Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

by Marcella Hazan

from the publisher

Loved by cooks from Nigella Lawson to Heston Blumenthal, this is THE classic of Italian cooking.

'If this were the only cookbook you owned, neither you nor those you cooked for would ever get bored.’ – Nigella Lawson

Marcella Hazan is widely regarded as one of the greatest Italian cookery writers in the world and The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking is her masterpiece. Aimed at cooks of every level, be they beginners or accomplished chefs, it is an accessible and comprehensive guide to authentic Italian cuisine and should find a place in the kitchen library of anyone who is passionate about good food.

Featuring hundreds of recipes ranging from soups, pastas and risottos, to delicious meat and vegetable dishes, The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking is an indispensable addition to any kitchen.

'Truly indispensable' – Nigel Slater

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Recommended by

Michele Cranston

Food stylist and magazine food editor

In an era when Italian food can be purchased in any supermarket aisle tinned, frozen or dried, this hefty book, filled with so much information, reminds us of what real Italian cooking is all about. Simple delicate sauces, perfectly cooked pasta, richly flavoured vegetables and a chapter on traditional baking that leaves you reminiscing about noisy Italian cafe's and bars lined with little glasses of Grappa and strong espresso's.

Debora Robertson

Food writer and editor

I reach for this book all of the time. Clear, authoritative recipes, written in Hazan's sometimes slightly bristling style - she can make Elizabeth David seem positively cuddly - but I make her simple tomato sauce (tomatoes, onion, butter and salt) and bolognaise all of the time, and cook pasta with 4 litres of water and 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt per 450g of pasta as per her very strict instructions.

Lucy Malouf

Food writer and editor

Hazan’s recipes are masterpieces of no-nonsense precision, they are utterly authentic and have no truck with trendiness. This is a classic and comprehensive collection, sourced from all regions of Italy. For me it’s the definitive work.

Jane Middleton

Editor and writer

Forget about other Italian cookbooks – this is the only one you need, as her gently authoritative tone makes clear. You could cook from this book every day without ever getting bored.

Julia Platt Leonard

Writer and Food Consultant

This is the book I turn to when I want to find out how to make the perfect risotto or pasta. She gives you all the information you need to make complex dishes doable. A real gift.

Makiko Itoh

Blogger of Just Hungry and Just Bento

The one Italian cuisine book you really need. It's not as enjoyable to read as Julia Child's Master The Art of French Cooking, but it truly gets the job done.

Diana Henry

Award-winning food writer and author. Columnist at The Sunday Telegraph

It’s hard to choose one Italian book – so many have been written – but Hazan is the queen. The recipes simply work. Nothing extraneous, no nonsense.

Valeria Necchio

Cookbook author

The starting point for anyone interested in learning more about Italian cooking, from one of the most influential food writing voices of all times.

John Becker

Food publisher

Marcella is simply the authority on Italian cooking. This is always the first book we turn to when we have a question about authentic Italian food.

Jennifer Armentrout

Editor-in-Chief, Fine Cooking Magazine

Marcella Hazan is to Italian cooking what Julia Child is to French cooking. Her deceptively simple looking recipes are so vibrantly flavorful.

Jon Bonné


Indispensible, enough said. I once cooked with Marcella for two days straight, and everything I learned with her in person is captured here.

Maria Elia


Such a hero of mine,an amazing 'encylopedia' that I refer to often, again, it's the stories that make it so special too!

Letitia Clark

Food writer

My go-to book for Italian recipes: the depth of detail is extraordinary and I trust her as I would my own Nonna.

Jenny Chandler

Food writer

My complete bible during 7 years working as a private yacht chef for a Milanese family. Everything works.

Jason Goodwin

Author and historian

The title says it all: the world’s favourite food, logically and even lyrically explained.

Peter Gordon


One of the first books I bought when I moved to the UK in 1989 and it's still great.

Francis Percival

Food Editor, The World of Fine Wine and co-founder and convenor of the London Gastronomy Seminars

Every Anglo-Saxon's introduction to Italian cooking. Still a go-to reference work.

Rita Erlich

Food writer

This is the compendium edition, bring together three wonderful books.

Liz Williams

Founder of SoFAB

Techniques that make Italian cooking doable in the home kitchen.

Lilian (Chinese Grandma)

Blogger, Chinese Grandma

Straightforward, authentic and eternal.

Myrna & Lou Donato

Bookstore owners

Authentic Italian cooking at its best.

Melissa McCart

Food writer and restaurant critic

It's my Italian cooking go-to.

Beth Lee


Like being in her kitchen ...

Thom Eagle

Chef and writer


Joan Nathan

Cookbook author and food journalist

Miss South

Freelance writer and blogger

JoAnn Cianciulli

Cookbook author and TV producer

Jayne Cohen

Cookbook author and food journalist

Candy Argondizza

ICC's Vice President of Culinary and Pastry Arts

Barbara Seelig-Brown

Cookbook Author and Host of the TV show Stress Free Cooking

Darina Allen

Owner and Founder of the Ballymaloe Cookery School

David Gelb

Creator, Executive Producer, Director

Georgia Freedman

Writer and food scholar

Jon Croft

Cookbook publisher

Molly Stevens

Cookbook author

Jonathan Hirshon

Food blogger and Tech PR

Maggie Green

Registered dietitian, chef and cookbook author

Raymond Sokolov

Food writer

Ellen Schrecker

Professor of American History and author

Karen Barnes

Editor, Delicious magazine

Thane Prince

Author and writer

Bruce Palling


Stephanie Alexander

Food writer, former restaurateur, food educator

Chantal Coady

Founder of Rococo Chocolates

Rachel Khong

Senior Editor Lucky Peach

Julie Gibbs

Publishing Director – Illustrated Books, Penguin Random House Australia

Lizzie Mabbott

Author of 'Chinatown Kitchen' and Hollow Legs

Celia Sack

Proprietress of Omnivore Books

Christine McFadden

Food writer, cookbook author and cookery teacher

Barbara-Jo McIntosh

Author and food professional

Robert McCullough

Publisher of Appetite

Nadia Arumugam

Food writer

Barbara Santich

Author and food scholar

Jeremy Lee

Executive Chef Patron, Quo Vadis, Soho

Edward Behr

Editor, The Art of Eating

Jennifer Chandler

Cookbook author and restaurateur

Aglaia Kremezi

Food writer and journalist

Amanda Hesser

CEO & co-founder, Food52

Peter J Kim

Executive director of the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD)

Martin Boetz

Cooks Co-op

Melissa Clark

Food Columnist, The New York Times

Andrew McConnell

Executive Chef and Owner

Pascale Beale

Owner and Founder of Pascale’s Kitchen

Kevin Gould

Professional Food Lover

David Joachim

Food writer

Lucas Hollweg

Food writer

Marvin J. Taylor

Director, Fales Library and Special Collections