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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
78 people found this helpful
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Its a six star book. Really.

I bought this because I read an article about the worlds best Italian tomato sauce only having three ingredients and despite my scepticism I gave it a go.

Oh. My. God.

Superb. Simply superb. Best ever tomato sauce ever.

So I bought the book and it is a wealth of information and practical real Italian recipes that are well within the capabilities of most people to achieve.

Best of all you really do get better Italian food from it than you would think. Being British its clear that our versions of Italian food have been Anglised and whilst in some cases that works out well, its clear to me now that authentic is best.

Overall I can't imagine a better book to introduce proper Italian food that's accessible and practical to achieve.
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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 11 December 2017
Good food, simply cooked. Plenty of variety, and explanations. Shall be trying quite a few of these.
2 people found this helpful
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 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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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 10 July 2015
This tome is rightly considered as one of the great cookbooks in general and definitly in Italian cooking. Marcella Hazan came to cooking not by tradition, nor by an education as a chef but simply by a great lust for eating. This is present in every recipe and encourages the home cook to just go and try out her collection of known and rather unknown dishes from all the different regional traditions of Italy. While she gives clear and easy to follow directions you never get the feeling that you are limited by them. They instead give guidance and encourage you to experiment.
This book should be in every kitchen with the slightest interest in Italian cuisine. Accompanied by few and beautiful drawings this books has no pictures as one is used to nowadays. Which serves as a true reminder that books are there to read.
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on 2 November 2013
Really - everything you need to know. The basic tomato sauce recipe is genius in its simplicity and yields a delicious pasta sauce. It really is a treasure trove of recipes for every occasion, I love it. The emphasis is on the writing, rather than illustrations, if you're after a coffee table book this ins't it; if you're after a cooking book this is it.
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on 10 January 2017
I own the kindle version, and I have to say, its the best Italian cookbook I've seen. Every basic technique is outlined, allowing for creativity, but if you feel like sticking to authentic dishes, there are a multitude of regional dishes and variations on themes.

This is how a cookbook should be.
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on 10 December 2016
The book is better than i anticipated. I didn't realise it was a huge chunky book full of interesting recipes. I bought this book as a present for my partner and he loves it!!! We have made 2 recipes so far, which has turned out delicious!!! Would definitely recommend book.
Book arrived on a timely manner.
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