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Marcella Says    by Marcella Hazen order for
Marcella Says
by Marcella Hazen
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2004 (2004)

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Words on the front cover of Marcella Hazen's great new cookbook, Marcella Says, read 'Italian Cooking Wisdom from the Legendary Teacher's Master Classes, with 120 of her Irresistible New Recipes.' This book is a new star in the culinary sky. For those of you familiar with Marcella, I need say no more. You will rush out in droves to find this wonderful new book. Marcella states that a 'good story wants to be told and be heard again and again. It's forever, like diamonds. Or like the flavor of good home cooking.' She continues, 'In each recipe there is a story, an adventure with a beginning, a middle, and I hope a happy ending ... I have some delicious new stories to tell you.'

Living in Longboat Key, Florida now (wouldn't you love to be her neighbor?), Marcella began her teaching career in New York City in the 1960s, eventually teaching classes in Venice, Italy. She remarks 'I use my head, but I cook from my heart, I cook for flavor.' Please read the Introduction carefully, to feel Marcella's dedication to her art. She says 'if you are passionate enough to cook the pure and simple Italian way, you can eat well wherever you may be.' And don't skim through 'The Master Classes' section, which in my opinion rivals any fine textbook you could buy.

We move on now to the recipes themselves ... Crustini, Antipasti, Spuntini, and Pickles. I must mention Victor's Parmesan and Olive Oil Crostini sounds too simple to be true and proves food need not be complicated to be good and full of flavor. And the pickled Onions. Oh, my! Soups come next and one soup that would brighten any meal is Broccoli and Cannellini Bean Soup. Can anyone resist that? Not I. Or Asparagus and Shrimp Risotto. Elegant! Next is my territory - Pasta Sauces. Any here would excite my taste buds. Fresh Tuna and Zucchini Pasta Sauce is beyond my ken and I look forward to trying it. Next, Homemade Pasta and Gnocchi what dish is more marvelous than fresh pasta? Delicate and flavorful!

Fish follows Pasta Baked Lobster with Mustard and Oregano. Wow! Chicken, Veal, Beef, Lamb and Pork make their presence known just before Vegetables appear. Mashed Potatoes with Baked Onions caught my eye. Salads always interest me and Fennel and Goat Cheese Salad captured my imagination. Now we move on to what is the epitome of all cookbooks, in my estimation. Desserts. Apple Cake with Raisins and Rum. What more can one ask? Unless it's Bread Pudding with Chocolate and Apples. Marcella finishes her newest work with Gelati, Semifreddo and Marscapone. I fell in love with gelato when I was in Italy and brought that love back home with me. All those gorgeous flavors.

Keep in mind that the recipes in Marcella Says incorporate the expertise of a master chef and teacher. Real value for your time and money. Wouldn't this make a wonderful holiday gift for almost anyone on your list who likes to cook?

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