Marcella Hazan, who died on Sunday, was a great inspiration to us in our early days of cooking.  We once found her Classic Italian Cookbook lying around in a Tuscan holiday villa and spent the next fortnight experimenting and learning and having fun and eating very well.  Since then her simple, earthy recipes for Ossobuco (which she calls Oss Bus), Ragu, Rabbit or just fresh tomato sauce have been staples in our kitchen.   Similarly, her emphasis on fresh ingredients stays with us. 

 

She hardly ever used cinnamon.  Italians don't.  In Europe, cinnamon is a North/South thing.  However there is one distant but amusing link: cannelloni (the pasta, a favourite) and canela (the Italian and indeed Roman word for cinnamon) both relate to the shape of a cinnamon quill.

 

Here she is with her husband Victor.  So Fellini.