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75 of 75 people found the following review helpful
on 14 August 2000
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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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on 3 April 2006
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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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on 5 October 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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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 16 September 2003
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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48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on 27 January 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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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 29 January 2008
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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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on 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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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 12 October 2003
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
TOP 100 REVIEWERon 27 March 2009
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. There are of course the usual recipes for pasta, risottos, chicken dishes, and lovely vegetable recipes. There are lots of different recipes for each ingredient type - for example, there are about 25 recipes for veal, a much more common dish in Italy than it is here. The recipes are generally very straightforward and the steps are clearly set out. There are useful line drawings which show, among other things, how to prepare squid or fillet/bone chicken - somehow these seem more effective than photographs I have seen in other books.

This book is so encyclopaedic that you probably won't need another Italian cookbook. Highly recommended.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 10 October 2010
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. It has acquired a well-justified authority, particularly in the U.S., at the readership of which which was directed. I had not, until buying my copy three or so weeks ago, done anything more than browse through it very idly in bookshops. It demands more than this; I would call it formidable. It should be read first, them used. Though the recipes are admirably precise and rarionally presented, it's not the book for propping on the food processor whilst you stir the sugo. It is bulky and too chaste looking to welcome tomato dollops.

That said, those recipes I have tried work perfectly and are alarmingly simple. There is one for roasting poultry with nothing at all but a couple of fresh lemons, for God's sake! What could be more naked than that? I suspect that it will be a enduring and invaluable companion.
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