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on 10 July 2012
I originally bought this book in the 60s, and was suitably impressed at the time. Now some 40 odd years on, having given my original copy away, I bought another copy second hand. Even though I have a later book by the same author of an equally high standard in culinary excellence, there were certain basic recipes missing which I simply couldn't find elsewhere: hence my recent purchase of the second hand copy.
Although I have over the years acquired extensive experience in various types of cuisine, when it comes to Italian food, I doubt whether you will find a simpler, more reliable and more successful collection of recipes than in this book. For instance, I have never eaten a better ossobuco than the one here, and the same goes for her minestrone.
I know it all sounds very much old hat in this world of nouvelle cuisine, but don't be fooled by its apparent simplicity. It is in fact that very simplicity that makes this book look, deceptively, so out of date.
Don't be fooled, here is a treasure chest of refined yet simple Italian cooking "as mama used to make". A really great classic that should never have gone out of print.
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on 15 December 2000
Remember the taste of that Italian gnocci in Venice? Or the beef with olives in Verona? This book makes it possible for YOU to produce brilliant Italian cooking. The recipes are wide ranging, but many are very simple. For example pasta with sage sauce can be made in minutes. Whenever I have cooked from this book visitiors have been so impressed. Certain recipes are now firmly embedded in my standard cuisine. If you thought Italian cooking as just pizzas and pasta, well think again. This book is wonderful, exciting, but so easy to follow. Instructions are given for adapting basic recipes. I can smell the home made Pesto NOW. Bring the real taste of Italy to your kitchen, easily. I tried my version out on Pietro Lorefico, a missionaey from Sicily. " It is very good, just like we make. But more bay leaves, I think." he smiled surprised to find such food in Northern England.
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on 30 June 2015
Bought for someone else (after reading a fictional book which centred around this book). It was positively received by someone with a cupboard full of cookery books as useful and practical. A plus point is that it is not over endowed with photographs; it's all about the cooking.
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on 29 December 2007
The woman is genius. This is the definitive tome for cooking authentic Northern Italian food.
The pasta sauces in particular are spot on. Even a limited cook like me can conjure up magic under Marcella's guidance. Not really for the weight-watcher, but who cares.....
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on 21 September 2012
Marcella Hazan's Classic Italian Cookbook is filled with wonderful authentic recipes which really bring out the flavours of the ingredients, as Italian cooking should.

Apart from the detailed and well-written recipes there are instructions on how to perform essential tasks for Italian cooking such as the correct way of preparing vegetables, stocks and sauces.

Marcella's writing style is absolutely delightful and I often flick though it just to have a laugh at her very stern instructions. The mayonnaise section is my favourite:
"I can't imagine anyone with a serious interest in food using anything but homemade mayonnaise."

Marcella is the kind of cookbook author who inspires devotion in her readers.
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on 13 August 2016
My second ever cookbook (after the My Learn To Cook Book), and the one that really taught me the basics. My copy is so dog-eared and sauce-spattered, but I can't imagine my kitchen without it.
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on 4 December 2014
purchased as a gift for my partner. Some very good recipes inside. The ones we have tried have been great. The ragu does take a long time, but is definitely worth the wait.
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on 13 February 2015
The best Italian cookbook ever. I lived in Italy for 10 years and Marcella's recipes are the closest you will ever get to the REAL taste of Italy.
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on 17 May 2015
Arrived safely in good, if used, condition (as advertised). My friend is already refreshing his memory with a treasured book.
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on 22 November 2014
PERFECT,JUST WHAT YOU NEED FOR GEAT COOKING.
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