39 of 47 people found the following review helpful
Good for entertaining, especially for the desserts,
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This review is from: Nigellissima: Easy Italian-Inspired Recipes (Kindle Edition)Nigella Lawson is an inventive cook and writer with a definite flair and a big following. This is her take on Italian food, which is not what any expert in Italian cuisine would call authentic, but it is hearty, relatively simple and has Nigella's flair for the unusual while using basically off-the-shelf ingredients. Nothing too exotic here except for black ink pasta.
This book is heavy on the pasta, and heavy means also cream, evaporated milk, and even almonds thrown into a fresh tomato sauce. There are a few lighter pasta recipes (a pasta with canned tuna, lemon and arugula, one with breadcrumbs and a zucchini pasta that is not overly cheesed and creamed up) but most of the recipes have cheese or cream, and in my opinion are more suited to main courses due to their richness.
The meats feature lamb (not easily obtained in the US, sad to say) but also chicken under a brick--a very good way to cook a moist bird. Even the vegetables, however, are laden with pancetta or pesto or ricotta and eggs. Hardly a salad to be seen (but, you know already how to make a salad.)
The "Italian Christmas" section is hardly recognizable as an Italian Christmas, but has some good recipes for appetizers (a parmesan shortbread) and a very nice stuffed turkey breast with Italian sausage and dried cranberries. It requires a boned, butterflied turkey breast, but this recipe is useful and can be modified; and turkey breast is convenient when you want a holiday feast but do not want to roast a whole bird. This method keeps the turkey moist, and it is an elegant presentation. There are a lot of cookie recipes as well (biscotti and a chocolate "salami".)
The desserts are possibly the reason to buy this book. I found several desserts I really want to make for company; a coffee-flavored "cappuccino" pavlova (meringue cake), berries in white chocolate sauce and limoncello, and three panna cotta puddings, including a nutella panna cotta.
Overall, this book has good recipes for entertaining and the recipes aren't difficult. They are rather heavy on fatty ingredients and reflect a taste for hearty, filling, savory foods rather than light and fresh. As such, I think you'd be using this in winter oftener than for summer entertaining. I think this book fits well on your bookshelf for dinner party ideas and if you already like Nigella Lawson, you'll like this book. Dieters, fair warning, stay away.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 13, 2013 11:36:02 AM PST
Posted on Mar 16, 2013 10:29:50 AM PDT
Lelia Marshall says:
Lamb may not be readily available in your part of the US. However, here in California, it is easily found in every major grocery store. I could eat it nightly if I wanted to.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 16, 2013 10:31:18 AM PDT
Joanna Daneman says:
California is blessed with some of the best dairy, meat and produce in the US. But that's not the norm throughout the country. Enjoy!
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 17, 2013 2:18:45 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 17, 2013 2:19:50 PM PDT
Agreed w/Leila Marshall....and lamb is readily available at such obscrure stores as COSTCO and TRADER JOES both of which are national chains....Lamb is a significant US meat product as well.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 17, 2013 6:52:57 PM PDT
Joanna Daneman says:
We have frozen NZ or Aussie lamb or packaged in plastic but it doesn't look right to me. Our Amish butchers have it by special order. Where all the American lamb goes, I'll never know.
Posted on Aug 4, 2013 4:43:46 AM PDT
Hatti Topolnak says:
We live in Pennsylvania - all of our grocery stores, Sams, Costco, and Walmart carry lamb. I love this cookbook.
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