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"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Monday, September 30, 2013

Remembering Marcella Hazan and her Italian cooking...

Marcella Hazan died Sunday at her home in Longboat Key, Fl. She was 89. I never knew her, I didn't know about her cooking, but today there was such an outpouring for her passing that I had to learn more about her...

A biology teacher by trade, Marcella came to New York in 1955, a newlywed native to Italy with no grasp of English, and not familiar with the so called cooking in America. She was rather put off by what the American's called Italian cooking and slowly went about educating those around her about how to cook Italian authentically. Word spread fast and soon she was writing a cooking book, and teaching the best. Here's a wonderful article online from The New York Times about Marcella Hazan.

I love to cook. I have a zillion cookbooks with many dog-eared and splattered pages, and yet, there is not one cookbook from Marcella Hazan on those shelves. But there will be! There are some classic Marcella Hazan recipes I found today that just say, "Cook Me!", and so, since I love reviewing cookbooks, look out for a review of Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan, which is to Italian cooking as Mastering the Art of French Cooking is to French cuisine. Want a sample of one of her recipes? Here's her infamous simple 3 ingredient Tomato Sauce...

Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter Recipe
Adapted from Marcela Hazan’s Essentials of Italian Cooking
(Take a peek at  for beautiful full color photos to go with this recipe!)

One 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes (San Marzano, if you can find), tomatoes roughly chopped with their juices
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and halved
Salt to taste

Heat a heavy, medium saucepan over medium heat. Add all of the ingredients and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to low to keep a steady simmer. Cook for 45 minutes, or until droplets of fat float free of the tomatoes. Stir occasionally. Discard the onion. Serve over cooked pasta.

There are quite a few cookbooks written by Marcella Hazan, including Marcella's Italian Kitchen and More Classic Italian Cooking, but Marcella also wrote her memoir, Amarcord: Marcella Remembers, which "tells how a young girl raised in Emilia-Romagna became America's godmother of Italian cooking.", which is a perfect addition to Memoir Mondays.

Have a favorite recipe from Marcella Hazan? Favorite cookbook? Share it!

Happy Cooking.... Suzanne

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