(Reuters) - Marcella Hazan, whose cookbooks brought the rich taste of authentic Italian food into kitchens across the United States, has died at the age of 89, her family said.

Hazan lived in Longboat Key, Florida, with her husband and lifelong collaborator and writing partner Victor. Her death was announced by her daughter-in-law Lael Sara Caplan Hazan on her Facebook page.

"The world of authentic home cooking has lost a giant today. My mother-in-law Marcella Hazan, melted away peacefully, my father-in-law Victor, was at her side," Caplan Hazan wrote.

Marcella Hazan was born in Italy in 1924, moving to the United States with her husband after World War Two. She claimed that she did not really learn how to cook until she was married and living in New York.

She taught her first cooking class when she was in her mid-40s and the first of her six cookbooks, "The Classic Italian Cookbook," was published when she was nearly 50, according to epicurious.com.

Perhaps her most famous recipe - tomato sauce - exemplified her culinary philosophy of simplicity. It required a can of peeled plum tomatoes, five tablespoons of unsalted butter, one small white onion and salt.

Asked in an interview with epicurious.com what she believed the keys to success were for the home cook was, she replied "taste. That is very important. They don't have to do very complicated things. And good ingredients."

Among the garlands she received over a long career as both a cookery teacher and author were a James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award and a knighthood in her native Italy.

(Reporting by Tim Gaynor; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Eric Walsh)

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