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Nigellissima: Easy Italian-Inspired Recipes Hardcover – February 12, 2013
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An Observer Best Book 
A Sunday Times Best Book 
“Easy style, friendly chatter, simple directions, short list of ingredients and delicious results.”
“Italy has clearly formed Ms. Lawson’s palate, but this book incorporates her British, American and working-parent cooking habits to produce a friendly mix of recipes…. Modern, accurate and useful.”
—Julia Moskin, The New York Times
“The cuisine of Italy puts the author in a playful mood and the results are delightful. This feels like her freshest book since How to Eat 13 years ago…. Every page sparkles with her infectious desire ‘to be Italian.’”
—The Sunday Times (Best Book)
“Expect bold, attractive flavours and well-presented instructions.”
“Nigella is positively Sophia Lorenesque here, which fits rather nicely with the food—a kind of naturalised Notting Hill version of Italian dishes.”
—Tom Sutcliffe, The Independent
“Nigella deals with the question of authenticity in a characteristically intelligent, crisply argued and well-written way.”
—The Guardian --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
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
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
Spelt Spaghetti with Olives & Anchovies
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
<< MEAT, FISH AND FOWL >>
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
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
<< VEGETABLES & SIDES >>
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
Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes
<< SWEET THINGS >>
Figs with Honey-Cream & Pistachios
Iced Berries with Limoncello White Chocolate Sauce
Instant Chocolate-Orange Mousse
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
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
Chocolate Pasta with Pecans & Caramel
<< AN ITALIAN INSPIRED CHRISTMAS >>
Gorgonzola & Cannellini Dip with a Tricolore Flourish
Panettone Dressing Squares
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
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
Fig & Olive Chutney
Panettone French Toast
Cranberry & Pistachio Biscotti
Chocolate Nougat Cookies
Cinnamon Almond Cake
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Storybook full of funny notes and family stories and amazing recipes I use her cookbooks all the time this is one of my favorites.