Customer Reviews: Nigellissima: Easy Italian-Inspired Recipes
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VINE VOICEon March 27, 2013
I have made just one dish from this book -- the Italian Tray Bake -- and it turned out great. It's a simple recipe that calls for roasting chicken, Italian sausages and potatoes all in one tray. Easy and delicious.

I normally would not leave a review for a cookbook which I've made only one recipe for, but I made an exception for two reasons: 1) I see no other reviewer has yet to list all the recipes 2) I have flagged so many recipes for this cookbook that I want to try so I thought this book warranted it.

Here's a full list:

<< PASTA >>
Sicilian Pasta with Tomatoes, Garlic & Almonds
Pasta with Zucchini
Yellow Spaghetti
Curly-Edged Pasta with Lamb Ragu
Green Pasta with Blue Cheese
Fettuccine with Mushrooms, Marsala & Mascarpone
Mini Macaroni & Cheese All'Italiana
Quick Calabrian Lasagna
Spaghettini with Lemon & Garlic Bread Crumbs
Tortelloni Minestrone
Spelt Spaghetti with Olives & Anchovies
Back-to-Black Spaghetti
Squid Spaghetti
Pasta with Mackerel, Marsala & Pine Nuts
Shrimp Pasta Rosa
Spaghetti with Tuna, Lemon & Arugula
Sardinian Couscous with Clams
Chili Crab Risotto
Pasta Risotto with Peas & Pancetta
Farro Risotto with Mushrooms

Lamb Cutlets with Mint, Chili & Golden Potatoes
Lamb Steaks with Anchovies & Thyme
Butterflied Leg of Lamb with Bay Leaves & Balsamic Vinegar
Pork Chops with Fennel Seeds & Allspice
Pork Loin with Parma Ham & Oregano
Venetian Stew
Beef Pizzaiola
Tagliata for Two
Shortcut Sausage Meatballs
Sausages with Beans & Roasted Red Peppers
Monkfish Wrapped in Rosemary, Lemon & Parma Ham
Squid & Shrimp with Chili & Marjoram
Cod with Broccolini & Chili
Italian Tempura Shrimp
Tuscan Tuna Tartare
Italian Tray Bake
Chicken Under a Brick
Chicken with Tomatoes & Peppers
Chicken with Tarragon Salsa Verde
Italian Roast Chicken with Bell Peppers & Olives

Baby Eggplant with Oregano & Red Onion
Green Beans with Pistachio Pesto
Cherry Tomatoes with Olives
Peas with Pancetta
Roast Butternut with Sage & Pine Nuts
Braised Fava Beans, Peas & Artichokes with Thyme & Mint
Roast Red Onions with Basil
Spinach Baked with Ricotta & Nutmeg
Savoy Cabbage with Potatoes, Fennel Seeds & Taleggio
Garlic Mushrooms with Chili & Lemon
Roast Brussels Sprouts with Rosemary, Lemon & Pecorino
Broccolini with Parmesan & Lemon
Sicilian Cauliflower Salad
Cannellini Beans with Rosemary
Italian Golden Lentils
Gnocchi Gratin
Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes
Saffron Orzotto
Mock Mash
Tuscan Fries

Figs with Honey-Cream & Pistachios
Iced Berries with Limoncello White Chocolate Sauce
Instant Chocolate-Orange Mousse
Sambuca Kisses
Licorice Pudding
Panna Cotta Three Ways
Vanilla Panna Cotta
Coffee Panna Cotta
Nutella Panna Cotta
Mascarpone & Ricotta Crepes with Rum-Steeped Strawberries
Vanilla Mousse with Berries & Pistachios
Meringue Gelato Cake with Chocolate Sauce
Chocolate Sauce
One-Step No-Churn Coffee Ice Cream
Double Amaretto Semifreddo with Golden-Gleaming Sauce
Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake
Italian Apple Pie
Apricot & Almond Crostata
Ruby-Red Plum & Amaretti Crumble
Yogurt Carton Cake
Chocolate Olive Oil Cake
Italian Breakfast Banana Bread
Aniseed Shortbread
Chocolate Pasta with Pecans & Caramel

Prosciutto-Wrapped Grissini
Crab Crostini
Gorgonzola & Cannellini Dip with a Tricolore Flourish
Panettone Dressing Squares
Parmesan Shortbreads
Polenta Triangles with Chili Tomato Sauce
Chili Tomato Sauce
Tomatoes, Mozzarella & Basil, My Way
Pappardelle with Chestnuts & Pancetta
Hearty Whole Wheat Pasta with Brussels Sprouts, Cheese & Potato
Mountain Macaroni
Pork Belly Slices with Chili & Fennel Seeds
Turkey Breast Stuffed with Italian Sausage & Marsala-Steeped Cranberries
Italian Roasted Potatoes
Romanesco with Rosemary, Garlic, Lemon & Pecorino
Renaissance Salad
Fig & Olive Chutney
Spaghetti Spice
Panettone French Toast
Cranberry & Pistachio Biscotti
Chocolate Nougat Cookies
Chocolate Salami
Cinnamon Almond Cake
Cappuccino Pavlova
Italian Christmas Pudding Cake
No-Churn Chestnut Ice Cream
Eggs in Purgatory
Pasta & Lentils

I have to agree with the reviewer who said the dessert recipes really shine in this book. I think that this cookbook is a perfect fit for my individual "dessert personality" as I have bookmarked virtually every dessert! Admittedly I do have a very sweet tooth, so your mileage may vary. But what I like about Nigella's dessert recipes is that they are refined and somewhat sophisticated without being too fussy or intimidating -- they are a little different from your normal dessert collections. For example, there are three no-churn frozen ice creams or desserts for which you don't need an ice cream maker -- a coffee ice cream, a double Amaretto Semifreddo, and a chestnut ice cream. All 3 versions of her panna cotta also look delicious, especially the one made with Nutella.

Another nice thing is that Nigella gives a short introduction to each of the recipes in which she describes her own history with the dish and/or its place within her own family's everyday eating. And she will sometimes list substitutions or options. For example, in her intro to Meatzza, she says that it is the number one requested dish in her home where there are teenage kids. Meatzza is a ground beef, tomato and cheese dish made to look like a pizza! As for alternatives, for example, she tells you how to make the panna cotta using either gelatin sheets or powdered gelatin. That's the thoughtfulness that I really appreciate with Nigella.

Last but not least, every recipe is accompanied by a picture of the dish. While not absolutely essential in a cookbook, it really does help when preparing a dish.

In the past, when I saw a review that listed all the recipes, I wondered why someone would do that. Only later on did I realize that sometimes, even with Amazon's "Look Inside" the book feature, there is no way to know what the full list of recipes is, as was the case with Nigellissima. In case you're wondering, no, I did not type all these recipe titles out. I have the electronic epub version of this cookbook and, using Sigil, an epub editor, I simply exported the recipe list to a Word document and then copied and pasted it to this review.

Every recipe book listed on this site should have a full listing of the recipes included. I don't know why they don't do that.

By the way, if you have an iOS device, there is a free app called "Nigellissima" (same name as the cookbook) you can download from iTunes. It includes 15 of the recipes from this cookbook, including the Tray Bake that I made and the Amaretto Semifreddo that I plan to make. So you can try out some of her recipes before you buy the book. It's terrific that she gives this app away free. This is just another example of how thoughtful Nigella is about her cooking and her followers.

So I hope this list helps some others out. If you are into desserts, then I think you will love this cookbook.
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I couldn't wait. Nigella Lawson's Italian cookbook was released this fall in the UK, but the US version isn't scheduled to publish here until next spring. Really, you think I could control myself that long? Of course not. So I bought the UK version (I'm not scared off by kilos rather than pounds), and I've been cooking from it for a few weeks.

Nigella describes the book as "instant Italian inspiration" and it does follow her premise that good food is worth quality time, but not so much of it that you forget to enjoy the dinner party (or just family dinner) you put together. It's not all 30-minute-meals, but there is a sense of you having OTHER things to do besides spend the day in the kitchen.

There are long-ish chapters devoted to pasta; flesh, fish & fowl; vegetables & sides; sweet things; and an Italian-inspired Christmas (which could be called ..."or other holiday meal"). So far, I've made three dishes. "Meatza" is a no-bread-dough pizza. It's basically ground beef as the crust (think: very thin meatloaf) with pizza toppings piled on top: tomato sauce, mozzarella, fresh basil. That worked fine for a midweek meal, and I bet it'd be a hit in any household with picky eaters. I also made a dinner of her pork chops with fennel seeds and allspice (which is just as good as it sounds) accompanied by spinach baked with ricotta and nutmeg (which was truly yummy, as well as super-easy). I have my eye on several other recipes, such as Taliata for Two (steak with cherry tomatoes and an oil-vinegar-chili sauce) and roast butternut squash with sage (with a bit of Gorgonzola, she says, it's suitable as a main course rather than a side dish, particularly when served with her Italian golden lentils... though I'm not sure I have seen Castlluccio lentils here in the U.S.). My Thanksgiving stand-around-and-nibble-something-with-the-beer appetizer was almost the Gorgonzola and cannellini (bean) dip served with raw red pepper, sugar snap peas, and cauliflower.

There are, however, plenty of recipes that make me think, "That's nice, but I know I'm not going to make it." Some of these are my own food preferences (I'm not fond of lamb for instance) but others are just... shrug. You may feel differently, of course.

Bottom line: This is a solidly good cookbook, but only "very good" and not quite as wonderful as Nigella Express: 130 Recipes for Good Food, Fast, or Feast: Food to Celebrate Life, or Nigella Christmas, any of which I'd recommend as a better choice as your first Nigella Cookbook. On the other hand, there's nothing at all wrong with "solidly good," especially if you love Italian food. If you like her other cookbooks, you'll like this one, too.
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on February 19, 2013
Nigellissima is an absolutley wonderful cookbook! I have had it for awhile, and only just realized that that I have been cooking habitually from it ever since it was purchased. The results have all been great, and everyone is loving all of the delicious Italian inspired meals! Nigella Lawson is truly a gift to home cooks, her recipes are simple, yes, but they always turn out special as well. They break up the repetition of the working week and allow you to prepare really special dishes when entertaining for freinds or for big specail occasions. Here, we get Italian twists on Nigella's ideas, and they are all fantasitc!
The pasta section alone would make this book a keeper. The Pasta with Zucchini reads really simple on the page, but the taste is out of this world! We wolf that one down at least once a week. The Chocolate Olive Oil Cake has become my go to cake for entertaining. It is dead easy to make, but it has such a beautiful texture and real depth of flavor. Meatzza is a firm favorite with the kids and so is the Pasta Risotto with Peas and Pancetta. TheItalian Roast Chicken with eitehr the Saffron Orzotto or the Gnocchi Gratin is the perfect show stopper for entertaining. Other favorites include: Sicilian Past with Tomatoes,Garlic,and Almonds, Yellow Spaghetti, Quick Calabrian Lasgana,Farro Risotto, Spaghettini with Lemon and Garlic Breadcrumbs, Tortelloni Minestrone, Spaghetti with Tuna, Lemon and Arugula, Tagliata for Two, Iced Berries with White Chocolate Sauce, Vanilla Mousse with Berries and Pistachios, No Churn Coffee Ice Cream, Yogurt Pot Cake, Apricot and Almond Crostata, Panettone Stuffing Squares, Cinnamon Almond Cake, and No Churn Chestnut Ice Cream. I know this looks like a huge list, but it is an honest account of all the things we have made and enjoyed multiple times.
As ever, the writing is witty and engaging, the book has lovely pictures, and the layout is easy to follow. This is a strong offering from one of the world's best food writers. Highly recommended!
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on February 17, 2013
Okay, I'm Italian-American, so I tend to be enthusiastic about Italian food to begin with.

I'm also a huge Nigella fan.

And I totally love what Nigella has come up with in this about-to-be instant classic ... a beautiful and wonderful take on Italian food from her unique (and much beloved!) perspective.

I just got the book last night and I already see so many things I want to make right now, this minute ... Calabrian Lasagna, Green Pasta with Blue Cheese, Tomatoes/Mozzarella/Basil - My Way, Chocolate Pasta with Pecans and Caramel ... to name just a very few!

Plus the layout is beautiful and really readable - one recipe per page with a nice clear ingredients list and a very-helpful bolding for the key parts of the instructions. Fantastic photos (as usual with her books) and all of her excellent asides ... the things that make a Nigella book a Nigella book in the first place.

And no repeated recipes ... everything here for the first time in book form. (A few are from articles, she says. But they're all brand-new to me.)

And it's a lovely book too. The cover is lovely.

All around a million per cent recommended!
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on March 12, 2013
I have been a fan of Nigella's since I first saw her on the Food Network years and years ago. I own all of her cookbooks and have cooked out of them over the years. Her recipes are all winners. When I heard she was doing an Italian cookbook, I couldn't wait to see it. Like her other books, they use easy to find ingredients. The photos are beautiful another plus for this book. She uses fresh ingredients that you can find in a grocery store or online nowadays. Her recipes are not the kind that you have to use every pot in the house to do one dish. This was another plus for me.

I am very picky about cookbooks I buy, if there is only one recipe I want then I go to my local library to borrow it. With Nigella's books especially this one, there are so many I could cook a new one each night and never get bored. This book is even perfect for people who don't cook but love to look at beautiful cookbooks.

If you are an old fan of Nigella's or a new one, this book is worth purchasing. I know there will be people who are food snobs who will say they aren't authentic Italian recipes. So what! Authentic or inspired just another way to look at recipes. Some of the most delicious food I have ever eaten weren't authentic to the cuisine but inspired by the cuisine. Nigella Lawson writes for those of us who aren't CIA graduates but people who love to cook at home for people we love. This book is another incentive to get people to love going into their kitchens and cooking for family and friends. So yes, I highly recommend this book and hope whoever buys it will enjoy it as much as I am. Thanks Nigella for hitting another one out of the ball park.
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on February 20, 2014
Have tried about a dozen of her recipes thus far. Everyone a hit. Clear instructions with style that makes reading a recipiie enjoyable. Ingredients are reasonable so you don't have to camp out at a specialty store and get stuff you might only use one a year.
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on March 24, 2013
I give Nigella's latest book top marks, this is one of her best cookbooks right along with Forever Summer, and Nigella Express, although this book is even better than those two excellent books of hers. There are some really interesting, and wonderful looking recipes, so many wonderful looking recipes to choose from, and lots that I plan on making in the very near future. The book only just arrived a few days ago, so I haven't had a chance to make lots of things, but I did make the chicken with with tomatoes, peppers , I had orzo and Basmasti rice , and Nigella's cherry tomatoes and olives ( briefly cooked with some garlic oil and other ingredients), both recipes were very good. My husband and I really liked the chicken recipe and the salad witht the tomatoes and ( pitted) olives, they were both very tasty, and very nice comfort food, and there are loads more recipes I plan on trying. This is a very lovely cookbook which is beautifully printed and it lovely photographs.
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on October 15, 2013
If you know about Nigella Lawson, you will soon figure out that she's a home cook, which makes sense as to why people like her presentation, she truely does enjoy cooking for her family and friends. She became a person with a voice on cooking after a career as a journalist, if you can believe, but it's her delivery that puts the home cook at ease. Her motto is simply use what you have on hand and enjoy the process.
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on February 5, 2014
This is as easy as it gets. Lovely, simple recipes and great writing by Nigella! If you haven't seen her shows, look her up on the Food channel as she just seems to enjoy herself in her kitchen and telling tails of Italy!
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on March 2, 2013
Even if you never cook anything from this book, it's enjoyable reading, but I've made three recipes so far: Tuscan fries, farro risotto, and chocolate olive oil cake. The fries were easy, crisp, and delicious, even though I had my reservations about putting the potatoes into cold oil. The risotto was unlike anything I've ever eaten, but it's great. I had to take the lid off to let some liquid evaporate, but that's no big deal. I forgot to buy the Marsala for this recipe, so I substituted vermouth with a splash of brandy, so it may be even better with the Marsala. I don't see how, though. The cake was delicious also, especially when eaten warm and sprinkled with powdered sugar. It's not exactly health food, but three of the main ingredients are almonds, olive oil, and cocoa, so I'd say it's healthy as far as cakes go. I really like how Nigella writes her books, and I'm glad I added this one to my collection. Check out her Nigellissima tv series if you can.
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