Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In the language of cookbooks, the word ``classic'' is bandied about nearly as frequently as the terms ``low-fat'' and ``no-cholesterol.'' In this case, however, the estimable Hazan ( More Classic Italian Cooking ) does indeed contribute a classic to the ever-increasing literature of Italian cuisine. A revision and update of her two previous ``classic'' Italian cookbooks (with more than 35 completely new recipes), this one includes recipes not ``in pursuit of novelty, but of taste.'' As Hazan puts it, the book ``is meant to be used as a kitchen handbook . . . for cooks of every level . . . who want an accessible and comprehensive guide to the products, the techniques, and the dishes that constitute imperishable Italian cooking.'' From marinated carrot sticks to sweet-and-sour tuna steaks, Trapani style, to tortellini with fish stuffing and polenta shortcake with raisins, dried figs and pine nuts, the outstanding recipes--many of them poetically simple--are too numerous to do justice to in few words. Included is a spirited discussion of squid and the essentials of preparing fresh pasta, gnocchi (potato dumplings), authentic risotto, frittate and polenta dishes. While writing from Venice, her home for much of the year, Hazan never fails to consider the availability of ingredients in the U.S., and never assumes that all readers understand complex methods or exotic terminology. This volume is the perfect gift for a new homemaker, a seasoned chef and all lovers of good food. Illustrated. 40,000 first printing; Home Style Book Club main selection, BOMC alternate. (Nov.)
Hazan's The Classic Italian Cookbook (1976) and More Italian Cooking (1978) are the standards in the field, and now, almost 20 years after the publication of the first title, they are available in a single volume, completely revised and updated. A few recipes have been cut, about 50 new ones added, and just about every recipe from the originals has been rewritten and, where deemed necessary, revised. Italian cooking, as opposed to the Italian American fare passed off in so many restaurants, has become all the rage here in the last several years; with the reappearance of Hazan's classics, it's strikingly apparent how far ahead of their time they were the first time around. The only disappointment is that the lengthy, thoughtful menu suggestions with each recipe have been dropped. An essential purchase. HomeStyle main selection; BOMC alternate.
A compilation of her "Classic Italian Cookbook" (Knopf, 1973) and "More Classic Italian Cooking" , Hazan's latest could readily assume the mantle of "the" definitive resource for Italian cuisine. There are many new recipes and revisions of older ones throughout, and Hazan also now incorporates forcaccie, pizzas, food processors and reduced-fat dishes, emphasizing Italian produce because of its current greater availability. Moreover, while Hazan explains the fundamentals clearly, she also describes regional specialties at length. Ambitious cooks and culinary zealots need look no further for a comprehensive course in Italian cookery.
Library Journal - BookSmack!
There is a wonderful section in Senate's book where Holly tracks down some of the recipes her grandmother handed out during cooking school sessions long ago, collecting both brief remembrances of Camilla and her handwritten lessons on pasta. Camilla's cookbook is a talisman for Holly, gathering as it does not just ingredients and the need for wishes and hopes, but memories of childhood and her grandmother's point of view. While Senate fans cannot get their hands on Camilla's cookbook, they can dig into perhaps the most essential of Italian cookbooks, Hazan's two works of sheer brilliance, The Classic Italian Cook Book and More Classic Italian Cooking, collected here into a revised and unified edition. Hazan is not as warm and cozy as Senate's women, but like Julia Child, she is on a mission to teach readers how to cook and to explain the steps and processes of Italian cooking. If Holly's attempts at sauces and perfect pasta made your readers want to reach for flour and a big pot of boiling water, there is no better guide than Hazan. — Neal Wyatt, "RA Crossroads," Booksmack! 2/3/11