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Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking [Hardcover]

Marcella Hazan
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

25 July 1995
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 in capturing (and conveying to the reader on every page) the feel, the aromatic scent, the subtle nuances of fresh country flavors and, above all, the easy uncomplication of Italian food prepared in the Italian style.”

Now a new generation is ready to master the art of Italian cooking, and their bible will be Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking—this new volume that combines the two books, updates and expanded throughout. Designed as a basic manual for cooks on every level—from beginners to accomplished professionals—it offers both an accessible and comprehensive guide to techniques and ingredients and a collection of the most delicious recipes from the Italian repertoire.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf; 1 edition (25 July 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039458404X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394584041
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 17.3 x 4.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 907,952 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
74 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delivers what the title promises and more! 14 Aug 2000
By A Customer
Updated in 2008

Still got this book, still discovering new recipes (tuna steaks trapani style). The best 15 you'll ever spend

This book is an excellent buy for all lovers of Italian food. It covers the entire spectrum of Italian cooking from starters to desserts via, bread, pasta, meat and fish to name a few.

The book starts with a fundamentals chapter for ingredients and tools and then you're straight into the cooking.

There are no glossy photos, but this is not a problem as there are many excellent diagrams to demonstrate various techniques eg. make fresh tortellini.

The book is suitable for beginners and experts alike as it allows you to decide how seriously you take her instructions (who rolls pasta with a one metre long rolling pin! )

Most recipes are complemented with short passages on its origins and her style of writing is pleasant and quirky.

I would reccomend this book wholeheartedly
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars comprehensive 3 April 2006
By A Customer
This is the ultimate book for people wanting to discover genuine Italian cooking, and all the subtle but essential processes that this involves. The book has a good introductory section on cooking fundamentals, before chapters on each food type with scores of recipes. There are no pictures, but very passionate written text that leaves you almost tasting the food.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "Joy of Cooking" of Italian Cuisine 5 Oct 2003
The very first recipe I tried out of this book was a great success. My ten-year-old daughter, her friend, and I followed one of the recipes for making homemade linguini (flat spaghetti), by rolling out the dough, cutting it into strips, and boiling it in water! Then we ate it with tomato sauce, and it was a GREAT SUCCESS!
This book is very comprehensive. It could be called the “Joy of Cooking,” of Italian Cuisine, having chapters on just about every possible type of Italian food. Directions are given for making EVERYTHING from SCRATCH, the traditional, Italian way. So buy this book if you are a GOURMET cook, who enjoys spending hours in the kitchen—it is NOT for the busy housewife who has to get a quick dinner on the table. Completely separate chapters include Fundamentals, Appetizers, Soups, Pasta, Risotto, Gnocchi, Crespelle, Polenta, Frittate, Fish and Shellfish, Chicken-Squab-Duck-Rabbit, Veal, Beef, Lamb, Pork, Variety Meats, Salads, Desserts, Focaccia-Pizza-Bread-Other Special Doughs, and At the Table.
So far, my family has enjoyed every recipe we have tried.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
I am an avid collector of good cookery books, but if I were forced to keep only one then this would be the one.
Marcella Hazan talks to the reader throughout. Each recipe is amazingly simple and the lists of ingredients surprisingly short. She demonstrates over and over again that good cooking is all about simplicity, patience and, most of all, about using fresh, seasonal, ingredients.
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47 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bible of Italian cuisine 27 Jan 2003
In a world populated by books from "celebrity" chefs that I would not trust to make dogfood, this is the real deal. I use Marcella's books more than any others and quite simply when it comes to Italian food, Marcella is God, and this is the Bible. She is not the best writer in the world, though I like her personal and quirky style, and like some others (e.g. Elizabeth David) who write with authority and real knowlege, she can be quite quite bossy and almost pedantic at times. Her recipes are written with an almost scientific accuracy (eg 150 gm tomatoes instead of 2 tomatoes), which may irritate some more intuitive cooks, but she does it not because she expects you to work that way, but to ensure that you get the recipe right the first time you cook it. After that you can be guided by your experience and taste. The general tips and kitchen wisdom you pick up reading her books are simply outstanding. This book should remain an inspiration and an adventure for many years, as nearly every recipe is delicious and unlike most books the recipes nearly all cook better than they read, and believe me they read pretty darn good too. You could cook from this book for the rest of your life. Anyone with more than a passing interest in food needs Marcella's books. Start here.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking 17 July 2003
I am Italian but grew up in the United States where I bought Marcella Hazan's cookbook. I now live in Rome, Italy, and I continue to use it as my bible to real, authentic Italian cooking. Mine is so used and worn out, I will have to buy a new one soon!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars just brilliant 29 Jan 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
After a glass of pinot grigio or chianti I enjoy cyber shopping and have an embarrassing collection of cookery books, mostly destined for the charity shops. Every now and again I stumble on a classic that I will cherish and recommend. Marcella Hazan is not a celeb. tv chef and her book of 722 pages is soft back, on standard paper and without pictures. Having enjoyed universal success with several of her classic recipes you will realise that the glossy promoted cookery books deliver for the coffee table, not the dining table. I've bought a second copy of this book for a friend. You won't be disappointed.
Try the garlic, olive oil pasta sauce - it's ridiculously easy and fantastic
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essentials of Italian Cooking 12 Oct 2003
By A Customer
Marcella Hazan writes the DEFINITIVE Italian cookbook. The recipes are simple clear and delicious. I have every one of her cookbooks and this one is simply superb! She makes it seem easy and manages to create authentic and interesting Italian dishes. It works for the beginner and the advanced cook. My only complaint is that she has not written one in about five years - Please marcella ---- we need you too many new age cook books are out there about pretty photos and NO substance and BAD recipes.....
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable
Not only is this the cookbook I use most often (out of many), but it's what enabled me to use other cookbooks - Italian or not. Read more
Published on 24 May 2012 by I. Florea
4.0 out of 5 stars A Valuable Discovery
Hazan's knowledge of the cuisine or Italy is vast and formidable and the book - happily for me without photographs - is as handsome as it price suggets it should be. Read more
Published on 10 Oct 2010 by M. J. Corbett
5.0 out of 5 stars Like an Italian 'Delia'
Used this on a self catering holiday in Italy and found it invaluable. Receipes very straightforward, mostly not too many ingrediients and tips from Marcella included in the... Read more
Published on 24 July 2010 by Gina
1.0 out of 5 stars Be careful with this book! Much too simple.
I guess the clue's in the title, it's the wrong type of cookery book for me as I find most of the recipes MUCH MUCH TOO SIMPLE to be delicious and you kind of think perhaps true... Read more
Published on 22 Jun 2010 by A. Mcfadyean
5.0 out of 5 stars I'd buy a hardcover version
I love this book and cannot praise it highly enough. However, I'd like to suggest that purchasers look for a hardcover version. Read more
Published on 2 Feb 2010 by Iain Hoey
5.0 out of 5 stars The Essential Classic Italian
This is the book I have been looking for,for a long time. It is as the title promises "The essential Italian". Read more
Published on 25 Aug 2009 by colette
5.0 out of 5 stars The Essential of Classical Italian Cooking
I bought this book for my daughter. If you want good Italian recipes - This is without doubt the book for you. Read more
Published on 20 April 2009 by Em40
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive guide to Italian cooking
This books brings me back to the time I lived in Italy - it is full of the sort of recipes that are prepared in Italian kitchens everyday. Read more
Published on 27 Mar 2009 by Marand
5.0 out of 5 stars Essentially Great
My edition is from the early 90's and is still one of my most visited reference books. Her Bolognese has no competition and is perfection itself...
Published on 25 Sep 2005 by Mike
5.0 out of 5 stars do you like Italian food?
If my house were on fire, this is one of a handful of books I would grab before leaving. Mrs Hazan's meticulous instructions mean that every recipe succeeds. Read more
Published on 8 Sep 2005 by Mme Judith Clarke
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