Marcella Hazan 1924-2013

Marcella Hazan, who changed the way Americans think about Italian cooking, and who feels like family in our house even though we knew her only through recipes, died yesterday. She was 89.

Here is a beautiful obituary in The New York Times.

Here is a tribute I wrote this morning for Bon Appetit.

Here is her famous Bolognese.

Here is her famous Tomato Sauce that calls for three ingredients: tomatoes, onion, butter.

Here is her famous Milk-braised Pork. (I think it might’ve been of the first post Andy ever wrote for this blog.)

Here is proof of how important she has been in our kitchen, from the moment I first heard her name in 1993.

Here is the cookbook you should buy in her honor, and cook from for the rest of your life.

Thank you, Marcella.

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Her Essentials cookbook was the only one I registered for when I got married 14 year ago. I will make her tomato sauce for dinner tonight in her honor.

eliza twist

Thanks for the introduction. I will honor her passing by purchasing her book as a Christmas gift for my husband. He is a lover of Italian cuisine thanks to his enjoyment of many meals cooked by a talent Italian chef who is also a dear friend. It sounds as if Marcella may become the sort of in home friend that we can call upon with questions day or night. Also, a much belated thank you for your book which is how I found this blog in the first place. We appreciate the practical tips and the tasty recipes (pork shoulder ragu remains the favorite thus far).


I will definitely be making her tomato sauce tonight in her honor and The Essentials cookbook has been put in the cart. Marcella will most certainly be missed.


I’ll be making roast chicken with lemons tonight. The world’s easiest, best roast chicken. Thank you, Marcella.


I made her pork in milk for supper last night and was just enjoying the first forkful of leftovers when I read this. Made her osso bucco for Christmas last year to everyone’s great satisfaction. A legacy of creating happiness – may we all be so blessed.


What you saw is what you got with Marcella. I had a rare opportunity of spending 2 days with with Marcella and Victor in pre-email Italy at their apartment in Venice. Suzanne and I posed as a yuppy couple for never used photos for her next cookbook. We were tortured with extraordinary Italian food that we couldn’t eat (rendered inedible by the food stylist). Her telephone number was listed. She had a three-tiered system for visitors who phoned; 1) if she didn’t know you but knew who had referred you—you got drinks at a nearby bar, 2) if you were an acquaintance, you might get to have dinner with them in their local restaurant (s), and 3) if you were a friend, she cooked dinner for you in their home. Loved that.


Her Bolognese is, and always has been, a tried and true favorite for us. Simmered for 5 hours, of course. A double batch in order this weekend, in her honor.
Thank you for posting this. A wonderful tribute.


Been meaning to buy Marcella’s book forever, as I always clip her recipes from magazines and newspapers. Thanks for the link!

Julie M

Jenny, thanks for the great post. Her “Essentials” cookbook was at the top of my list and I happened upon it at the thrift store a month ago (in pristine condition), someone’s loss, huge gain for me. In an ironic event, I made her minestrone tricolore soup (and her Italian choc mousse for dessert) on Sunday, before I heard the news. Cheers to Marcella, she will be missed!


We keep copies of Marcella’s “Essentials” cookbook at both our city and country homes. If you are ever lucky enough to have freshly caught bluefish on hand, the recipe on page 306 is divine.


Oh wow, I just came to read DALS after eating dinner with my family and was saddened to learn of her passing. I actually made Marcella’s roasted chicken with lemons (the BEST roasted chicken recipe ever) tonight. I’m excited to check out the links you posted and I’m going to cook a few more recipes from Essentials in her honor.

Marla Stills

Ohhh. I just made her 3 ingredient sauce last week with the last of the garden tomatoes. It is the only receipe of hers I’ve made but now, as a tribute, I’ll make some of the ones you listed. I love that tomato sauce so much I wish it was running thru my veins.

The Steady Table

Marcella was a household name when I was growing up. So much so, that I wondered if she was someone my parents actually knew personally. I remember that pork dish well, it always seemed so wrong, yet came out so right. It may or may not be because I’m pregnant that I weep as I write this. In a way I feel like I knew her personally too. RIP wonderful lady.


I finally made the milk-braised pork roast last night. What took me so long? Having the leftovers with polenta tonight. I need to get the book pronto!