Questions about Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking
September 19, 2022 9:07 AM   Subscribe

I just bought this book after wanting it for a long, long time. I have two questions - the main one being: which recipes should I try, besides the obvious tomato sauce?

The first question is: which recipes to try? I am feeling a little unenthusiastic because while I know everything will be good, the recipes just look a little...boring. I've been cooking mainly Indian and Korean lately and I'm sure that's why; there's nothing novel in here and that's fine. I want to improve my technique and level of care with simple ingredients.

Second question: Her broth calls for boiling 3 pounds of bones to 2 pounds of meat. I would ignore that instruction, but this is the kind of cookbook where you don't improvise. So - what on earth are you supposed to do with the boiled meat afterwards? I can't bear to waste that much meat. There may be answers in the book and I just haven't stumbled across them yet?
posted by kitcat to Food & Drink (13 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
I've only ever made her Bolognese *yummmm* but this might help: Quintessential Marcella Hazan Recipes from Food52.
posted by nkknkk at 9:10 AM on September 19 [3 favorites]

As far as the second question, when you are making stock you really cook everything past the point of being edible. Meat turns into a kind of mushy paste without any flavor. You could try feeding it to an animal, but I really don't think there is any kind of recipe that could use it up.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 9:25 AM on September 19 [3 favorites]

I own this book. Besides the famous tomato sauce, I've also made:

- the first two aio e oio recipes
- bagna caoda
- peas, bacon and ricotta sauce
- red and yellow bell pepper sauce with sausages
- broccoli and anchovy sauce (surprisingly good)
- mortar pesto
- tuna sauce with tomatoes and garlic
- gnocchi (just the basic version)
- asparagus frittata
- panzanella
- the focaccia recipe is pretty OK as well
posted by miltthetank at 9:55 AM on September 19 [1 favorite]

I'm not positive this is in the first volume but if you're a carnivore, the pork chops "alla Modenese" are a household favorite here. They are indeed not full of surprising flavors but they're good and not much work (though they cook for a little while.)
posted by less-of-course at 9:59 AM on September 19

The milk-braised pork loin is so, sooo, delicious.
posted by la glaneuse at 10:17 AM on September 19 [2 favorites]

I am shocked every time I make the Smothered Cabbage and Rice Soup that such a simple recipe can yield such delicious results. (Also Marcella’s Bolognese is my favorite.)
posted by rebeccabeagle at 10:17 AM on September 19 [3 favorites]

The risotto with parmesan and carrots with parmesan are pretty great and my go-tos for preparing risotto and carrots.
posted by maddieD at 10:32 AM on September 19

The stunning sleeper hit is the milk braised pork. It looks horrible, you are unsure even as it enters your mouth and boom! Completely, totally delicious.

The Swiss chard with raisins and pine nuts is a great recipe. Also Pesto alla Genovese, not rocket science of course but her notes are fun. I also made her olive oil cake pretty regularly for a while, yum.
posted by athirstforsalt at 10:45 AM on September 19

Milk! Pork! Milk! Pork! Milk! Pork!
posted by ominous_paws at 11:11 AM on September 19 [2 favorites]

I had her veal scallopini with lemon last night, and it was very good.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:19 AM on September 19

Yeah, the milk-braised pork is ugly but good. Braised carrots with parmesan cheese is a very cool recipe, unexpectedly delicious. The chicken with two lemons is my default roasted chicken recipe, and there's a fish recipe called something like "a single fish cooked fish-soup style" that tastes exactly like my childhood. If you've never made croccante before, that's fun.
posted by HotToddy at 12:27 PM on September 19

So, in regards to meat wastage, I just take the most edible bits and make stuffed pasta. I grind or chop the meat with some veg and seasonings then make ravioli. The sauce is usually a bold sauce to balance out the dish.
posted by jadepearl at 1:49 AM on September 22 [1 favorite]

I am a lazy cook and the only 3 recipes I’ve made are the aforementioned tomato and butter sauce, the broiled/grilled shrimp, and the pork in milk. All 3 were delicious as written.
posted by choochoo at 11:41 AM on September 24

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