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Marcella Hazan - A Culinary Giant
September 30, 2013 10:17 AM   Subscribe

A Culinary Giant Perhaps like no other food writer, Marcella Hazan, helped intergrate a foreign cuisine into American culture with her no-nonsense and easy to understand approach. Mrs. Hazan passed way yesterday a the ripe old age of 89. Her simple tomato sauce is legendary - she made all of us better cooks and eaters.
posted by helmutdog (87 comments total) 97 users marked this as a favorite

 
That tomato sauce: if you haven't made it yet, make it. It is a life-changer. Thank you, Marcella Hazan.
posted by theredpen at 10:19 AM on September 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


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She was my introduction to Italian cuisine and good cookbooks.
posted by Carillon at 10:20 AM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


@

(that's a tomato)
posted by Lyn Never at 10:22 AM on September 30, 2013 [12 favorites]


I will make Gelato di Cioccolato del Cipriani in her memory.. today!
posted by snaparapans at 10:23 AM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I made that sauce just yesterday. My wife read about it on Orangette and we've been making it 1-2 times a month ever since.

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posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 10:24 AM on September 30, 2013


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posted by Dr. Twist at 10:26 AM on September 30, 2013


My mom took classes from her when I was a kid, something I've benefitted from my whole life.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:30 AM on September 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


What is that spiral pasta in the "tomato sauce" link?
posted by boo_radley at 10:31 AM on September 30, 2013


This made me tear up a little bit, so sweet: "On Saturday, the day before she died, they shared a meal he made of trofie, the twisted Ligurian pasta, sauced with some pesto made with basil from the terrace garden."

I hadn't heard of her but think I have a new culinary hero so I will treat this as a celebratory thread!
posted by freebird at 10:32 AM on September 30, 2013


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I've been making her simple, wonderful tomato, carrots, onion, celery and olive oil sauce (except I leave out he celery, 'cause I'm not a fan of it) to great acclaim the last couple of years.

I'll whip up a batch tonight, with the celery, as Hazan intended, as a humble thank you to the departed.
posted by notyou at 10:34 AM on September 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


I have two cookbooks, Hazan's Essentials and the NYT Cookbook by Claiborne. I would have never been able to cook my beloved Bolognese, a sauce I always wanted to know how to make without the help of the Lawry's packets I had growing up, without her, and the book is a true gift to the world. She wrote like I always wanted to be taught: a basic structure, but with plain-spoken alternatives and reasons. Nothing that hasn't been said about it or her before, I'm sure, but this one is mine.
posted by rhizome at 10:34 AM on September 30, 2013


Note from her husband:
"Marcella, my incomparable companion, died this morning a few steps away from her bed. She was the truest and best, and so was her food."

(Can't believe I'm quoting from Victor Hazan's facebook page but there you go.)

So sad about this death, although MH had a good long life and left a fantastic legacy for the rest of us.
posted by torticat at 10:35 AM on September 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


What is that spiral pasta in the "tomato sauce" link?

fusilli
posted by JPD at 10:35 AM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Between the sauces and rolling out the pasta, her green lasagne bolognese took our whole family a winter afternoon to make, but no one ever had a problem putting in the effort knowing the results.
posted by bendybendy at 10:38 AM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


That tomato sauce is THE BEST. Her legacy is well-deserved.

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posted by Doleful Creature at 10:42 AM on September 30, 2013


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posted by gauche at 10:45 AM on September 30, 2013


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posted by skycrashesdown at 10:45 AM on September 30, 2013


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I made that tomato sauce (most recently) just last week; I had a lady friend over who I wanted to impress, and I didn't want to spend the whole time slaving in the kitchen. Thanks for a great date night.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 10:46 AM on September 30, 2013


News of Hazan's passing was the first thing my wife said to me this morning. Hazan will be sorely missed; her Fundamentals book is really great. She does a mushroom and squash soup that verges on the orgasmic; I don't think I've ever had a better soup.

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posted by Admiral Haddock at 10:47 AM on September 30, 2013


Yesterday, I made a Serious Eats pizza sauce that used the idea of putting a halved onion into the sauce, which I found gave amazing results. At the time I assumed Hazan was just some food blogger but I was quite mistaken. I look forward to learning about her career and life.

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posted by Harpocrates at 10:49 AM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was curious about that spiral pasta as well. Down in the comments Deb says:

Pasta shape — I can never resist this when I see it. We call it telephone cord spaghetti. I believe it’s actual Italian name is fusilli col buco or fusilli bucati lunghi.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:50 AM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


That tomato, onion, and butter sauce is one of my favorite things in the kitchen.
posted by Daily Alice at 10:50 AM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


What a wonderful woman. I will toast some chianti to her tonight. I make her bolognese all the time.

Also that is a very well-written obit in the NY Times.

RIP Marcella.

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posted by Aizkolari at 10:52 AM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


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posted by dlugoczaj at 10:53 AM on September 30, 2013


will this work on pizza?
posted by rebent at 10:54 AM on September 30, 2013


Dang I wanted to post this. She's been my house god since the early eighties. I was sad yesterday, but I'm also grateful, and I realize that the happiness she brought into my kitchen will last on. We'll have a glass of wine later, to celebrate her long and (hopefully, with all the food) lovely life.
Thanks!
posted by Namlit at 10:54 AM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Former Chez Panisse chef and blogger, David Lebovitz, recounts a couple of funny anecdotes about Marcella on his FB page today.
posted by hapax_legomenon at 10:58 AM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Here bolognese recipe is now a fundamental part of my repertoire. I have to stop myself from making it every weekend in the winter. Yet before getting her cookbook I had never really had a bolognese I liked - I thought of it as watery meat sauce. Usually when I try a new recipe I know what taste I am aiming for and I cook with that in mind; the first time I made that bolognese it was like magic, because the end result was this flavor I had never experienced before and didn't know I'd been missing.

For some reason I've never made the tomato/half onion/butter sauce, despite hearing raves for years. I will try it soon.
posted by yarrow at 10:58 AM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Indeed that basic tomato onion butter sauce is the best thing ever. Favorite pasta sauce at our house. Thanks Marcella.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 11:13 AM on September 30, 2013


Her Bolognese recipe changed my life. "The Classic Italian Cookbook" is the one I'd save if my kitchen was burning down.
posted by komlord at 11:14 AM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


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posted by Kitteh at 11:22 AM on September 30, 2013


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One helluva cook, and teacher.
posted by Vibrissae at 11:23 AM on September 30, 2013


When I moved into my first apartment after college, my mom sent me a copy of The Classic Italian Cookbook. It has finally started falling open to certain recipes, just like the one I grew up with did.



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posted by coppermoss at 11:23 AM on September 30, 2013


And not to forget her Minestrone recipe either, another long time favorite around here. It is the slow, layered process of adding each vegetable that makes it stand out.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 11:32 AM on September 30, 2013


I hadn't heard of her before this post. I can't wait to try the magic butter sauce now.
posted by Iteki at 11:35 AM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


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That tomato sauce, and her recipes for pizza dough and focaccia are things of beauty, that make me look like I can actually cook without becoming a lunatic. If I had to give up all of my cookbooks but one, Essentials of Italian Cooking would be right in the running for the one I'd keep (it'd have to go up against an ancient Pillsbury baking cookbook I've had for over 20 years and has never steered me wrong). If I could only keep two, those would be the ones.
posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 11:38 AM on September 30, 2013


When I started living on my own, I bought a copy of Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Italian Cooking and was blown away by how many recipes were the foods of my childhood. Not similar to the foods of my childhood, but obviously the recipes they had come from. Her cooking style has had a huge influence on how I've learned to cook and eat.

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posted by aspo at 11:42 AM on September 30, 2013


The first edition of Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything was my very first real cookbook, and the foundation for all of my skills in the kitchen. It also had this invaluable appendix that suggested other cookbooks to investigate if the reader wanted to develop their knowledge of Middle Eastern (Claudia Roden) or Chinese (Barbara Tropp) cookery. The first book that I bought based on that appendix was Marcella Hazan's Essentials That was almost 15 years ago.

Nowadays, HTCE is well loved but I've internalized enough of Bittman's technique that I don't need to refer to it that often. The Hazan, though, I go back to every other week. It's a workhorse, and I am so glad that she wrote it.

I am also sad that she won't be around to write any more.
posted by bl1nk at 11:46 AM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hadn't seen the tomato/onion/butter sauce before, but Classic Italian Cooking & More Classic Italian cooking were two of the first cookbooks my wife & I bought together years ago. Marcella never steered us wrong.
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posted by fogovonslack at 11:49 AM on September 30, 2013


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That tomato sauce is life-changing, and I am 100% serious about that. She will be missed.
posted by dipping_sauce at 12:12 PM on September 30, 2013


It seems she's mostly known for the tomato-butter-onion sauce and the bolognese, but it's a shame, for as good as they are, nearly all her recipes are equally wonderful. If you only read them, you might think they sound ordinary, as they generally contain the ingredients you'd expect, and more or less the technique you'd expect, but there's always some subtle thing that makes them exactly right, more refined, or capturing some elusive quality.

My AskMe question before last was for one of her recipes. I was at the beach in Oregon and got to the little grocery just as they received some sea bass caught by a local dory boat that morning, and I knew exactly what I could make with it with the limited ingredients available there: Marcella's A Single Fish Cooked Fish-Soup Style. That recipe is a good example of what I'm talking about. It's so simple but to me it tastes exactly like the cooking that came out of my Italian grandmother's kitchen on the Jersey shore, although I'm pretty sure she never made anything quite like it. Every time I make it, it sends me hurtling back through time.
posted by HotToddy at 12:29 PM on September 30, 2013 [8 favorites]


It's funny the way little things in life coincide sometimes to take on a cosmic significance. I just got her Essentials of Italian Cooking the other day. My left hand was mangled sharpening my knives so I'm off work for the week and I've been just poring over her writing. She has a legacy.
posted by Evstar at 12:39 PM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think I have all her books. I'm not even that big a fan of tomato sauce (though hers is the best), but I will always be grateful to her for my induction into the cuisine of Emilia-Romagna, arguably among the best in the world.

Godspeed, Marcella, and thanks!

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posted by trip and a half at 12:40 PM on September 30, 2013


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posted by Iridic at 12:41 PM on September 30, 2013


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posted by Ink-stained wretch at 12:57 PM on September 30, 2013


Now I've been poking around reading lots of posts about her death and remembering how many things I take for granted that I actually learned from her books over a quarter century ago:

-peeling peppers (Wish the rest of the world would learn this one--the skin is coarse and indigestible, people! Peeling them only takes a minute but then they are silky and luxurious and a totally different vegetable.)
-the use of the food mill--no other tool does what this does; a food processor is not a substitute
-the many uses of anchovies
-when and how to salt
-the uses of water
-adding butter to pesto

And I can't find this online so maybe it's apocryphal, but I have long had in my head a quote I attribute to her: "Saying you don't have time to cook is like saying you don't have time to bathe."
posted by HotToddy at 1:01 PM on September 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


OK, folks, I've been meaning to make that tomato sauce for years but never got around to it. Well, I'm home sick with a cold/flu thing, so I have lots of time and a desire for some comfort food, so I think I'll make it this afternoon. As a delicious tribute to Marcella Hazan.

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posted by lunasol at 1:06 PM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sad that she's gone. Happy to try that super-simple tomato sauce. If it's as good as everyone is raving about, I've just saved pasta nights at my house.
posted by xingcat at 1:20 PM on September 30, 2013


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posted by Smart Dalek at 1:31 PM on September 30, 2013


Yeah, I think I must have favorited that tomato sauce recipe half a dozen times over the years when it showed up in AskMe but never got around to making it.

*checks kitchen*

Would using a red onion instead of yellow be ruinous, you think?
posted by mediareport at 1:38 PM on September 30, 2013


My AskMe question before last was for one of her recipes. I was at the beach in Oregon and got to the little grocery just as they received some sea bass caught by a local dory boat that morning, and I knew exactly what I could make with it with the limited ingredients available there: Marcella's A Single Fish Cooked Fish-Soup Style.

You know, I actually ended up making that for dinner last night (inspired by your AskMe question, as a matter of fact), and just as I sat digesting it was when I saw the news that she had passed away. The fish came out delicious.

Some fun reading: a group of cooks liveblog cooking every recipe from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, and Marcella herself starts giving feedback in the comments section.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 1:47 PM on September 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


Her cookbook (well the only one I have, The Essentials of Italian Cooking) is amazing. Her minestrone recipe is fabulous - it takes an hour or two to make but is well worth the effort. Her pot roast is also excellent. In fact, just about everything from that cookbook we've made has been amazing. It's astonishing that such simple recipes can be so good.
posted by pombe at 1:48 PM on September 30, 2013


Would using a red onion instead of yellow be ruinous, you think?

I think it'd be ok, if slightly sweeter than yellow. I'll be honest--I've made that sauce with butter, with olive oil, with bacon grease, with garlic instead of onion, with sweet onion instead of yellow onion, and it's always amazing. One time I didn't have garlic or onion so I chucked in a peeled red pepper cut into quarters, and that was amazing, too--I just mashed it in with the tomatoes towards the end. That sauce is magic.
posted by MeghanC at 1:51 PM on September 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


I've never made the tomato and butter one, just the tomato and carrot one I mention above, and I always use red onion, cause red onion is what we always have on hand, and it's delicious.

You have to work hard to screw these recipes up.
posted by notyou at 2:06 PM on September 30, 2013


I agree it's hard to screw up Marcella's recipes; a red onion will work fine!

Also want to second bendybendy on the green lasagna. A ton of work but damn there is no finer dish in the world. It's become a bit of a Christmas Eve tradition at our house.
posted by torticat at 2:15 PM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


"What you should do is: if you’re cooking Italian food, Marcella [Hazan] is absolutely right about everything... And she knows it. Once you’ve figured out what she’s doing and you’ve cooked her thing, then look somewhere else for the variations."

-Jonathan Gold

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posted by basicchannel at 2:15 PM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


DO NOT USE A SUBSTITUTE ONION. BROWN/YELLOW IS THE ONLY WAY. She's not fucking around. If she means a yellow onion that's what she means.
posted by basicchannel at 2:16 PM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


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I got her "Essentials" book a couple years ago when I was looking for "the Italian food equivalent of Julia Child." Last Christmas my Mom gifted me her old pasta rolling machine that she doesn't use anymore, and I used Marcella's book to learn to make pasta. Last winter I even made a whole lasagna from total scratch - made the pasta, made the Bolognese, I even made some ricotta cheese. Was quite a project, but so worth it.
posted by dnash at 2:28 PM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


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posted by bitter-girl.com at 2:31 PM on September 30, 2013


RIP, Ms. Hazan, RIP.


BTW: For anyone fond of the pig, Ms. Hazan's Pork Loin Braised in Milk is absolutely fabulous! (Yes, this means braising the piggy in cow juice.) In the 1980 print of The Classic Italian Cookbook, it is on pp. 284-285.
posted by cool breeze at 2:40 PM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


She's not fucking around. If she means a yellow onion that's what she means.

...made me laugh because she might have said exactly that.

OTOH, she was very practical about using ingredients that you have on hand. And while the tomato sauce with onion won't be exactly the same if made with a red onion, it will still be delicious (I've done it myself). And honestly, I'm guessing most of us aren't discriminating enough to tell the difference.
posted by torticat at 2:42 PM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


When I started cooking from Marcella's book, it was the taste of my mother's cooking.

Apart from her Bolognese, my favorite recipe is Roast Chicken with Two Lemons. It never fails.
posted by Wet Spot at 3:35 PM on September 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


Damn. I learned so much from her books. Her son's books are similarly excellent.

RIP, dame of the Italian kitchen!
posted by redbeard at 3:35 PM on September 30, 2013


Some fun reading: a group of cooks liveblog cooking every recipe from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, and Marcella herself starts giving feedback in the comments section.

Wow, that's a really warm and interesting group blog project, strangely stunted trees, thanks. Marcella doesn't just start giving feedback, she starts giving *daily* feedback in the comments:

It seems to me that there is much marinating of meat going on than is really necessary for either texture or flavor.

I don't understand why you would reduce the benefit of cooking directly over the grill by laying it on foil.

If you do cut up the florets in bigger chunks next time, you'll be pleased with the results. Italian soups are at their best when they have some textural interest.


What a wonderful resource for hearing her voice. I'm out the door to pick up Marcella's Italian Kitchen at a nearby used bookstore (we were out at the store where I work but we do see her books regularly so check around) and just put a hold on one of the two available copies of Essentials at the library.

And yes, I bought a yellow onion.
posted by mediareport at 3:45 PM on September 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


Her memory - and her sauces... and technique - will remain as a blessing for all forever.
posted by zaelic at 4:12 PM on September 30, 2013


Her garlic-scented tomato salad has been a staple in my repertoire for decades. I didn't have an Italian nonna to teach me how to cook, and she was the next best thing.
posted by ambrosia at 4:18 PM on September 30, 2013


My wife gave me a copy of Essentials and a bottle of truffle oil the Christmas after a wonderful 10 day trip around Tuscany (we stuffed our faces but we also walked 18 hours a day, so it worked out...) Along with the tomato sauce revelations, I can point to:

- green beans with tomato and onion
- squid in tomato sauce
- lemon roast chicken

...as in heavy, heavy rotation in our kitchen, to the extent that they have molded my children's palates as to what roast chicken or green beans should taste like.

A couple of years ago I found an old book by JoAnne Cates (old school food critic at the globe and mail) of collected columns, in which there is an extended writeup of a trip to Marcella's cooking school (with accompanying wine tour with her husband). The descriptions clashed a it with my expectations (Marcella was described as chain smoking and brusque) but the class sounded like a riot and the food, of course, surpassing all desire.

. c celery o carrot * onion Q tomato
posted by hearthpig at 4:23 PM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


You know, we (Italians) usually wince at what passes for "italian cooking" down there (mac and cheese? spaghetti with meatballs? "chicago-style" pizza? fettuccine Alfredo? chicken soup?).
There's nothing to be surprised about; what arrived in the US was mostly during the large waves of immigration in the 1900s and 1920s - impoverished farmers or shepherds, mostly from southern Italy, who had to make do with what little they could afford, and often were forced to adapt to local ingredients, and local taste when cooking for patrons in restaurants.
Italian cooking became gradually pidginized, transitioning to italian-american cooking, which is often an entirely different animal from the 'original'*, only sometimes reminiscent of what we actually eat here.
I was aware of Hazan's work, and read a few of her recipes; it is the real thing. Or at least, a very good representation of what italian cooking is - or was (some of the recipes are from a 1930s taste - unsurprisingly, seeing her biography) - nevertheless, they are sincere, authentic. That velvety tomato sauce with butter (I don't recall the onion), pork loin cooked in milk, ragù (which you call "bolognese sauce": there is no such thing!) are actual dishes my family (who was from Bologna, close to where Hazan was born) used to cook and that I relished as a kid.

So, thank you Mrs. Hazan.

*not that there is an original italian cuisine, anyway: written recipes are a relatively modern invention, and traditional recipes vary from town to town, and from a household to another.

No, seriously: spaghetti don't match ragù. Use tagliatelle or fettuccine, instead.
posted by _dario at 4:26 PM on September 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


Learned lots of great food things because of her

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posted by caddis at 5:14 PM on September 30, 2013


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posted by silentbicycle at 6:52 PM on September 30, 2013


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posted by Sara C. at 7:15 PM on September 30, 2013


@@@

That's for the sauce. I forgot that was her sauce.
posted by Sara C. at 7:16 PM on September 30, 2013


Sadly in Australia she was largely unknown. Until about 2000, book importation laws meant that the only books available in Australia were printed in England, so none of the great American cook books were available here until very recently.

We got stuck with Jamie Oliver, mostly.

Marcella Hazan could have kicked his arse.
posted by chrisgregory at 7:34 PM on September 30, 2013


I just ate a dinner of pasta with the tomato sauce and it was indeed delicious - this will be in the rotation for sure.
posted by lunasol at 7:38 PM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


My ex-wife and I got her basic cookbooks as a wedding present. Didn't stray too far beyond the pasta recipes, but they were darn tasty.

A huge influence on her field, way before the Batalis and Bastianiches and Chiarellos popularized high-end simple cooking.

Thanks for the good eats, Mrs. H.

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posted by the sobsister at 8:05 PM on September 30, 2013


When Nina and I got married neither of us knew how to cook. I remember buying her a few cookbooks to add to the few she got from her mom.

You can probably guess how this story goes: Nina ended up be a great cook (much better than my own mom, although don't say that to her). None of her cooking was particularly fancy but it became the very definition of food in our house. To me and the kids moms spaghetti was how spaghetti should taste, moms hamburgers were how hamburgers should taste. This list goes on but you get the idea.

After Nina died of cancer it became clear that I would have to learn how to cook. I turned to her cookbooks and in the Hazan cookbook I had bought her 20+ years ago was a recipe for tomato sauce that seemed easy enough that even I couldn't fuck it up.

Nina's recipe for spaghetti sauce turned out to be Hazan's recipe.

When I first made it the kids said it was just like moms.

This morning, when I heard on NPR that Hazan had died this was the first thing I thought of.

Godspeed, Marcella.
posted by codex99 at 8:20 PM on September 30, 2013 [19 favorites]


That's for the sauce.

Amen. Just made it for the first time. It was deliciously rich and tomato-y and such a delight over pasta and steamed cauliflower it made me realize (once again; I tend to forget) that with not much more effort I can make much better food than the shit I buy in jars out of laziness.

I made two changes to Marcella's recipe (as filtered through smitten kitchen) - one stupid and one smart. The first was quartering the onion instead of halving it; it looked like the top of the halves would stick out of the tomatoes and butter and wouldn't steep properly so I cut them in half again. The problem with that, which I'm now sure Marcella was trying to warn me about by insisting on halves, is the quarters fell apart, interfered with the smushing of the tomatoes and were harder to fish out. But, you know, the difference got me thinking that maybe finely dicing that onion and leaving the pieces in would work just as well, if not better. I like onion (perhaps more than Marcella does, I dunno). Anyway, the idea of discarding those tomato-juice-soaked chunks of onion was too absurd to consider, so I tossed them in the freezer to use in my next (probably failed) attempt at a tasty vegetarian soup stock.

The second change was to let the finished sauce cool a bit and then pour it in a blender to smooth out the chunks of tomato still left. Usually with sauces/soups I pour the blended result back into the saucepan, add some cream and heat for a few minutes to add richness, but in this case the result out of the blender was already creamy enough any more dairy would have just destroyed the awesomely strong tomato flavor. So, blending but no added cream is my recommended - probably blasphemous to some - alteration.

The bottom line is the sauce was amazingly delicious; I doubt I could tell the difference if the onion was finely diced and left in; the recipe screams "I'M EASY TO TWEAK," and tonight's Marcella success makes me want to cook more. Plus I have leftover sauce in the fridge for tomorrrow's lunch.

Now, please tell me this will freeze nicely the next time, when I make a triple batch. Please, please tell me that.
posted by mediareport at 9:00 PM on September 30, 2013


. . . ... .. ... .... ...

(those are acini di pepe)
posted by yellowcandy at 9:29 PM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


I dunno, I think half the joy of the sauce is that you can simmer it while the pasta boils.
posted by Sara C. at 10:07 PM on September 30, 2013


Sadly, I didn't know of her until this thread, but thanks to all of you here I've now got a pot of her bolognese sauce simmering in the kitchen. I've still got about 4 1/2 hours to go before it's done (!), but it's raining here in Tokyo and I can't imagine a better way of spending a rainy afternoon than this.

RIP Ms. Hazan. I wish I'd known about your recipes sooner, but I guess it's never too late to start catching up.
posted by misozaki at 10:55 PM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, just saw this. I love her recipes and will be cooking them until I pass on myself. One of the few books I took with me when I moved from the U.S. to Japan was "Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking."

As a very worthy, also simple companion to the simple sauce mentioned above, I recommend trying the tomato sauce with heavy cream. It is incredible (like so many of her recipes). With homemade ravioli it is absolutely sublime.

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RIP Marcella!
posted by dubitable at 6:29 AM on October 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Have cooked her recipes for decades. As my kids have grown up and left home we got them their own copies. The thing about her cookbooks is that there are no duds - every recipe is terrific. I cannot think of any other cookbook I own that has no misses. So many standards in our household came out of her books.
posted by leslies at 6:59 AM on October 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


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posted by ersatzkat at 5:19 AM on October 2, 2013


Holy shit, I just made the sauce mentioned in the OP.

RIP Marcella, I'm going to look into the rest of your work. My mouth thanks you.
posted by codacorolla at 3:44 PM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just made this sauce as well and, yes, it's a great sauce, much less acid and stringent than the tomato sauces I'm used to. The butter seems to neutralise the acidity of the tomatoes, also leaves a rich, creamy aftertaste to the sauce.

Will make again.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:36 AM on October 6, 2013


As I mentioned above, I've always made the next recipe in the book -- the one with carrots and celery and onion and olive oil.

Tonight I cracked open the book for the butter and onion version (it's simmering now, and smells really good) and I would like to note that the text does not specify the type of onion to use (red, white, yellow, or brown) --- it simply reads "1 medium onion, peeled and cut in half."

So my advice about using red onion, if that's what you have?

RED ONION IS CANON, BITCHES.
posted by notyou at 6:47 PM on October 11, 2013


But I am telling you that a proper sweet onion, by which I mean a Vidalia, is sex sauce without feeling unhygenic.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:37 PM on October 11, 2013


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