Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking
  • Alternative view 1 of Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking
  • Alternative view 2 of Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

4.4 27
by Marcella Hazan, Karin Kretschmann (Illustrator)

See All Formats & Editions

Almost twenty years ago, with the publication of The Classic Italian Cook Book, followed by More Classic Italian Cooking, Marcella Hazan introduced Americans to a whole new world of Italian food. As Roy Andries de Groot wrote, “Marcella’s book is the most authentic guide to Italian food ever written in the U.S. Where other authors failed,


Almost twenty years ago, with the publication of The Classic Italian Cook Book, followed by More Classic Italian Cooking, Marcella Hazan introduced Americans to a whole new world of Italian food. As Roy Andries de Groot wrote, “Marcella’s book is the most authentic guide to Italian food ever written in the U.S. Where other authors failed, Marcella has brilliantly succeeded in capturing (and conveying to the reader on every page) the feel, the aromatic scent, the subtle nuances of fresh country flavors and, above all, the easy uncomplication of Italian food prepared in the Italian style.”

Now a new generation is ready to master the art of Italian cooking, and their bible will be Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking—this new volume that combines the two books, updates and expanded throughout. Designed as a basic manual for cooks on every level—from beginners to accomplished professionals—it offers both an accessible and comprehensive guide to techniques and ingredients and a collection of the most delicious recipes from the Italian repertoire.

Editorial Reviews

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
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.)
Library Journal
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.
Alice Joyce
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.

Product Details

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
7.14(w) x 9.54(h) x 1.64(d)

Meet the Author

Marcella Hazan was born in Cesenatico, a fishing village on the Adriatic in Emilia-Romagna, Italy’s foremost gastronomic region. After receiving her doctorates from the University of Ferrara in natural sciences and in biology, she lived and traveled throughout Italy. In 1967 she and her husband, Victor, an Italian-born American, came to New York, and shortly thereafter Mrs. Hazan started giving lessons in Italian cooking in her New York apartment. With the publication of The Classic Italian Cook Book, her reputation as America’s premier teacher in Northern Italian cooking spread throughout the country. Her second book, More Classic Italian Cooking, was published in 1978 to broad acclaim, and the school she opened in Bologna, Italy, drew students from all over the world. These two books have been brought together in a single volume, Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. Mrs. Hazan now teaches cooking in Venice, where she lives in a sixteenth-century palazzo whose top floor she and her husband have restored.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Mickeymaniac More than 1 year ago
I used this cookbook once, and then had to have it. The recipes are easy to understand, the ingredients are accessible, and the outcome of your efforts is fabulous. This book has the absolute best recipe for meatballs you will ever eat. They are moist, flavorful, and fabulous. People ask for my meatball recipe all the time - I tell them it's my "secret". The lack of pictures is a bit off-putting, but don't let that stop you, it's the taste that matters, not matching the appearance. For a sometime cook like myself, this is the only Italian cookbook I use. I had others, but never used them once I had this. You won't be disappointed. It also makes a great gift.
citygirlNYC More than 1 year ago
The publishers have glommed both Classic I and Classic II together and tried to "health-ify" the recipes (e.g., the Panzanella no longer has fried bread). Classic I is shamefully out of print but if you can find a copy, get that instead.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you only buy one cookbook to help you learn about Italian cuisine, make it this one. I refer to it as the 'Bible' of Italian cooking. Very informative with practical and authentic recipes.
ckopp13 More than 1 year ago
Wonderful recipes
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
jpjoop More than 1 year ago
True in my collection of 250+ cookbooks Italian is not one of the largest segments, but when I want to look up something Italian this is the cookbook I generally refer to.
Guest More than 1 year ago
when my husband came home with this cookbook a year ago, i was a bit skeptical. a cookbook with no pictures?! hmmm... one year later, i would have to say WE LOVE THIS BOOK. we flip through its pages AT LEAST once a week, and we now know numerous recipes by heart (from having made them so often)! (yes, it's THAT good.) we have tried almost every pasta sauce recipe; multiple fish, chicken, pork, and vegetable recipes; appetizers (the roasted peppers with anchovies are one of our standards now, and is even requested by friends as our contribution to potlucks); bread and pizza dough recipes... we have yet to be disappointed by a single recipe. (yes, it's THAT good.) and how many cookbooks do you actually USE (as in, use more than a handful of recipes out of)? this book is truly amazing, and the simplicity of italian cooking has won us over. within our family, my mom now has this book, as does my brother-in-law, and my mother-in-law was extremely impressed by the multiple dishes we prepared using this book. (she gets a copy for christmas!) (yes, IT IS THAT GOOD.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a beautiful book written in a style that my mother would have appreciated. I bought it after a trip to Italy left me nostalgic for the food. I have looked at the book many times and marveled at the number of recipes. It inspires memories of my trip but does not inspire me to cook. I gave it four stars because I have so enjoyed it, maybe one day I will pick it up and be inspired to cook. I hope so because it looks like a book that a god cook would use.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Livinwell More than 1 year ago
Every "Italian" Restaurant chef in America needs to go back to school with this as his textbook. I've studied it from cover to cover. My cooking group spent 62 weeks cooking our way through every single recipe and posted on our blog, daily. It has been a master's education in authentic Italian cooking. Deborah (the Tuesday Pomodoro from the blog Pomodori e Vino)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ChefGiovanni_of_LI More than 1 year ago
I've had the original "Essentials" in my collection since the late '70s. It was paperback and fell apart. Now I have this, and use it CONstantly. I've also given away many copies as gifts. This is about the only Italian cookbook you really need, unless it's another one by Marcella.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago