If you are a foodie, love food, especially Italian food, I am sure you have heard of Marcella Hazan. Her recipes call for ingredients that would actually be used in Italian kitchens. Cooks like me sing praises to her, and I often make her famous tomato sauce. Her son Giuliano, a noted cookery, writer and teacher, has recently written his fifth cookbook called Hazan Family Favorites: Beloved Italian Recipes. He rescued the recipes from a fifty-six-year-old notebook, creating a collection of eighty-five recipes for his cookbook, which were passed down from his mother, grandmothers and extended family.
Recently I was sent the cookbook by Abrams Books, and as soon as it arrived I dove in. A few recipes were familiar to me as my former mother-in-law, a chef and owner of restaurants in New Orleans, was also Italian. The Isalata Russa on page 31 for example, brought back fond memories of large family gatherings. There were other recipes like the Ham and Cheese Crespelle on page 91, that caused me to get my yellow sticky notes, which now fill many of the pages in the book.
The book is poignant, evoking fond memories of growing up in the Hazen family, and is filled with beautiful photographs of family and food. It is an excellent resource for cooking Italian at home. Giuliano Hazen owns an Italian Cooking School in Verona, Italy, where he teaches on a regular basis, so he made sure the recipes were easy to follow.
I just arrived home from Paris and Venice, and my daughter is just home for the summer from her freshman year of college. Unfortunately, she picked up a terrible 48-hour bug this week. Late yesterday she finally decided she could eat something, wanted it to be cold, and decided on Gelato.
I thought about making her the beautiful Strawberry Gelato on page 162 in Hazen Family Favorites, but after being up with her for two days, and not yet being unpacked from my trip, I opted to drive to San Gelato Cafe’ in SanDestin. With all of the amazing flavors to choose from, Caroline chose mango, and I chose strawberry. Living in Florida, the strawberry capitol of the world, I am partial to them. The luscious sweet berries, whipped to frozen perfection hit the spot. I can’t wait to try the Gelato recipe from the book, and remove one of my stickies.
- 3/4 pound fresh strawberries
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- 3/4 cup of water
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Remove the green tops from the strawberries and rinse them in cold water.
- Place the berries and sugar in a food processor and blend until pureed. Add the water and lemon juice and continue blending until all other ingredients are mixed together thoroughly.
- Whip the cream with a whisk until it begins to thicken and acquires the consistency of yogurt. Add the pureed strawberries and mix thoroughly.
- Pour the mixture into an ice-cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. Serve right away or store in an air-tight container in the freezer. It should keep for several days before crystals begin to form.
Note: Time from start to finish is 40 minutes, and the recipe makes one generous quart.