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72 of 74 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have always considered myself an Italian cook, although myrange is considerably broader, but this book changed my whole out lookto Italian cookery. I have collected most of Marcella's books, including the latest, but this is the one I reach for first. The section on Italian style grilled vegetables has become a summer favorite and has literally changed the way I plan a vegetable garden. It alone was worth the cost of the book. The osso bucca is to die for, and in my veal poor region it has withstood the substitution of lamb shanks. Every fall I put up a years's supply of the oven dried plum tomatoes in oil and the hot peppers in oil. I was asked for recipes of these dishes so often, I bought a half dozen of the paperback version of this book to distribute to my children and friends. I am invited out to dinner now by friends who have prepared one of these classic dishes (Chicken al Diavolo, for example) and even forgotten where they got the book. I am saddened to see it is out of print, because I could use a few more copies for friends who can't be trusted to know how to boil pasta ascuitta but are embarking on "Mediterranean diets". Joseph Chiaravalloti
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I regularly cook from about 10 cookbooks representing most of the great cuisines of the world, and this is my favorite book (perhaps tied with the essential The Joy of Cooking, aka Joy). Marcella's sensible if opinionated commentary provides much of the appeal, but it's the recipes that keep me coming back: they are simple, easy to follow, wholesome, and delicious. Sure, the Bolognese meat sauce takes 4 hours to make, but it's still simple. Rabbit braised in white wine, fried artichoke wedges, home-made pasta, a range of simple delicous antipasto, awesome parmesan-battered lamb chops, and several versions of scaloppini (and you can be sure she tells you how to slice it right!). Verdura (vegetables) are extensively covered with a series of improbably good, simple treatments: fennel becomes a sublime accompaniment, artichokes take center stage, green beans sparkle, and her take on potatoes is simple and great. Everything in this book is wonderful. This is her original, and it's the best.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
There are very few times when I cook that I do not reach for this book first. Marcella has provided extremely detailed, delicious and coordinated methods to put together an extraordinary meal. The way that she lets the reader know what courses should go first or next is amazing and always on target. You WILL impress your dinner guests! This, Rao's cookbook and of course Joy of Cooking are the essentials as far as I am concerned. If you think you understand Italian cooking then test yourself with this book. I guarantee that you will learn new and insightful ways to prepare food that you never imagined. The fresh pasta section alone is worth the cost!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2011
Format: Mass Market PaperbackVerified Purchase
My current copy of the book, purchased in 1977 is falling apart. I am buying a replacement for it. Without doubt her recipes are easy to follow and produce delicious results. I like the way she suggests a complete menu for each recipe. I also own her second book but this is the one, the now coverless, page-loose one I prefer. Buy it, your family will thank you.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a wonderful cook book and the best general cookbook on Italian cooking that I have found. There was a second book following this called More Classic Italian Cooking or something like that. You can find both books combined in Marcella's The Essentials of Italian Cooking and recommend that book over this, but only because it has more. We used our original paperback copy of this book so much it fell apart. I suspect if you love Italian cooking, you will be better served by the hard copy of this book or better yet The Essentials of Italian Cooking. You will put a lot of wear on either book. Has all the classics and some great dishes I had never heard of. Gives valuable advice on why dishes are made the way they are and variations of many dishes. It covers all Italy, but is more specifically a Northern Italian cookbook. You might want to compliment it by getting other books that specialize on Southern Italy and/or Sicily. If you get only one book on Italian cooking, either The Classic Italian Cookbook or the Essentials of Italian Cooking are your book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Well written, though a few of the descriptions need browsing over more than once. Recipes are authentic and made for conversion to the American kitchen and palate. I highly recommend this book, no matter how much it costs!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2010
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
My wife was born in Italy, and this is the book she turns to. Yes, Marchella can get a bit extreme, but it all makes a point that its just not how its cooked, but what as well.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Though it took a long time in transit, it arrived within the proposed time. The jacket is a little worn but the book is in fine condition. I had read an article about the author in the newspaper. I'm happy with my purchase
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
New things are great, but this older reference cook book is a classic and again, I didn't want to let this one be come unavailable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 4, 2014
Format: Mass Market PaperbackVerified Purchase
My Italian friend could never stop talking about this book. The most authentic recipes are here. Too bad the book was never reprinted...
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