- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Clarkson Potter; First Edition edition (February 12, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 077043701X
- ISBN-13: 978-0770437015
- Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 1 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 95 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Nigellissima: Easy Italian-Inspired Recipes Hardcover – February 12, 2013
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Americans trolling for something novel in Italian cookery need look no further than Lawson’s latest book, which displays with vivid photographs her unique take on fast, simple dishes. Uncompromising purists may carp that these recipes are not authentic regional Italian; Lawson aims to modernize classic Italian cookery principles to better suit contemporary kitchens. Pastas range from a beautifully baroque yet quickly prepared lasagna to a simple toss of pasta, gorgonzola cheese, fresh spinach leaves, and pistachios. Italian Americans conversant with giambotta will recognize a cousin in Lawson’s Italian Tray Bake, loaded with chicken, sausage, and potatoes. Lovely inspirations for vegetable side dishes include roasted brussels sprouts gently herbed and mock mashed potatoes made from semolina. To ensure family contentment, the author has made use of the palates of her own teenage children. A few recipes, such as a turkey breast stuffed with sausage and cranberries, make outstanding centerpieces at party buffet tables. --Mark Knoblauch
About the Author
NIGELLA LAWSON is the bestselling author of eight cookbooks, including Nigella Kitchen, Nigella Express, and Nigella Bites, which together with her television shows on the Food Network and her iPhone apps have made her a household name around the world. She is also a contributor to The Oxford Companion to Italian Literature. Nigella lives in London with her family.
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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.
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.
I always like and enjoy all of Nigella's cookbooks.
As the title indicates, these are not by and large traditional Italian recipes but are instead inspired by Italian cuisine. The book contains lots of recipes and many of them are extremely quick and easy to prepare, a boon for the busy but discerning cook. The photos might seem less than totally appealing in some instances, but they are realistic, unlike far too many cookery books that contain pictures of neatly arranged, almost raw ingredients that look nothing like the real finished dish.
My quibbles are very minor: the chocolate hazelnut cheesecake, for example, is more of a mousse than a cheesecake in texture (despite the biscuit base), but that doesn't stop it from being absolutely delicious. Perfect for grown-ups and kids alike. I'm glad I bought this book for this recipe alone!