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Marcella's Italian Kitchen Paperback – Sep 1995


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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group (Sept. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679764372
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679764373
  • Product Dimensions: 20.5 x 2.5 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 687,062 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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9 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 April 1999
Format: Paperback
It has excellent, very detailed section on ingredients and general rules of Italian cooking methods. I wish this section had been included in Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking to make the book more detailed reference. My suggestion is to buy Essential (probably you already have one if you are reading this comment) and read Kitchen at your local bookstore.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By tasha on 5 Mar. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Found it difficult to follow, recipes not as I had thought. My fault for not looking hard enough before buying, but not really what I wanted....
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 20 reviews
41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Great Italina cookbook with substance 8 Sept. 2000
By "elleblue" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent and wonderful book! While other Italian cookbooks tend toward fanfare and no substance this book is full of great recipes (I have tried about 20 of them and recipes were easy to follow and dishes are full of flavor. Each name of the recipe is listed in Italian and a American name is given (e.g. Fileto col Pamigiano, Tenderloine Fillet with Parmesan Cheese, hot red pepper and parsley). If you are looking for a good Italian cookbook easy follow with great recipes this is it. I have 60 cookbooks and this is one of my best.
53 of 59 people found the following review helpful
Precise Description of Italian Cooking Principles. Excellent 17 Oct. 2004
By B. Marold - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Working backward from Marcella Hazan's latest work, this book `Marcella's Italian Kitchen' is the third of Ms. Hazan's books I will be reviewing. Following Ms. Hazan's advice early in this book to pay very close attention to words and exactly what they say, I adduce (and confirm by a reading of many prefaces to the various recipes) that this book is less about traditional Italian recipes than it is about recipes collected by and prepared by Ms. Hazan in her own kitchen, personal or classroom, which are done in the Italian style. And, Ms. Hazan goes to very great lengths to define exactly what that Italian style is. She does this to a depth of detail which puts overshadows virtually all other popular American interpreters of Italian cuisine. That is not to say she disagrees with them. Part of my confidence in stating that Ms. Hazan is giving us the right stuff is based on my having read and heard the same themes from other respected authorities such as Mario Batali, Lydia Bastianich, and Nancy Harmon Jenkins. It means she both takes everything just one step further into the authentic soul of Italian cooking, and explains those steps in depth, leaving virtually nothing to the imagination or to an invocation of some sense of the spiritual as Ms. Grace Young does when she rhapsodizes over `wok hay' or `The Breath of the Wok' in a recent work.

Be clear that Ms. Hazan's devotion to an authentically Italian style of cooking does lead her to hold strong positions that violate some conventional American wisdom on Italian cooking. Some of these positions are easy to understand for anyone who has watched two or three `Molto Mario' shows, such as the banishment of bread flavored with butter and garlic to the realm of the inauthentic sham posing as `garlic bread'. True Italian garlic bread or bruschetta is always oiled with olive oil and not butter. And, the authentic article is grilled. A more difficult precept is the banishing of French style stocks from the making of Italian soups. I have even seen a review of her later book, `Marcella Cucina', criticize her strongly for this position, in spite of the fact that Batali, Bastianich, and Bugialli all agree with Ms. Hazan. It is easy to make this mistake, as there are probably tens of thousands of recipes in America that innocently build a suppa or ministre with chicken stock from a can. In better books, the authors probably recommend these soups be made with homemade STOCKS based on a recipe straight from their favorite French cooking authority. An even more surprising statement is when Ms. Hazan admonishes us not to add Parmigiano Reggiano to sauces based on olive oil. Even I find this a little hard to take, unless on understands this to mean that you do not flavor the final dish with both fresh olive oil AND freshly grated cheese. She even disagrees with my hero Mario in professing to use prefer only fresh tomatoes in cooking, and canned tomatoes, even San Marzano tomatoes are second best. My verdict on all of this is to go back to the title and remind you, dear reader, that Ms. Hazan is teaching us her interpretation of true Italian kitchen practice. If you accept her on that basis, she is simply the best there is writing in English.

If you are not happy with these constraints, consult the dozens of good books of recipes inspired by the Italian cuisine such as those from Lydia Bastianich, Jamie Oliver and Rogers and Gray of River Café.

Focusing on the `Marcella' in the title be sure to understand that many of the recipes in this book are Ms. Hazan's inventions. What makes this so delightful is that her stories about how many of these dishes came about match exactly the analysis of Tom Colicchio in `How to Think Like a Chef' where he says that chefs do not conceive of a dish then go out to shop for the right ingredients. Exactly the opposite is true. Most original dishes arise when the cook is faced with a limited set of available ingredients. `Necessity is the mother of invention' was never truer than when it is applied to the cook in the kitchen. And, all the invention is done while remaining true to the principles of the Italian kitchen.

Since Ms. Hazan how has five books on exactly the same subject, one can be concerned that one may be better than the others. Pending my review of her earliest books, I will say that there is some repetition of introductory information across volumes and some duplication of descriptions of basic techniques such as the making of fresh pasta, but there is no duplication of recipes. And, not only is there no overlap of recipes, each book presents the material in a somewhat different way, making the encounter that much more interesting. I will say that the lessons on fresh pasta making are a bit better in `Marcella Cucina' than they are in the present volume, as the newer book adds very good pictures to the text to guide the student. Also, the discussion of the foundations of Italian technique including the notion of `insaporire' is better in `Marcella Says' than in the current book. Yet, this volume contains many pages of general information and advice that is in neither of the other books I have reviewed.

Like her other books, recipes for pasta dishes are the stars, outnumbering all other recipes. Unlike `Marcella Cucina' where the pasta recipes were all about the sauces, the current volume matches the sauce to the pasta, giving the reader the whole dish. The very best things about the recipes are that they are spelled out in great detail, making them simple for even a novice. As Ms. Hazan does in every book, be warned that simple is not easy, but she takes you by the hand through each step.

Highly recommended.
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Definitely a keeper - Nice mix easy/hard recipes - all good 14 Dec. 2004
By lisa smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This cookbook is one of the 3 or 4 (of my two dozen or so) cookbooks that I keep out on the counter and keep going back to. It has an excellent variety of recipes, from simple ones with on-hand ingredients for every day to more complex, involved ones for something special.

One of the things I like best is Marcella's very precise instructions - she tells you how high to turn up the heat and for how long, how thinly to slice the garlic, etc. and she does so in a way that is very sensual and appealing to the smells and feels of the food. I also like her descriptions of the recipe and how it came to be...

for example, in her intro to the recipe for Fricasseed Chicken with Black Olives (a favorite), she talks about how her son invented it one night after seeing what was on hand, said "now all I need is a chicken" and how it reflects a young man's penchant for bold, strong flavors (black olives, vinegar, lemon).

Other favorites include simple tomato sauce, penne with mushrooms, and her tortas.

In summary, I have not had a bad meal from this cookbook!!
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
A Worthy Companion to "Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking" 15 Nov. 2008
By Belle Gardner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This cookbook contains a terrific collection of detailed, clear, and delicious recipes from Marcella Hazan. It is also a joy to read, as Hazan fills the book's pages with funny anecdotes and an unquenchable love for Italian food.

My favorite recipes are:

1. Roselline. This has become my husband's all-time favorite meal, which he always requests on his birthday and other special days.

2. Penne with Tuna and Roasted Peppers

3. Rigatoni with Spicy Sausage Sauce. So simple, so satisfying.

The only recipe that bombed was Sfogi in Saor. I gave this book four stars (rather than five) because I don't think it reaches the brilliance and unbelievable usefulness of Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. Even so, it is a worthy companion volume and will receive lots of use by any food lover.
33 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Good section on ingredients and methods 11 April 1999
By Ryuji Suzuki - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It has excellent, very detailed section on ingredients and general rules of Italian cooking methods. I wish this section had been included in Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking to make the book more detailed reference. My suggestion is to buy Essential (probably you already have one if you are reading this comment) and read Kitchen at your local bookstore.
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