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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Essential Italian Cookbook
Marcella Hazan is to Italian what Julia Child is to French: The person who introduced American cooks to a cuisine, and in so doing changed how we ate. This book is essential: both essential to anyone who wants to cook authentic Italian, and essentially Marcella.
This book has many virtues. It's very thorough -- a comprehensive survey of the various courses and food...
Published on Dec 29 2003 by Leslie D. Ehrlich

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3.0 out of 5 stars Essentials of classic Italian
Lots of information on Italian foods, spices, etc. so it is a good source for someone wanting to learn about Italian food. The recipes are fairly simple and easy to follow. There are no pictures which is a problem.
Published 3 months ago by Shannon Bell


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Essential Italian Cookbook, Dec 29 2003
By 
Leslie D. Ehrlich (New York, NY USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking (Hardcover)
Marcella Hazan is to Italian what Julia Child is to French: The person who introduced American cooks to a cuisine, and in so doing changed how we ate. This book is essential: both essential to anyone who wants to cook authentic Italian, and essentially Marcella.
This book has many virtues. It's very thorough -- a comprehensive survey of the various courses and food groups. There are dedicated chapters for pasta and risotto, for example, where many books treat those together. And in addition to the obvious meats, such as veal, lamb, beef, pork, etc., she also tackles subjects such as rabbit and variety meats. (Use Amazon's "Look inside" feature to see the table of contents.)
Another virtue is the trouble she takes to explain ingredients, be they classic italian ingredients or simply the italian perspective on something. After reading through the Fundamentals chapter, you'll never shop for italian-style ingredients quite the same way ever again. In short, very accessible paragraphs, she goes through the history, regional origins, and uses for the major herbs, cheeses, meats, etc. She covers what to look for when buying an ingredient -- what's fresh, what packaging makes for the best product.
The recipies are very workable and give generally excellent results. The techniques are accessible to anyone who can saute on a stovetop -- anyone who's beyond the stage of rank beginner. The instructions are very clear and strike the right balance, with enough information to give clarity without drowning the reader in detail. (There are few things more infuriating than standing over a cookbook, dripping spoon in hand, reading through War and Peace to figure out what to do next.)
Last, but not least, the results are delicious, with subtle flavors that will please you and yours. Two of my favorites will give you a taste. The Pasta with Peas, Bacon, and Ricotta combines very simple ingredients -- pancetta, mild, smooth, ricotta cheese, parmesan, and fresh peas, into a sublime dish that you can throw together for summer dinners in half an hour from start to finish. On the other hand, the Stewed Pork with Porcini Mushrooms and Juniper makes a wonderful winter meal, as the wild tastes of the porcini and the bite of juniper berries combine wonderfully to flavor the pork. This is one I catch my husband eating cold out of the fridge late at night!
Brava Marcella!
Important note: This edition is not a brand-new book. Instead, it combines two previous books, The Classic Italian Cook Book (1973) and More Classic Italian Cooking (1976), into one volume. There are a couple dozen new recipies, and the older recipies are updated to reduce fats. If you own those, you may want this one. If you are new to Marcella and are accumulating her books, this one book enables you to skip the two older ones.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best cookbooks ever, June 3 2004
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This review is from: Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking (Hardcover)
I have been using this cookbook for more than 10 years. Marcella Hazan writes about food and cooking with absolute authority, and the results are always delicious. I don't just refer to this book when I want to cook "Italian food." I'll often use it for ideas when it's close to dinner time and I'm not sure what to do with a bunch of broccoli, or a fish filet.
The book is also beautifully made and printed. You can't go wrong with this one.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Essential Italian Cookbook, March 8 2009
By 
Peter Kent (Fredericton, NB, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking (Hardcover)
I have used this book for many years and it tells you everything you want to know about preparing your favorite Italian dish. The ingredients are suitable for a North American market, the instructions are clear, and Marcella offers much useful comment and information as well. It really is the "Classic Italian Cookbook"
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Italian, Bar None, May 8 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking (Hardcover)
This is the best Italian cookbook out there, bar none, and one of the very best cookbooks written. The instructions are straightforward and detailed - sometimes maddeningly detailed. The results are superior from the ver first recipe - a person with no experience in the kitchen at all will know exactly what to do.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars you do not need another italian cookbook!, Oct. 21 2011
This review is from: Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking (Hardcover)
This is the first cookbook that I have read cover to cover...the first +40 pages are worth the price of the book! And the Introduction forms the bases for the recepies that follow. So much makes sense after reading thru each section...not skimming...reading! Once you own this book, you do not need another Italian cookbook.Buy two...one for your kitchen and one with clean pages to read and reread.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book, Oct. 14 2011
This review is from: Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking (Hardcover)
I think it is a very good cook book. It is more advanced. But nothing too hard to read (I am Chinese, so if it is not hard for me, any of you should not have problem)

It also teaches how to make pasta and which pasta to use for which sauce, which is great!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, Sept. 18 2011
This review is from: Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking (Hardcover)
This is the one book to have in order to know all the essentials about Italian cuisine. It's not only a receipe book but a great "How to" reference book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Italian cooking bible, Sept. 28 2009
By 
James Vidoczy (Toronto) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking (Hardcover)
Marcella hazan is the best when it comes to Italian cooking. I have cooked from another of her books and the results are always excellent. Get this book and find out that she is the Julia Child of Italian cuisine, exceot Italian recipes are often very simple and focus on quality ingredients without a lot of tedious and time consuming processes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Compare to Italian recipes on the Internet, March 30 2014
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This review is from: Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking (Hardcover)
When cuisine of one country or culture travels to another country like America, it is often by necessity changed. How meats are butchered in America is different than in Italy, ingredients, cheeses, oils may not be available in America. Americans may want a quicker, easier, or less fattening version of a given famous recipe. All of this is understandable, but regrettable if you want to know how Italian classic recipes should actually taste. One need only compare the bastardized versions of: Bolognese Sauce, or Spaghetti Carbonara (which should use bucatelli for starters) with authentic versions as related in Ms. Hazan's book to understand what I mean. I know, all art builds and adds on to what came before, and that can be a good thing. But that statement doesn't also mention that many, many Internet "versions" of famous recipes are not better or even resemble the authentic versions of the food culture American cooks are trying to emulate. So before you simply, make easier, change ingredients, try the real thing, so you at least can compare to the new thing! In many cases, you will be astounded, and happy.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Essentials of classic Italian, March 28 2014
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This review is from: Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking (Hardcover)
Lots of information on Italian foods, spices, etc. so it is a good source for someone wanting to learn about Italian food. The recipes are fairly simple and easy to follow. There are no pictures which is a problem.
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Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking
Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan (Hardcover - Oct. 27 1992)
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