Marcella Hazan has been called "The Godmother of Italian cuisine in America". Since the publication of her first book, The Classic Italian Cookbook, in 1973, Marcella's cookbooks (and before those, her cooking classes) have redefined the way Americans consider Italian cooking and cuisine. Her now classic tome, Essentials of Italian Cooking, is largely regarded as the essential reference cookbook for authentic Italian cooking.

In an era when Italian restaurants in this country meant red-checked tablecloths, eggplant parmesan, big jugs of red wine and drippy candles, Marcella changed everything. She introduced Americans to regional Italian cooking, pure flavors, fresh and varied ingredients, and the world of Italian cooking beyond spaghetti: polenta, salumi, cheese, beans, and more.

She is also credited with having introduced many Americans to the joys of balsamic vinegar, but she has since expressed regret that her endorsement kicked off such a trend that other wonderful wine and fruit vinegars have since disappeared into the shadows of balsamic. The moral: vinegar comes in many excellent forms!

Marcella is the recipient of the James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award (2000), among others. We are very glad to introduce you to her favorites.

Thanks for making my day a little more enjoyable.