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Italian Cookbook

Ok, I need a great Italian Cookbook that covers all the basics. I'm not looking for anything really fancy, maybe even something that covers Italian-American style recipes. You know, stuff like veal and cheese ravioli filling, lasagna etc. What do you guys think?


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  1. How about Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking?

    1. Marcella is excellent and I think Essentials is a good place to start. I also like Marcella Cucina because its photographs are very instructive.

      1. Third the recommendation for Marcella Hazan. With Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking in the kitchen, you really don't need anything more to make great-tasting itailan food. It definitely has recipes for all the things you are looking for -- i.e. ravioli, lasagne, veal, etc.

        1. Essentials really is a great choice. I just bought it, because everyone here speaks of it so highly, and i find it to be a nice mix of simple recipes and some more ambitous stuff. definitely a keeper.

          1. I agree about the Marcella Essentials book. If you want to buy a second one, I really like the North End Italian cookbook, available in paperback:


            1. I prefer the original two volumes, The Classic Italian Cook Book and More Classic Italian Cooking, to the later single-volume edition Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, since the latter dropped some of my favorite recipes and changed others beyond recognition, notably the bizarre ragu.

              1. What he said.

                Even though I let my dislike of Marcella's smoking keep me from using her books as much as I would have otherwise, I've now forgiven her and love them dearly. They're old and gray, but beloved.

                Btw, does anybody know where I can find Marcella's recipe for pasta with 3 cheeses? I thought it was in one of these books but can't find it. I stopped making it many years ago to make my heart and arteries happy. Now that I'm old and gray, I don't care anymore (kidding).

                2 Replies
                1. re: oakjoan

                  Long as the smoking is not going on where I can smell it or it infects my hair and clothes I can use her books. Besides, she does love her scotch!

                  1. re: Candy

                    This is a silly thing I've noticed about Marcella. It may have nothing to do with cooking. Or maybe it has a lot to do with honesty and living and cooking. I've noticed from "The Classic Italian Cook Book" to "Marcella Says..." she ages, where most cookbook authors seem to not.

                2. Thanks for all the info, I really appreciate it.