Marcella Hazan Dies; Cookbook Author Was 89

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Marcella Hazan, a native of Italy who was best known for penning six cookbooks, passed away yesterday morning at her home in Florida. She was 89 years old.

Hazan's books were translated to English by Victor, her husband of 57 years, and focused on simple Italian recipes that could easily be whipped up any amateur chef.

Marcella Hazan Book

She was an advocate of salt and a critic of garlic.

"The unbalanced use of garlic is the single greatest cause of failure in would-be Italian cooking," Hazan wrote in her 2004 cookbook "Marcella Says..." "It must remain a shadowy background presence. It cannot take over the show."

Marcella graduated from the University of Ferrara with a doctorate in natural sciences and biology and married Victor in 1955.

She got into cooking after an instructor dropped out of a Chinese cooking class and the students asked her to teach them how to make Italian meals instead.

After that, she started to offer classes from her New York City apartment, a side gig that turned into a lifelong business.

Hazan's son and his wife run a cooking school in Verona and have made appearance on The Today Show.

"The world of cooking has lost a giant today," daughter-in-law Lael Hazan Tweeted Sunday afternoon after Marcella's passing.

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