very exacting standards, and she is very peculiar about ingredients - only fresh, whole cloves of garlic that you chop yourself, never the stuff in a jar, etc. But by faithfully following her recipes to the lett ...more
Ethan Miller
Dec 11, 2008 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.
Jun 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Excellent! Can't go wrong with Marcella even after 30 years. ...more
Jun 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks
If you only have room for one Italian cookbook on your shelves, this is it! Beautifully written, wonderfully opinionated, as the title says: essential.
Sam McGuire Worley
I returned to this book today to look up a recipe, but I have read and reread this classic for about two years. We need a button here for "always reading." ...more
May 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A masterpiece. Marcella lays out the philosophy and reasons behind Italian cooking. The recipes are good of course but it's not the point, it's really about the soul of Italian cooking that you can keep for a lifetime. ...more
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 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
Evan Hansen
Jan 04, 2009 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
Jun 02, 2007 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 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 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
Rob Durante
Nov 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cooking
My goto Italian cookbook. This is the essence of Italian cooking simple recipes using great ingredients. The recipes are simple and logical. Italian does not have to have garlic and gravy like sauce to be Italian.

American's often learned what Italian food was from emigrants from the south Italy that opened restaurants using red checkered table clothes. These neighborhood eatery's of the 60's and 70's often used too much garlic and served food of poor quality in my opinion.

Hazan will broaden yo
Feb 15, 2013 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 30, 2012 rated it liked it
As a novice cook, this book has a wealth of knowledge for the uninitiated. Some parts I felt were rather hard to follow. I assume these are for the more advance cooking talents. Still a great and useful book to add to the shelves.
Feb 01, 2014 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. ...more
Jul 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Best Italian Cookbook...Tastes Like You are There!
Elizabeth Minchilli
Aug 25, 2014 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.
Nov 03, 2014 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 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. ...more
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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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