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Favorite Marcella Hazan recipes?

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I am a serious disciple of Marcella Hazan's cookbooks. I have three of them and friends laugh at how beat up and splattered they are. I love the recipes, love her sometimes snobbish but always lyrical writing style and love what she's taught me about food and cooking. But sometimes I get overwhelmed by the number of recipes and I'm sure I'm missing some great ones. I've done the classics a lot -- bolognese ragu, chicken with two lemons, tomato with butter and onion, pork loin in milk, pot roast braised in wine, eggplant parm. So what else is fabulous? I've also done the smothered cabbage and braised carrots. The only thing I've done that I wasn't crazy about was a stuffed zucchini recipe. It wasn't terrible, but not worth the work. She's more of a zucchini fan than I am. Anyway, I'm digressing here. I want some great suggestions of totally delicious recipes you've tried that you love. I have the Essentials, Marcella Cucina and Marcella Says.


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  1. Oh, I have so many favorites - including those braised carrots (and the lemon roast chicken, and the Tuscan "meat loaf", and the veal Milanese, and the pasta with bottarga, and the.....)

    As a fan of Marcella - you'll really enjoy this CH report on "Essentials" (pics and personal reviews). It was one of the "Cookbooks of the Months" where anyone who was interested chose recipes, cooked from Essentials, and reported back. Actually, I just read through it now and I realized there are so many I still need to try.

    September 2006 Cookbook of the Month: Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

    For appetizers and soups:
    For pasta and other starches:
    For seafood and meat:
    For vegetables and salads:
    For dessert and breads:

    2 Replies
    1. re: Rubee

      Wow; thanks! I am a serious fan too, although I really should try more recipes. The problem is the ones I've tried are so good, I keep making them!
      I just made a batch of her tuscan barley soup; so easy and deliciously creamy. Bringing it in for coworkers tomorrow.

      1. re: itryalot

        Guys, it'd really be helpful if you noted the book in which these great recipes were found!!!! Rubee, queen of the universe, you are excepted from this list! And so are you, Katie Nell!!!

        Thank you. I don't want to have to look in the 2 books I have to see if the recipe is there.

        Tuscan Barley Soup! Mmmmmm.

    2. Made one of my favorites yesterday - the chickpea soup with tomatoes and rosemary - delicious. I usually make the version with pasta. Wonderful on a cold day and easy to make. Other favorites - vongole, carbonara, her recipe for pan roasted fish.

      3 Replies
      1. re: MMRuth

        Second that. I make that soup with pasta at least once a month. Add a loaf of no-knead bread and I'm happy.

        By the way--what does she mean when she talks about when the "tomatoes start separating from the oil?" I find this happens pretty much when I pour the tomatoes in, given the amount of oil vs. tomatoes.

        1. re: chefMolnar

          Did not see a reply to your question about the oil. After you saute yourtomatoes for a while, they darken and oil appers on the top of tomatoes. When this happens, they are done. Hope this is clear. In preparation of Indian food, the same method is applied when you first saute spices, then onions, garlic, ginger and finally tomatoes. I think oil gathers on top when there is no more water in the pan.

          1. re: herby

            Hey, thanks for the reply! I had wondered if that was something everybody knew but me.

      2. Bolognese. There is always a couple frozen in the downstairs freezer and when it gets to the last oen jfood blocks out a few hours to replenish.

        1. I've gotten stuck on making the same ones that everyone else loves too. I crave the carrots (actually, I'm making them tonight!) and the bolognese. I loved the pasta rose dish from Marcella's Italian Kitchen- Roselline di Pasta alla Romagnola. Here's my post on it, with recipe: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/376426 I really need to try more things, because everything I've made of hers has been truly a revelation. My husband's favorite, which could not be more simple, was the Shrimp Braised with Tomato, Chili Pepper, and Capers from Marcella Says- he loves anything with shrimp and/ or capers! Has anyone tried the baked canellini beans from Marcella Says? I've been interested in those for a while.

          1. Her Pan-Roasted Spareribs with Sage and White Wine are positively addictive. Best served with something, like mashed potatoes, that can mop up all the sauce.

            Not at home with my cookbooks now so I don't have the names of the recipes, but a number of her fish dishes are simple and outstanding. There's a sea bass, I think, roasted with potatoes and artichokes and a ridiculously easy, wonderfully tasty swordfish with an olive oil/herb dressing.

            1 Reply
            1. re: JoanN

              a bit confused here...
              is the list the ones you like?
              must be. if you did not like her cooking i don't think you would have made so many of her recipes?

            2. Really, it'd be easier to list the few that don't do much for me...

              From Essentials, off the top of my head:
              - Lamb stew with green beans and vinegar
              - All the Jerusalem artichoke recipes
              - Abbacchio alla romana (Roman suckling lamb stew)
              - Pork stew with porcini and juniper
              - La frittedda
              - Chicken livers with sage and white wine
              - Pan-roasted squab stuffed with pancetta and sage (I usually make it with quail)
              - Roast duck
              - Fresh pear tart with cloves
              - Zabaglione
              - Escarole and rice soup
              - Potato salad
              - Braised leeks with Parmesan
              - Orange, cucumber and radish salad (especially after a fish course)
              - Baked red beets
              - Tuna and white kidney bean salad
              - Chestnuts boiled in red wine with bay leaves
              - Penne with peas, peppers, prosciutto and cream
              - Any of the ricotta sauces for pasta
              - Baked sea bass stuffed with shellfish
              - Bluefish baked on garlicy potatoes
              - Chicken braised with rosemary, garlic and white wine
              - Chicken braised with porcini
              - Sautéed veal chops with anchovies, garlic and parsley
              - Smothered cabbage (as is or used as the basis for a soup)
              - Celery and potatoes braised in lemon juice and olive oil
              - Basil, tomato and onion frittata

              From Cucina:
              - The cranberry bean soups, especially the mussel soup with beans, celery, tomatoes and basil
              - Rabbit with peppers
              - Rabbit with walnuts and olives
              - Escarole sautéed with anchovies
              - The sautéed radicchio recipes
              - Braised squid
              - Scallops with rapini
              - Any of the lamb stews
              - Quail pasta
              - Lobster pasta
              - Cauliflower with olives and tomatoes
              - Chicken with bay leaves

              You should also pick up Marcella's Italian Kitchen, if only for the lamb stew with white kidney beans and the sautéed rapini on a purée of (dried reconstituted) fava beans.

              Have yet to crack open my copy of Marcella Says <shame>.

              1. I have only one of her cookbooks. It's an early one since I've had it for a long time. I confess, though, that I haven't made many of her recipes. No reason. Probably just too many cookbooks. Tuscan bean and barley soup tho sounds perfect. Can someone paraphrase it for me? I'd like to give it a try.


                1. Like everybody, I love the bolognese. I also love her carbonara and the pork chops braised in tomatoes and sage. And I always refer to Essentials when making risotto or pesto.

                  1. Don't have my copy here with me, but her carbonara (from Essentials) is our standard.
                    Also a risotto with cabbage, the spaghettini with scallops/bread crumbs/red pepper, the gorgonzola dressing (from the romaine, gorgonzola and walnut salad), and some dish that involved cooking chicken thighs a very long time with cabbage and wine, until the cabbage broke down into a soupy broth. Only made it once, but it was delicious. Thanks for reminding me.

                    1. I meant to post this link the first time around, Das Ubergeek's open apology to Marcella: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/331828 I think any Marcella fan can appreciate that post! (Is it wrong if I want to name my first born Marcella?!? ;-)

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Katie Nell

                        That's a great post Katie, thanks for pointing it out as I fear I'd never have come across it. I just did a quick read of the full thread and never felt quite clear which version of the bolognese he made and which one folks were saying was the best or the "right' version.

                      2. I was going to post this as a new topic after reading this thread, but thought I'd try here first:
                        Marcella Confusion:
                        Marcella Cucina
                        Marcella Says
                        Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by MHazan
                        Marcella's Italian Kitchen

                        I have been looking for the "Classic" one as mentioned here for being superior in bolognese. There are many wordings: Classic, Cucina, Kitchen Essentials, Classic 2, Classic Essentials (this is the one I thought she had).
                        Want to buy for Christmas gift. What is the exact title I am looking for?
                        Please help. I want to buy whatever one(s) she does not have? (for a friend)

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: itryalot

                          There is "The Classic Italian Cook Book" which was followed by "More Classic Italian Cooking". "Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking" is supposed to be a new volume that combines the two books, updated and expanded, so there are some differences between recipes from Essentials and the two Classics.

                          Here are A LOT of opinions on the two Classics vs. Essentials: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/32564...

                          1. re: Katie Nell

                            I have been doing a lot of reading; now to find them in a couple of local shops!

                            1. re: itryalot

                              I'm buying Essentials for my brother's girlfriend for Christmas- I think it will be a great introduction to Italian cooking for her. I'm actually planning on trying the Essentials bolognese this week, so I can compare the two, as I've only ever made the Classics version. I'm putting sticky notes by all the recipes I've tried for her in her copy of the book... if I prefer the Classic's bolognese, I'll include a copy of that too.

                        2. From "Classic"

                          Bean soup with Parsley and Garlic-a weeknight fav and so simple. (My book falls open to the page, but I havent need the recipe for years)!

                          Tomato Sauce III-we just call in Number 3. We leave out the sugar, if the tomatoes are sweet.

                          1. I'm not at home so I'm not sure, but I think it's Volume 2 of "Classic." Anyway, the ham and mushroom lasagna is to die for! It's the only reason why I have a ham at Easter, so I have leftovers to make this lasagna. It freezes well, too.

                            1. We got out Marcella last night for Osso Buco. One of the greats. And I always consult her with risotto...

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: roxlet

                                Second this. Probably the first "real" recipe I attempted, in college. Imagine serving that dish to a bunch of fraternity boys! I think they liked it, but I was so enamored of my new hobby and the flavors in the dish that I hardly cared.

                                Off topic a bit, but I have a ridiculous fear of flying and when I saw a professional about it he suggested I think of a relaxing activity. So now when I fly I mentally "make" Hazan's osso buco. That is until the drugs kick in and I pass out. But still, very relaxing.

                              2. From Marcella's Italian Kitchen: The Pasta Al Limone and The pasta w/ canned (!) tuna and butter & cream. (Can't remember the name...something al Tonno?....) As a rule, they're better if you make her homemade pasta, but store-bought fresh or dry is good, too. (I use less than the zest of 4 lemons in mine, but all the juice called for.)

                                1. Simplest Leek and Chickpea Soup from Marcella Cucina - just leeks, chickpeas, water, a bouillion cube, and parmesan.

                                  1. Sorry do not have books here, English descriptions of recipes only.
                                    From either Classic or More Classic, not sure which:
                                    Potato and artichoke gratin - the best-ever side dish for leg of lamb
                                    From Marcella's Italian Kitchen (my favorite and according to her memoir, Amarcord, hers as well):
                                    Pork scallopine with balsoamic vinegar, onions, and raisins
                                    Savoy cabbage rolls with beef, prosciutto, and parmesan
                                    Pasta with veal, cream, and saffron sauce - utterly...delicious...
                                    Scallops with mushrooms - ditto
                                    Scallops with rosemary and lemon
                                    From Says:
                                    The meat sauce with mushrooms, especially with ground venison.
                                    Urge all to read Amarcord, no recipes but very interesting - and the last page shows the famous New Yorker cartoon featuring our lady of Italian cooking.

                                    1. I am not at home right now, so these recipes are from memory, but I cooked my way through the first three Hazan books 25-30 years ago. Here are a few of my favorites. I may have more to add after I look at my well-worn books tonight. Some of these recipes have been mentioned by others. i also want to add that I learned how to construct an Italian meal from Marcella's menu suggestions.

                                      Ragu and rigatoni with meat sauce, pesto, all of her risotto recipes, fettucine with fried zuchini, escarole and rice soup, all of the tomato sauce recipes in Classic Italian Cooking, minestrone soup, spaghetti with garlic and oil, broiled blue fish, baked bluefish on potatoes, smothered chicken with red cabbage, macerated oranges, potato salad, cauliflower au gratin (I am not sure it is the name of the recipe), fettucinie alfredo...the list brings back so many memories.

                                      1. Just last night I made her pork chops cooked in red wine and marsala. Sooo good and so easy! Has anyone made the "drunken" pork roast? Probably from the Classic (it's the two volume set).

                                        1. In addition to the ragu and the tomato, onion and butter recipe, many other pasta sauces are simple and delicious.

                                          From Essentials, I love these pasta sauce recipes:

                                          Amatraciana (p. 157)
                                          Smothered Onions Sauce (p. 168)
                                          Cauliflower Sauce with Garlic, Oil and Chili Pepper (p. 172)
                                          Broccoli and Anchovy Sauce(p. 173)
                                          Pesto (p. 175)
                                          Tuna Sauce with Tomatoes and Garlic (p. 180)
                                          Sardinian Bottarga Sauce (p. 183)
                                          Butter and Sage Sauce (p. 192)
                                          Red and Yellow Bell Pepper Sauce with Sausages (p. 197)
                                          Baked Lasagne with Meat Sauce, Bolognese Style (p. 215)

                                          In addition, Marcella's risotto recipes can't be beat, and the baked crespelles with Bolognese Meat Sauce (p. 268) is a GREAT vehicle for bolognese sauce :-)

                                          Finally, when doing grilled food in the summertime, I almost always fall back on Marcella's fish recipe, "Grilled Swordfish Steaks, Sicilian Salmoriglio Style," as it is simple and a perfect way to show off good fish (even though the recipe calls for swordfish, it is excellent on all white-fleshed fish). (p. 289).

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: DanaB

                                            Speaking of risottos, from Kitchen, the baked risotto with eggplant - with vegetable broth, best possible potluck side dish/vegetarian main course.

                                          2. I love Marcella Hazan and I wonder why no one talks about her anymore? I know that Rachel and Giada and Mario and Bobby have surpassed her in popularity but she is, beyond a doubt, the expert in fine Italian cooking. She's not your grandmother but she's a classic. I discovered her almost 30 years ago and she's my old reliable. I have made adopted some of her recipes as my standards over the years and she is still the one that I go to when I am looking to try something new. Her risotto recipe was the introduction to her style and the one dish I enjoy making most of all. Other than that, I love her basic tomato sauces I and II from her Classics book. I also think her bolognese sauce is the absolute best, as is her amatriciana. As an appetizer or side dish, there are her beschamel mushrooms which are just equisite. Although I've never made it, she has my favorite dessert in her book, Monte Bianco. As I said before, one of these days.....

                                            8 Replies
                                            1. re: ValV

                                              She's definitely a favorite here on CH. Her book was the first "COTM" that we did more than three years ago now.

                                              1. re: ValV

                                                P.S. Welcome! You might enjoying perusing some of the Cookbook of the Month threads - http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m...

                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/325712 - this is the "master" thread for Hazan.

                                                1. re: ValV

                                                  We must be of the same generation. I judge all restaurant risotto and bolognese dishes by Marcella's. Even in Italy, I have been disappointed by the comparison.

                                                  1. re: ValV

                                                    I guess the salient question to ask, is whom do you mean, when you wrote: "no one talks about her anymore?"

                                                    1. re: penthouse pup

                                                      I had a shocking week in which I learned that four people I work closely with had never heard of Joan Baez - all under 40, and also ran into a number of people who cook or who are in some way affiliated with food had never heard of Marcella. Age! It really feels like I've crossed the divide.
                                                      Two favorites (?from Classic, but not home now): pork loin braised in milk and Tuscan meatloaf with porcini which was stupendou (and I used really excellent organic dark turkey from the Greenmarket).

                                                      1. re: georgemocha

                                                        George....Tell your friends that do know of Marcella, that she cannot drink wine, smokes Marlboros, and downs Bourbon on a regular basis....Fact!!

                                                        1. re: georgemocha

                                                          George: the reason many Gen Xers and below have never heard of the Masters like Marcella and (cue angels singing) Maida Heatter is that they were not part of the Food Network era. With FN heavy marketing exposure and their product endorsements even Joe Sixpack has heard of the newer arrivals. The Masters relied on public TV (thanks goodness for it) for their exposure.

                                                          1. re: dls777

                                                            Angels indeed, Maida Heatter, also one to love, worship, and adore. The doyenne of fancy baking. Never even on PBS, as far as I know.

                                                    2. Polpettine, I think in the Classic book. Elevates meatballs to a new height.

                                                      1. One of my all time favorite soup recipes comes from Marcella Cucina -- Swiss Chard, Cannellini Bean, and Barley Soup. Heaven. So rich, with this incredible mouthfeel, despite the fact that it is vegetarian, using just the broth that comes from cooking the barley.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: fearlessemily

                                                          Thanks for pointing that one out - I wouldn't have particularly noticed it.

                                                        2. I also love her Bolognese ragu- in fact, it was the first red sauce that I fully enjoyed!

                                                          1. EVIVA MARCELLA !
                                                            When my house went in the Tea Fire here in Santa Barbara the first thing I replaced was the Essentials of Italian Cooking and my favorite All Clad braising dish and a big pot to boil some pasta. Still no house yet but oh the happy times we've had in our little rented kitchen.
                                                            Marcella, after more than thirty years just knowing your book is in my kitchen makes me feel like the world is a better place. Baci Baci Baci

                                                            1. For me, it's the veal in parchment paper with asparagus, fontina, and marsala. You can make it earlier in the the day, pop them on a baking sheet, and then wow your guests. Never fails to impress, and it's very tasty. I serve it with canned potatoes sauteed in butter until crispy outside, tender inside, with a ton of chopped parsley.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: johnlockedema

                                                                I love her Veal Scaloppine with Marsala and Cream. It is just as delicious with Madeira instead of Marsala. And you may substitute turkey cutlets for the veal. I like to serve it with gnocchi and pesto. The sweetness of the marsala and cream sauce is a nice contrast with the pesto. I agree completely. Marcella's cooking wisdom makes me feel the world is a better place, too.

                                                              2. Broccoli and anchovy sauce. Excellent with fusilli; I liked it less with orecchiette (but it was still great). Terrific recipe that is very different from what you can eat in restaurants. Maybe my favorite recipe.
                                                                White clam sauce. Perfect first time.
                                                                Smothered onion sauce. Wonderful, unusual.
                                                                Tomato sauce with olive oil and chopped vegetables (a crudo). A revelation. This has become a staple for me. I like it better than the sauce with sauteed vegetables.
                                                                Cream and butter sauce (alfredo). Perfect.
                                                                Tuna sauce with tomatoes and garlic. An easy, tasty one-dish meal for weekday evenings. I always feel like it's missing one accent ingredient, but I haven't figured out what I want to add to it.
                                                                Classic polenta (stirring for the whole time). Perfect. Made a nice main dish with her suggested additions of gorgonzola, parmesan, and butter.
                                                                Two lemon chicken. Amazingly simple, came out perfect.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: aventinus

                                                                  How about black olives and a bit of hot pepper flakes.

                                                                  1. re: veggielover

                                                                    That sounds good. I'll try it next time.

                                                                2. Oh, the one we have come to call Italian Steak -- pan sauteed steak with a sauce of garlic, fennel, hot pepper flakes, a bit of tomato paste, red wine and marsala, all reduced to a syrupy, intense, lick-your-plate loveliness. mmmmm

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: katcraig

                                                                    Marcella is retired now and lives in Florida, (West Coast). She and her husband Victor are living near their Son, Giuliano, and his family. Victor has written several excellent books on Italian wines; especially his work on Italian Reds, "The color of Wine is Red".

                                                                    Marcella and Victor occasionally visit their good friends at " Bologna Cafe" in Sarasota. The owners, Claudio and Barbara, serve wonderful dishes of Emelia Romagna, as depicted in Marcella's books.

                                                                    1. re: katcraig

                                                                      My 98 year old (former) MIL, calls it "Steak Pizzi-olla"! Don't know what other Italians call it. :)

                                                                    2. Winter meatballs and savoy cabbage. I love this dish and the meatball is my standard way to make meatballs for any Italian dish. Who would have thought to caramelize cabbage?

                                                                      Veal rolls with nutmeg, parm, ham breadcrumbs. This is good with thinly sliced chicken breast.

                                                                      1. pastas:
                                                                        parmesan and butter
                                                                        olive oil, chili pepper, and garlic
                                                                        cream sauce with asparagus and ham
                                                                        sausage with red and yellow peppers

                                                                        one of those gets made every week

                                                                        i also make her pork loin with red wine vinegar, bay leaf, and black pepper monthly

                                                                        1. Oh, goodness -- the truly sublime ham and mushroom lasagna, from the second volume. I cheat and don't make my own pasta, but wow, is that an amazing dish! And easy, too, and the second one that I make to freeze survives beautifully, so that I get to enjoy it all over again.

                                                                          1. Love Marcella. We have Essentials and Marcella Cucina, and they have been go-to books for years. Tonight, made Swordfish Sardinian style with Saffron. It's amazing! We regularly make: Pasta with Shrimp Sauce (so weird - yet so amazing!); veal stew with mushrooms; all chicken fricassees; every risotto; bolognese & carbonara; steak fiorentina.

                                                                            1. Ossobuco, Sausage and Cream pasta sauce, Panzanella...

                                                                              1. And her little grilled fish from her hometown of Cesenatico, but done with shrimp (Marcella's suggestion)! I put them in one of those wire contraptions for grilling fish and hold it over the fireplace in winter..best shrimp ever!

                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                1. re: karenomara

                                                                                  I substitute halibut filets for the snapper in this fennel/fish recipe. It is always a hit in my house. Ridiculously easy, too.


                                                                                  NOTE/QUESTION: Can anyone here explain why she advises soaking the fennel slices in water before using?

                                                                                  1. re: erica

                                                                                    Soaking the fennel tones down the anise flavor and crisps the fennel. An unnecessary step IMHO. But then, I really like the taste of fennel.

                                                                                    1. re: JoanN

                                                                                      Interesting Joan, I didn't know it tones down the flavour. I've made a note in my book to skip this step as, like you, we really like the flavour of fennel and in fact, I'm often giving it an extra boost w my latest food addiction - a sprinkle of fennel pollen. So delicious!

                                                                                      1. re: JoanN

                                                                                        It's so funny I love fennel so much now I would never dream of toning it down. My mother hated anise/fennel flavor, so we never ate the vegetable. More than a decade ago, we had dinner at a friend's house, and she served a thinly sliced fennel salad with lemon, fennel fronds, walnuts and pears. It was heavenly; I couldn't stop eating it, even though the rest of the meal was just as tasty. I love fennel roasted simply with regular olive oil, then sprinkled with lemon zest and juice.

                                                                                  2. I first developed an appreciation of Marcella Hazan through a highly experienced culinary friend who took a class from her in Italy and who believed that Marcella was the definitive, traditional Italian cook, with no equal. The recipes you have mentioned are fine examples of her magic, but one recipe I make every week is from her "Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking" book, polenta. Years ago, in an effort to create a more healthful version of my hearty breakfast, I replaced potatoes with her polenta. Each week I make a batch using her 'Variation: Polenta by the No-Stirring Method', pour it into a loaf pan and fry crispy slices with my egg substitute for breakfast. As a healthy whole-grain that goes beautifully with eggs (and many other things, in firm or soft style) I never tire of its delicious accompaniment to my morning meal.

                                                                                    Her osso buco, Milanese style also rocks the house!

                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: dls777

                                                                                      Nice post, dls777 and welcome! I only have her "Classic Italian Cook Book" and not sure if I've tried the polenta in it....calls for stirring but no big deal. What kind of coarse grain corn meal do you use, if you don't mind me asking? I am tiring a bit of oats so have been thinking of polenta also, not just for breakfast. Thanks!

                                                                                      1. re: Val

                                                                                        Hi Val - thanks for responding. The reason for my use of this recipe is the reduced stirring, just a bit during the breaks between the 10 minute intervals. I set the timer while I'm working on other projects and it's finished in no time.

                                                                                        Re the course grain corn meal - I was using a Latin variety in the local supermarket but I found a Jamaican version that was identical but cheaper. I've used a couple brands and the determining factor for success seems to be the grain size rather than the brand. A finer grain meal changes the consistency so it's important to stay with the course grain.

                                                                                        Polenta goes with everything so well, you can substitute it in for rice, potatoes, noodles, etc.

                                                                                        1. re: dls777

                                                                                          Yes, I think I have Bob's Red Mill Coarse grain corn meal in the fridge...was just wondering which one you like that works well. Thanks!

                                                                                          1. re: Val

                                                                                            Val, I'm sure that one is fine. I have not observed much difference in quality, because basically corn=corn=corn. The ethnic sections of the supermarket (at least down here in S. Florida) offer their own variety, targeted for their customers which is priced below the name brands and cooks the same to me (and I have tried several). For example, I am currently using "Jamaican Country Style" course corn meal in a 24 oz bag for $1.79 found within the Jamaican section of my local Publix market.

                                                                                            1. re: dls777

                                                                                              In Los Angeles I have used the coarse grain Goya brand and it's been great too.

                                                                                              Now I need to pick up a new bag and try your method!

                                                                                      2. re: dls777

                                                                                        How do you think the no-stirring method compares to the traditional method?

                                                                                        1. re: AlkieGourmand

                                                                                          Alkie, I won't pretend that I have some Italian grandmother that gave me traditional instruction - I'm as Anglo as it gets, but the aforementioned culinary friend was a uniquely qualified individual who explained it simply: the point of all that stirring is to break down the individual grains and produce a creamy texture at the conclusion of the cooking. After this no-stirring method you can still see the individual (albeit thoroughly cooked) grains. I have started a batch as I type this. If I was serving this polenta (soft) for company, I would let it go a couple more of the 10 minute intervals to accomplish the creamy breakdown. As this is just for me, for breakfast I take no offense at the individual grains. A purist would ensure the creamy threshold was reached, of course and would not include the minced onion and celery that joins the party in the pot. This last addition illustrates the versatile nature of the beast - I have included a variety of vegetables (or cheese) at particular times as well.

                                                                                      3. Her pizza dough and flatbread recipes - still top of the heap, even after trying many others.

                                                                                        She does a broccoli cooked in olive oil with much salt then tossed with pasta and fresh parm - killer. I do it with asparagus as well.

                                                                                        Her bolognese is awesome, yes, and even works with ground turkey.

                                                                                        And reading these posts I now know, I must try the barley soup!

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: happybaker

                                                                                          Happybaker - these sound amazing and very tempting on this lazy Sunday. Current efforts at weight management have largely kept me out of the kitchen but your suggestions are pushing the envelope of my resistance!

                                                                                        2. I have four of her books and use them far more than any of the other cookbooks in my rather extensive collection.

                                                                                          The other night I made Thin Pan-Fried Steaks Alla Cacciatora, from the second volume. It was incredibly good. I learned in the process that you can treat very thinly sliced top round like veal scallopini, cooking it very briefly in butter, and it will be tender and succulent. What really made the recipe shine was the sauce, which involves dried porcini mushrooms that have been soaked, the water they were soaked in, onions (I used shallots instead) dry red wine, and San Marzanao canned tomatoes.

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                                                                                          1. re: bitchincook

                                                                                            Yes, and if one really knew what many restaurants promote as "Veal" is actually Pork Loin, pounded out to the desired thickness; I know, not all kitchens do this, but in my experience in back of the house operations, it is quite common.Having stated that, the finished product is not bad at all!!!!!

                                                                                            1. re: bitchincook

                                                                                              That sounds wonderful! Just checked for the recipe in my book and found it - YAY

                                                                                            2. My mother attended her cooking school in Bologna many years ago, came home with a copy of Book 1 as we call Classic in our house, and we were all hooked from that. Marcella is just referred to as SHE in our house, as in "well in Italian Kitchen SHE makes these walnut and butter cocktail nibbles." The list is too long to post here but faves would include lemon chicken, pork in milk, pork with porcini and juniper, pasta about a million ways esp. those lasagnas with ham and mushrooms, and bolognese, minestrone and any soup with lentils, bluefish with potatoes or with crumbs and capers, and on and on.

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                                                                                              1. re: Splendid Spatula

                                                                                                All of these ideas are SO tempting - I've been cooking a lot less because my weight has soared, but you guys are gonna get me back in the kitchen again!

                                                                                              2. I made a double batch of her pizza crust this week, threw it in the fridge. Made one pizza then tonight for dinner, pulled out the rest of the dough, coated it in olive oil, set it to rise then topped it with poppyseed, fresh onion, granulated garlic and kosher salt.

                                                                                                WAY better than the amount of work that went into it!

                                                                                                1. Haven't done it for a while, but used to do the blow-dry roast duck a lot to rave reviews.

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                                                                                                  1. re: Taralli

                                                                                                    oh my god, that DUCK, it is fantastic!

                                                                                                  2. Made the veal scallopine with celery and orange from "Kitchen" last night, m-m-good! Wonderful combination of flavors, very fresh and bright.

                                                                                                    1. Two that comes to mind right away is
                                                                                                      Swordfish Stimpirata style, which is served with a very vinegary celery and onion sauce, and her carrots braised with capers.

                                                                                                      1. i'm in need of Marcella's mussel recipe.i'm in fl. and my cookbooks are in tx. think the book it's in is red n white checkerd.the recipe has vermouth and lemon juice that you add near the end. can you help PLEASE!!!! THANK YOU NANNA07