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RIP carissima Marcella Hazan...

Victor Hazan posted that his incomparable, irreplaceable wife died this morning, "a few steps from her bed.". Very sad news.

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  1. Yes, Marcella died at her home here on longboat Key, Florida. She was born in 1923.

    1. I just saw this on FB. I knew she'd been really slowing down. Her food legacy will live forever in our kitchens.

      1. Marcella will live on in my home as long as I can make her tomato butter sauce, one of the best things I have ever tasted. Thank you, Marcella!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Pwmfan

          Amen. In fact, I'm going to make many, many quarts of it today with a bushel of NJ tomatoes ;-)

          1. How sad to read that she has died. One who gave so much of her vast knowledge of Italian cuisine to the US and the world. May Marcella Hazan rest in peace.

            1. Ah, what a loss. I learned so much from her books. She was a gem, and pretty funny, too.
              Just last week she made me laugh with her FB post about her dinner…she put some heavy cream in a pot on the stove to thicken up for a gorgonzola sauce, stepped away to read the Sunday paper!?! (which she noted is really too big), and when she returned to the kitchen, she found her cream to have reduced down to burned grit. She tasted it, felt it was not too bad, added some milk and carried on with her recipe.
              May she rest in peace.

              1. A salute to a great lady, and a life well-lived. Would that we all could have the same said of us on our passing.

                1. Making minestrone soup in her honor today....

                  We have lost one of our 'legacy' cooks, food writers and teachers today in losing her.

                  On the bright side - she gave so much, taught many so much, and lived a long and happy life, passing away with her partner by her side.

                  RIP Marcella!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: gingershelley

                    Couldn't say it better myself. So I will not try.

                    1. re: gingershelley

                      Her memory will live on in all those that had the pleasure of meeting her and those that knew her from her books, recipes and reputation

                      1. Her Bolognese recipe takes all day, house smells GREAT, really delicious and worth it. My mother made meat sauce but never Bolognese. Her roasted chicken (breast side down in the beginning) is perfect.

                        Try reading her autobiography, Amarcord.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: walker

                          Marcella's bolognese was a game changer for me. It's a labor of love and you can actually taste it in the finished dish.
                          How cook is that?

                          1. re: monavano

                            And when used in her Green Lasagne, nothing could be better.

                            1. re: monavano

                              Ooops, how "cool" is that?!
                              Freudian slip?

                              1. re: monavano

                                Heh! I noticed your typo the other day and thought it was very "cook"!

                              1. The food world mourns, but what a legacy she has left us.

                                1. Thank you, Marcella, for your inspiration. Your book elevated my home cooking more than any other.
                                  Please make your bolognese over tagliatelle for my mother.
                                  Thank you!

                                  1. "More Classic Italian Cooking" was probably the first cookbook I ever truly devoured, learned from, and inspired me to want to learn how to really cook - even as just a young teen helping my grandmother prepare the recipes as she too was wanting to become a better home chef in her retirement years.

                                    To this day Marcella's books are the ones I turn to first when looking for an Italian recipe. I don't think there's a week that goes by I don't make something from the "Essentials" book for dinner. She will be truly, greatly missed.

                                    1. The first meal I ever cooked for Mrs. Hambone was Marcella's rolled stuffed pasta.

                                      This is sad news.

                                      1. I learned to prep artichokes from Classic Italian Cooking. It's an excellent skill to have. (But I will also say very quietly, and at great risk to myself, that I don't think the tomato/onion/butter sauce is all that.)

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: small h

                                          A lot of Americans don't care for it. We have threads on that score, people wanting to add garlic and basil to it (on which ideas Marcella would cast her fabled gimlet eye). It requires good ingredients (especially tomatoes with good balance of fruit and acid and pulp and juice; also, you need pasta that has good flavor and texture and is properly cooked) and it's an extremely subtle sauce. For Americans used to Bigger! Bolder! Flavor! (whether they realize it or not), the sauce can be an exercise in what seems to be beige.

                                          1. re: Karl S

                                            It's very possible that my ingredients were at fault. I probably used canned tomatoes. But despite my unavoidable American-ness, I like both subtle and bold foods. Maybe I'll give it another go, since I've got a mess of black krims ripening in a bag on my kitchen counter.

                                            1. re: small h

                                              Surprised... I have never served that and not gotten rave reviews.

                                              1. We celebrated Marcella Sunday night by unexpectedly starting our dinner with a dish of casarecce sauced with her incomparable tomato sauce. My bf remarked he had never tasted such pure flavor of tomato.

                                                If you've never roasted Marcella's Lemon Chicken, you really owe it to yourself to try it. Chicken, lemon, garlic, rosemary, a bit of salt and pepper. The juiciest roast chicken ever, and NO basting!

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: ChefJune

                                                  That roasted lemon chicken is a classic, but needs a quality chicken to really be sublime.

                                                2. What a loss.

                                                  As a force to acquaint Americans with glorious European home cooking, Marcella was arguably more important, and unquestionably deeper and more original, than Julia Child, however much we owe to the latter. (Hazan grew up with the cuisine she wrote about, rather than learning it in a school at age 40; French cooking first became fashionable in the early days of the US around the American Revolution, as Evan Jones has documented, and authoritative French recipe cookbooks for popular US home use have been coming out for almost 200 years -- I have some of them -- even if today's pop culture is unaware of that.)

                                                  And though it's an esoteric point that few people know or care about, Marcella Hazan indirectly prompted the first public food and recipe discussion forum on the Internet (now almost 32 years old), the prototype from which many others, including this one, are descended.

                                                  Her original "Classic" and "More Classic" Italian cookbook volumes are rewarding not just for what they teach of cooking and food, but for Marcella's sharp quips. From horror over American manicotti oozing cheese and white sauce ("a caricature of Italian food" -- More Classic, p 460), to reserving spaghetti alla Nursina just for lovers ("Some pleasures are too keen to be shared with a crowd. And, in this case, too expensive." -- M. C. p 140), to skepticism about showy "dream kitchens" for the spirit of their creation, "more of an interest in theater than in the taste of cooking" (M. C. p 37). I understand that the later one-volume consolidated edition omitted most of these memorable remarks.

                                                  1. I was talking to the chef at Red Gravy in Brooklyn today. She was waxing very poetic about Ms. Hazan.

                                                    She is going to do a menu in honor of Marcella Hazan in the coming few weeks. I thought that was a very cool idea.

                                                    1. I am so sorry. I had not heard. We have lost one of the greats of Italian cooking.