by Giuliano Hazan (Author)
In Italy there are no mothers who are bad cooks. Can this be possible? In the case of Giuliano Hazan, whose mother is Marcella Hazan, yes. Marcella is the doyenne of Italian cookbook authors published in the United States. And Giuliano is no slouch, either. Though his first cookbook, The Classic Pasta Cookbook, is lamentably out of print, it is a laurel upon which he could have rested. Fortunately, Giuliano Hazan appears to be a restless man. “I learned to cook because I like to eat well,” he writes in Every Night Italian. “Satisfying food does not have to be complex or take a long time to prepare. Often the simpler it is the better it tastes, and simplicity is what Italian cooking is all about.” To this end, Hazan has compiled a collection of Italian recipes any cook can serve to any family every night of the week. He wisely opens his book with two sections: “The Italian Pantry,” a list of all the basic ingredients to have on hand, and “Some Essential Techniques,” such as chopping an onion, cutting a pepper, trimming an artichoke, and boning and filleting a chicken breast. The book is then divided by appetizers, soups, pasta and rice, fish and shellfish, meats, vegetables, salads, desserts, and menus–120 recipes total, all flavor-heightened and with an eye cocked at the clock. Chicken Braised with Porcini Mushrooms has a substantial sound, and yet you are only looking at 20 minutes of prep time and 60 minutes from start to finish, leaving plenty of time for a Insalata Caprese with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. Hazan’s version of Ribollita, the classic Tuscan soup, takes two-and-a-half hours from start to finish, but only 30 minutes to prep. The Bucatini with sausage and onions is a straight shot at 30 minutes, start to finish. Spend a little time with this book, master the recipes, and you will no doubt find yourself agreeing with Giuliano Hazan that Every Night Italian is a perfectly plausible idea.