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Marcella Says...: Italian Cooking Wisdom from the Legendary Teacher's Master Classes, with 120 of Her Irresistible New Recipes Hardcover – Oct 5 2004

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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  • Marcella Says...: Italian Cooking Wisdom from the Legendary Teacher's Master Classes, with 120 of Her Irresistible New Recipes
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks (Oct. 5 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0066209676
  • ISBN-13: 978-0066209678
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 3.1 x 23.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #214,345 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Hazan, the woman credited with teaching Americans that there's more to Italian cooking than spaghetti and meatballs, models her sixth book on her renowned cooking courses. Thus, as readers progress through this work, they'll feel Hazan's censorious presence as they wonder, for example, if they can skip blanching and proceed directly to sautéing rapini, but they'll learn a lot if they can overlook her occasionally blunt manner ("The unbalanced use of garlic is the single greatest cause of failure in would-be Italian cooking"). Hazan gives loads of practical instructions and dozens of fantastic recipes concentrating on insaporire, the act of developing "the flavor of a single or several ingredients." Indeed, insaporire is the focus of many lessons, whether it's making the perfect Italian broth—subtler than stock, yet elegant and versatile—or matching pasta shapes to sauces. Nearly the first hundred pages consist of information-packed paragraphs deriving from Hazan's classes, where she haughtily but knowingly details techniques and ingredients. Next come the recipes, a tasty array of antipasti, pasta sauces, homemade pasta, fish, meat and vegetables. Throughout, readers will find useful notes—"Marcella Says"—in which the famous teacher gives hands-on advice.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Hazan, the undisputed queen of classic Italian cooking for an American audience, offers another compilation of recipes that reflects her experience from years of teaching students in both Italy and the U.S. Now resident in Florida, she culls from her students' questions and observations those topics that seem of greatest curiosity. She dissects in great detail the differences in pasta preparation from the north of Italy to its southern climes. Hazan reminds the reader that Italians rarely indulge in desserts, but they do appreciate fruits, especially those creatively marinated in sugar and wine to vary and to enhance their natural flavors. Because she has so thoroughly covered the realm of Italian food in her earlier volumes, this collection of recipes tends to pick around edges. Rapini, Italian bitter broccoli, figures in many of the soups. A rainbow of sweet peppers brightens other soups and appears also in pasta sauces. Hazan relies on the deep, earthy scent of mushrooms slowly reduced for maximum intensity to flavor sheets of the thinnest green noodles. Hazan's many fans will appreciate their mentor's latest batch of inspirations. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I pre-ordered this book based on how much I enjoyed two of her other books, not only to cook from, but to read cover to cover like a novel. I have cooked several recipes from it already to great acclaim from my discriminating family. I am about half way through reading it and can't wait to get back to this will be a short review. Bravo, Marcella! The recipes are well written, but not over-explained, clear without being too wordy. Be prepared to find some really interesting food ideas for making often. This book will have pride of place in my kitchen. My only regret is that it would have been nice to have some photos of the food included, not just line drawings.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Within the first minute of reading she discussed a concept that has me thinking about it for the past 4 days since I read it. It's the concept that you have to use the right temperature: not too cool, not too hot. For example, two exact tomato sauces will taste very different if the veg are cooked wrong (with too little heat ) for one of them. You have to cook veg right or the flavours won't get liberated properly.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars 29 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Listen to Marcella! Oct. 5 2016
By Anschel V. - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent, informative and inspiring.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars March 29 2016
By G. H. - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Marcella Hazan is the best Italian cook!!!!
102 of 109 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Exposition of Classic Italian Cooking. Buy It! Oct. 15 2004
By B. Marold - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you have one Italian cookbook or a hundred, you still need this book!

It belongs to an elite class of cookbooks which explain how and why techniques we have seen on dozens of `Molto Mario' and `Naked Chef' and `Ciao Italia' shows for years, and explains them in terms which are easy to understand, practical to apply to new recipes, and make it easier to successfully improvise in cooking.

Marcella Hazan has long been the first among the leading writer / educators of general Italian cuisine such as Lydia Bastianich and Giuliano Bugialli plus the great regional specialists such as Lynn Rosetto Kaspar and baking specialists such as Carole Field. And, she has been doing it for close to 30 years, long before the current crop of excellent advocates of genuine regional Italian cooking.

This legion of writers have produced mountains of books on the cooking of great Italian restaurants, whole mountain ranges of books on cooking from the various regions of Italy, both individually and collectively, and whole libraries of great books on Italian influenced cuisine from transplanted Italiophiles such as Jamie Oliver and Rose Gray and Ruth Rodgers. And yet, very few of these books have explained much of Italian cooking with an analytical eye honed by decades of practice. The only book on cooking which comes close to this enormously revealing work is Paul Bertolli's book `Cooking by Hand'. And, even this excellent book suffers in comparison in that it overlays common sense techniques with the obsessions of a professional chef which a home cook will typically find much to extreme to embrace with an equal vigor.

This, Ms. Hazan succeeds not only in turning an analytical eye on everyday cooking techniques, but she also presents her observations with a simplicity which even the most casual cook of pasta and sauces can appreciate.

The first sign that I was dealing with a very important book was when I began reading Ms. Hazan's discussion of `insaporire', an Italian culinary term which Hazan believes has no easy English translation, yet an understanding of this term explains the technique, `arrosolare' behind thousands of different Italian inspired recipes. `arrosolare' is the technique whereby an ingredient is sautéed with just the right amount of heat for just the right amount of time to reach a state of `insaporire' where just the right taste has been coaxed from the food. An important aspect of this state and technique is that they are best done to individual ingredients that are then combined in a dish after each as been brought to the perfect state of tastiness. The simplest example of this is the very common technique of heating garlic in a fat to just slightly brown, when the garlic is either removed from the fat or the temperature of the pan is lowered by adding another ingredient, usually onions. The technique for making risotto is offered as another prime example of `insaporire', in that rice is added to the base ingredients of oil and savory flavorings only when the base tastes have been fully developed.

Proper heat level and `doneness' are also discussed in connection with `insaporire', as the former is the best means to reach this state, and the latter means that we have attained this most desirable state. On heat, Ms. Hazan's advice is one of the very few times when an important authority has disagreed with my culinary hero, Mario Batali. Mario constantly cites the use of a very high heat. Marcella is much more prudent in warning us to use `no less and no more heat than you need'. On doneness, Marcella gives us a simple tip on sauces that I have failed to find in over 300 cookbooks. That is, when a sauce started by sautéing ingredients with water on an oil base demonstrates that all the water has evaporated and the remaining liquid is only the oil, you are done. She offers two simple, easily observed methods for detecting this state. Another basic technique I have seen nowhere else is the suggestion to use high walled saucepans for long cooking sauces and low walled sautee pans for fast cooking sauces.

I have read a dozen or more discussions of techniques for making fresh pasta, yet none are quite as good as the one given in this book in its simplicity, authenticity, and genuineness in encouraging one to take up the effort with full confidence that you will produce a successful product. The fresh pasta discussion is supplemented by a brief geography and history of pasta in Italy with a rather droll take on that hoary old Marco Polo story of the way in which macaroni arrived in Italy from China. She explains why good dried pasta products are good, based on the way they are made by automated, yet still artisinally based methods.

Mario constantly praises the Italian practice of using a simple `brodo' in contrast to elaborate French stocks, yet neither Mario nor any other writer on Italian cuisine has shown me a recipe which produces something which is really different from a classic French stock. Marcella Hazan not only clearly explains the difference between the Italian brodo and the French stock, but gives a recipe for brodo which looks quite different from a recipe by Jacques Pepin, Julia Child, or the CIA.

All of this just scratches the surface of the wealth of cooking wisdom in this book. Just as when I read a Rogers and Gray book of River Café recipes for the first time, I am distressed that I have not paid attention to Ms. Hazan's works sooner. At the average cookbook list price of $35, the 78 page chapter `At Master Class' alone is worth this price. On top of this remarkable essay, we get chapters on all the classic Italian dishes.

This is easily one of the ten most useful cookbooks out of the 300 some volumes I have reviewed.
9 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good idea but poorly executed... May 9 2005
By A reader - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The first 90 pages or so are filled with good information that make the purchase worthwhile. The remainder feels like it was put together in a hurry.

Listed in the middle of the ingredients list is the equipment you'll need. That's a bit clumsy and awkward.

The photos (none are of dishes, all are of Marcella either alone or with her classes) are fuzzy. None serve any purpose, and in a few, such as the one on page 161, she does not look like she is in good health.

As for the recipes they are a bit of a disappointment, the homemade pasta and gnocchi chapter, for example, offers just one gnocchi recipe with no additional instructions for making a quality gnocchi. More attention is given to making bread crumbs than what makes for a good gnocchi.

This book was a good idea, but after page 90 it is poorly executed.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some mistakes so. April 24 2006
By Jonathan P. Nye - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I made the puree of fava beans with rapini. The recipe said simmer 1 lb rapini in 4c water. I think she meant 4 quarts. Same night, lamb shanks with savoy cabbage. "Cook the shanks about one hour or until meat falling off bones" and "serve immediately". (paraphrasing). The braising took over two hours, and tasted better the next day. When I make it again (and I will), I'll cook it a day ahead and reheat.

On the other hand, both were excellent and excellent together. I'm just going to trust my instincts about off-sounding details.