Marcella Hazan

To say something “blows your dress up” means that you like it. Do you mean something else?

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No, in this case it means cabbage literally blows my dress up.

Not to be confused with someone blowing smoke up my dress, i.e., trying to fool me. Nor, when presented with a trivial choice, responding “Whatever blows your skirt up”, i.e., it doesn’t matter.

I didn’t think you were a dress-wearer, which is close-minded of me.

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Yeah, I’ve been thinking about starting a thread about RLB, who took me (via TCB) from never having baked to a decent baker.


I love her bolognese sauce but will say that this instant pot recipe (horrors!) gets me about 80 per cent of the way there in 20 per cent of the time:

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Her bolognese is absolutely delicious and worth every minute it takes to make.

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While I don’t use recipes in her books anymore these days, I have learned quite a lot just from reading Essentials. Things like cooking technique for example, which I still use. Good example is pan roasting meats, just did that a week ago. Or cooking vegetables with water and butter, or blanching to then serve as a salad.

Just by learning her techniques I’ve become much more comfortable in the kitchen experimenting with my own recipes.


What? Us sometimes find fluidity and pronoun flexibility while cooking empowering. :wink:

No horrors.

My “adaptation” of her tomato sauce is tomatoes + onion in a pressure cooker, let it rip for a while, finish with lots of butter.

(Also works for any crappy pasta sauce you need to use up — I once used up 6 jars of nonsense like this to make baked ziti for a party.)

I think the key is figuring out which parts can’t be changed and which parts benefit from adaptation.

I think the inclusion of milk and the order in which milk and wine go in have something to do with the outcome of her bolognese. Aside from that, whether it simmers for hours or gets sped up by pressure cooking is just a matter of time management.


This recipe has me curious. I’ve never used fish sauce, soy sauce and worcestershire in spaghetti sauce.

there are lots of good meat sauces and roads to get there - Like @Aubergine’s recipe this one has a different flavor profile from Marcellas I grew up with pressure cookers and appreciate how much flavor and tenderness they can provide in some dishes, and threw out mine when I got an instant pot, but that is about to be de-acquisitioned too since I havent found cooking with it as satisfying as cooking on the stove and its another clunky object. I do own pressure cookers again but they live in Ohio and its an open question whether I will ever use them.)

agree that those slow reductions make all the difference with this sauce. Its not tomato dominated.


I use Marcella (and Julia) almost biblically, i.e., I am loathe to change much in either. Yes, you can diddle around with method but IMHIO not with seasonings. (If you want to add garlic, oregano, basil, thyme, etc, go ahead but don’t call it Hazan.)

Her bolognese is legend in our home. Three grandkids were raised on it as a “whole food” containing meat, vegetables and milk, straight off a spoon. And/but I have no qualms in using that basic recipe for any protein on hand, eg left over steak or roast of any kind. Pork is divine.

The resulting lasagna is superb and not to be confused with other lasagnas that contain riccota or spinach or else.

If you have all day to play in the kitchen, her spiral roll is worth every minute. ( I first had this in Orvieto, and was blown away to find I could do it as well at home!)

Similarly, if you need a show stopper, look no farther than her Lo scrigno di Venere. Lots of steps but nothing difficult.

And we needn’t argue her simple tomato sauce, Our d-i-l brought over her newly arrived au pair from Northern Italy. i had just finished a batch of this. I gave her spoonful and she cried,
“Dio mio, I’m home!”


My mother made excellent, moist meatballs (her secret: lots of eggs), braciole, meat sauces.

I’m a little sad that she died before I discovered Marcella’s Bolognese. I would have liked to have served her some. She might have preferred her own plain meat sauce but I’m won over by Marcella’s.


I love the cabbage, and also pasta e ceci (chickpea soup).


In 2010 a few cooking friends invited me to participate in this blog:
We cooked through Essentials and Marcella commented on our posts. It was a thrill!
My favorite is the Smothered Onions Sauce for pasta.


love this!

So cool! I havent tried that one yet!

I came across this (probably bc of chowhound or HO) a couple of years ago and loved reading it – a big thanks to you and your group for sharing your journey through her cookbook.

Drooling. I’ve put the book on ‘hold’ at my library.