MORE CLASSIC ITALIAN COOKING by Marcella Hazan
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MORE CLASSIC ITALIAN COOKING

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Marcella Hazan's Classic Italian Cookbook (1976), which concentrated on the food of Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna, was distinguished by a ""less is more"" culinary purism which is in fact characteristic of those regions. Many of the offerings in this second volume show the same insistence on understated effects and clearcut flavors. Absolutely no silly ""gourmet"" touches impinge on Mrs. Hazan's lemon-flavored roast chicken, her soup of potatoes, arugola, and stale bread flavored with nothing else but good olive oil and black pepper, her devastatingly simple potato salad, or her zucchini and onions sauteed in butter with no ""secret ingredients"" or distracting seasonings. However, this volume also goes further afield in quest of some regional specialities designed to please those who hanker after exotica--especially robust and spirited exotica. There is a somewhat toned-down version of the lusty Sicilian farsumagru, with a pork stuffing sewn inside beef braciole, a lovely range of pastas and pasta sauces, an artichoke pie with a ricottabased pastry crust, and a really glorious assortment of breads and dumplings, notably the fiat chewy breads known as focaccie. Even more valuable than the recipes are the sidelights on the raison d'être of good cooking provided in Mrs. Hazan's introduction: ""Temperature is a vehicle for flavor, just as air is for sound""; ""I am very skeptical of dream kitchens""; ""Why is entertaining becoming a synonym for cooking?"" Good food and good sense; a magnificent work.

Pub Date: Oct. 23rd, 1978
Publisher: Knopf