Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter is a go-to recipe in many of our kitchens for good reason—it's a beloved (delicious) classic. So it's no surprise that when our Cookbook Club recently voted on the fall titles we'd cover, her Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking was a runaway favorite for October's Italian month. It's a couple of months away, but we're already gearing up for all of the pasta dishes (ravioli, rigatoni, lasagna!) and hearty soups and stews (cabbage, lentil, white bean!).
That's not the only essential book on deck though, head on to find out which books won for November and December, how we're shaking things up a bit(!), and all of the details on how to participate in the Club, too.
Those of you familiar with our Cookbook Club know that books are always selected by a member vote. This time we decide to try something a little different, every month there will be two options to choose from—one is the result of the popular vote and the other option has been selected by the Club moderators.
- Popular Vote: Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan
- Bonus Pick: POLPO: A Venetian Cookbook (Of Sorts) by Russell Norman
November: Middle Eastern
- Popular Vote: Ottolenghi Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi
- Bonus Pick: Shaya: An Odyssey of Food, My Journey Back to Israel by Alon Shaya
December: Holiday & Entertaining
- Popular Vote: How to Eat a Peach by Diana Henry
- Bonus Picks: Feast: Food to Celebrate Life by Nigella Lawson and Regarding Cocktails by Sasha Petraske with Georgette Moger-Petraske (Yes, that's two bonus picks!)
fuel for cookbook reading
how to participate
If you're new to the Cookbook Club, here's a quick primer on how to join in the fun:
1) Get the Book(s)
Buy a book or two—either online or from your favorite local bookstore. Or, if you’re not ready to commit quite yet, check them out from your local library or borrow a copy from a friend.
2) Read & Cook
Rather self-explanatory, as this is one of the most important parts of participating in a cookbook club, right? If you’re not sure where to begin, take a page from Assistant Editor (and regular cookbook reader) Katie Macdonald's playbook: she recommends reading through the entire introduction as well as 15 headnotes and recipes to get a feel for the cookbook, and then ideally, cooking at least three recipes.
3) Share Your Opinions
We chat in our Facebook group all month long! Join the Cookbook Club here and post pictures of what you bake from the books and share reviews, too. Fill everyone in on what you thought of the dish (remember to share the recipe name and even the page number, if possible). You can share photos on Instagram as well, just remember to tag them with #f52cookbookclub.
There's no need to wait until October to get in on the action. The Club is currently cooking through Vefa Alexiadou's Greece: The Cookbook (previously published as Vefa's Kitchen), and September's focus will be Alison Roman's Dining In.