4 of our Favorite Marcella Hazan Recipes


4 Quintessential Marcella Hazan Recipes

April  9, 2015

This week, to celebrate the launch of the Genius Recipes cookbook, we're taking a look back at a few recipes from some of the geniuses featured in the book. 

French food has Julia Child and Jacques Pépin. Mexican, Rick Bayless and Diana Kennedy. Italian? Marcella Hazan, who emigrated from Italy to the United States in her early thirties, had no cooking experience when she started, and yet rose to become one of the foremost experts on Italian cooking. She wrote seminal cookbooks, hosted television shows, and influenced a generation of Italian chefs, among them Lidia Bastianich and Mario Batali.

She believed that simple food is the best food, and we couldn't agree more.  The hallmark of her recipes is simplicity at its best—no need to gratuitously fuss about—and the results are sublime. Here are four brilliant recipes that celebrate her legacy; make them, and know that each time you do, your technique will get better and your food will be utterly fabulous. Just like Marcella.

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More: A Marcella recipe is on the cover of Genius RecipesSee how it was shot.

Rice and Smothered Cabbage Soup


Braised Celery with Onion, Pancetta, and Tomatoes


Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter


Broccoli and Potato Soup

Do you have a favorite Marcella recipe? Let us know in the comments.

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Mei Chin

Written by: Mei Chin

Let's have dinner sometime. There will be champagne and ice cream for sure; everything else is up in the air.


Samg September 8, 2018
The braised celery (above) is perfect. Other standout recipe from my teen years that I make now: the Tuscan meatloaf. Lots of mushrooms, and maybe company worthy.
Sharon April 12, 2015
I'm on a mission to cook all 466 recipes in her 'Essentials' cookbook. On Friday night I reached the 25% mark with recipe #116 'Baked Crespelle with Bolognese Meat Sauce'. Like the other 115 recipes, it worked and tasted delicious - though I must confess I was not so keen on the chestnuts boiled in red wine...
Melissa October 25, 2017
Wow. Impressive! Did you finish?
Sharon October 26, 2017
Hi! I haven’t finished. Things slowed down a bit for me that following year. But I have progressed a little further to 137 recipes, with a recent renewed zeal :) You’ve encouraged me to keep at it!
Melissa October 26, 2017

AWESOME! I actually just picked up a copy yesterday. It's been on my wishlist for years but I always got sidetracked. I'm looking forward to it. Do you blog about it?
Sharon October 26, 2017
I did. Not for a while now. Will have to do a catch up post :) The address is [email protected] Called 'At My Table'
Melissa October 28, 2017
I'll check it out. Happy cooking. I'm not sure where to start!
acmegumbo April 10, 2015
Our favorite Marcella Hazan recipes include:
1) Chicken with Vinegar (Pollo con l'Aceto (Marcella's Italian Kitchen)
2) Spaghetti with Herbs and Raw Tomato (Marcella's Italian Kitchen)
3) Drunken Pork Roast (Essentials of Italian Cooking)
4) Minestrone di Romagna (The Classic Italian Cookbook)
at Y. April 10, 2015
last night was her red and yellow bell pepper sauce with sausages, page 197 of the essentials cookbook.....if i had to say i had one favorite....this would in in the top 5...(i can't even commit to a favorite!! my book is so worn and loved)
Fairmount_market April 9, 2015
Her Bolognese sauce is our household standard, and I love her sfinciuni (Palermo stuffed pizza).
john G. April 9, 2015
Pork loin braised in milk.
Bruce B. April 9, 2015
Definitely, the Gorgonzola Sauce recipe on p194 of "Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking" is my favourite by far, and I thought I didn't like Gorgonzola! It's heaven on a plate!
Stephanie J. April 9, 2015
OMG - the rice and smothered cabbage soup (not really a soup, more like a risotto) - was so good and filling. On the second day added 1/2 lb kielbasa cut into rounds - thought I'd died and gone to heaven! Really, just rice and cabbage. I am amazed.
Corinne April 9, 2015

Marcella's pesto sauce is a favorite. Yet almost everything I have prepared from her Classic Italian Cook Book has become a standard for my family. My copy of this book which I purchased as a new bride in 1978 is well worn.
TryItSheSaid April 9, 2015
Marcella Hazan's pear cake, from the Essential NYT Cookbook is one I return to. Repeatedly amazed at its simplicity and divine results!
Brenda J. April 9, 2015
Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Italian Cooking is a regular weeknight go-to book for me. Her carbonara recipe has spoiled me for any other approach, and her pan-roasted chicken recipes are a staple in my house. Chicken with rosemary and garlic, chicken with lemon and rosemary, etc.-- I routinely make these on weeknights, using good quality chicken thighs. Her veal scallopine recipes are easily redone with thin-sliced chicken breasts if you can't get good veal (or don't do veal anyway), so I make them often as well.