Notable Deaths

NOTABLE DEATHS

December 18, 2008

G. Franco Romagnoli , 82

Star of 1970s Italian cooking show on PBS

G. Franco Romagnoli, who, with his wife, Margaret, helped introduce Americans to authentic Italian home cooking on the 1970s PBS series The Romagnolis' Table and in a series of best-selling cookbooks, died Monday in Boston.

His son Marco confirmed the death but did not give a specific cause.

At a time when many Americans believed that spaghetti with meatballs was an Italian dish, Mr. Romagnoli, a Roman by birth and upbringing, translated the basics of Italian cooking on a low-key show that emphasized simple dishes made with restraint.

He did his best to shatter old myths, including the idea that pasta required a tomato sauce bubbling on the stove for hours on end. "That's as un-Italian as you can get," he protested in an interview with The Christian Science Monitor. "Ninety percent of pasta sauces are made by the time you bring that pasta to a boil."

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