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When most people think of women who've shaped cooking in America in the past 50 years Julia Child and Lidia Bastianich are the first names to come to mind. But there's one more person to add to this list: Marcella Hazan.
Known as the Godmother of Italian cuisine, Hazan was the author of six cookbooks including the award-winning Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking and Marcella Cucina . Her death leaves behind a legacy that has shaped the way many people cook and shop in America.
Trained as a biologist, Italian-born Hazan didn't learn to cook until after she was married and had come to America back in 1955. Her culture shock at seeing supermarkets for the first time is potrayed in this lovely New York Times profile on this culinary giant.
Throughout her career she not only wrote about cooking but also taught others the secrets to authentic Italian cuisine. Her recipes for Bolognese sauce and minestrone gained many fans along the way including Mario Batali, Rachael Ray, Mark Bittman and April Bloomfield, all of which have publicly expressed sadness for her passing.
Among other things, Hazan is credited with starting the balsamic vinegar craze in America and being a strong proponent of cooking with fresh seasonal ingredients. As a tribute, her fans are sharing their favorite 'Marcella memories' on her Facebook page.
April 15, 1924 - September 29, 2013
Image via The Local Beet