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Marcella Hazan comparison

Okay, so I read the apology and began to drool. I have none of her books and was wondering - how does she compare to all the other Italian cooks with books? I already have Aldo Zilli, Valentina Harris, Georgio Locatelli, River Cafe, Umberto Menghi, is she so good that I need to invest?

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  1. Could I also add to this post that I am unclear on which book (Essentials or Classic) is recommended? I've never used either and would like to know which is preferable. Thanks!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Procrastibaker

      Essentials is a combination of Classic and More Classic, with some updates to the recipes and additional information added.

      1. re: FlyFish

        I prefer Classic and More Classic. Some of my favorite recipes were dropped or messed up in the combined Essentials edition.

    2. I would never be without ESSENTIALS OF CLASSIC ITALIAN COOKING. Never.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Tom Steele

        My fave Uncle ONLY cooks from her books. He has long been considered the family gourmet. He makes it look so easy!

      2. she is the doyenne of italian cooking. you don't need anyone else if you can learn from her. others are interesting and good and inspiring from time to time - but she is it.

        essentials is the new and i think improved edition of the classic volumes. there are additional recipes but the main thing is that the older recipes were all revised to be made with less fat. i've been cooking along with her or as a result of her for 25 years and it's been the staple of all my cooking and my friend's cooking etc etc.....so go and cook with her already.

        1. First, what apology? Second, I have both earlier Hazan Books (Classic 1 and 2). Do I HAVE to buy the new one? I have not been a great fan of Hazan over the years and have found my Ada Boni, Elizabeth David, and Batali to suffice. However, I tried her pesto truq and found it to be great - adding the cheese to the basil mixture by hand at the end. I DO NOT go for her addition of butter, though.

          2 Replies
            1. re: oakjoan

              If you have Classic and More Classic, there's not much reason to buy Essentials, especially if you don't own Marcella's Italian Kitchen.

            2. The only other Italian cookbooks I consult regularly are in Italian.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                Faith Willinger knows her way around an Italian kitchen, especially w/ greens & other vegetables.

              2. Yes, I'd invest in at least the first The Classic Italian Cook Book: The Art of Italian Cooking then the second if you liked the first (though not necessary) and then, if you're still hooked on her, the latest Marcella Cucina. In my experience, I've said it before, she never has a bad recipe; they're clear and easy to follow; and the food comes out perfectamente. She did more to publicize real Italian cooking than anyone else; stands right up there with Michel Guerard and Julia Childs as someone who taught the U.S. to cook well. So at least buy her first book and try some recipes and then decide.

                4 Replies
                1. re: EclecticEater

                  For those who want to know more, here's a good url:
                  It's from Wikipedia and gets the essentials out there.

                  1. re: EclecticEater

                    That article could give the false impression that Essentials contains all the recipes from the two earlier books.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      What recipes from the earlier books are not included in Essentials?

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        So fix it instead of complaining about it, that's the whole point of Wikipedia -- you don't even need to register for an account. I'd do it myself if I had the facts on hand.