Friday, September 5, 2014

Nigellissima by Nigella Lawson

Nigellissima by Nigella Lawson

Okay, so it's another review of a cookbook by Nigella Lawson - this makes 3 - but I'm serious when I say that I can't get enough of her books! No, I'm not working for her and no one has asked me to do this - I'm a serious fan girl and as far as I'm concerned, the proof is literally in the pudding! I've only read 3 so far, but I must admit that after a recent shopping trip, I own them all now. I look forward to plunging face first into the next one and the one after that and the one after that…. What I love about Nigella's books is that they're easy to follow, enthusiastic about food and her food style suits me. What I mean by that is that there are times when I pick up a cookbook and there's nothing in it that I really want to eat, but when I pick up a book by Nigella Lawson, I pretty much want to eat most of it, sometimes even stuff I'd never eat in a million years - that's pretty good for a picky eater such as myself, but it's no doubt a tribute to her enthusiasm for cooking, tastes and the preparation of delicious food.

Italian Roast Potatoes, page 225

Spaghettini With Lemon & Garlic Breadcrumbs, page 21

Spaghetti With Spaghetti Spice, page 235

Nigellissima is different than the other books I've read by Lawson so far, Kitchen and Nigella Express. It has its own personality so to speak. I suppose it should be described as a guide to cooking like an Italian in an English kitchen - I guess you could say it's fusion.

Curly Edged Pasta With Lamb Ragù, page 9
As a young lady, Nigella Lawson spent time working in Italy and it seems to have inspired her greatly. I love the way a place and a feeling you get while you're in that place can work its way into your personality and help to shape the way the rest of your life will be. It seems Italy and its food had this effect on Nigella Lawson and thank goodness for that because the recipes in Nigellissima are nothing short of incredible. I've cooked at least half of these recipes if not more with each and every one turning out to be more delicious than the last. If I'm being truthful, there were a couple of recipes I didn't really like - they were completely edible, but just not my cup of tea. I haven't made a single dish that was thrown out from this book - the selection of recipes is that good!

Spaghetti Spice, page 235
Shortcut Sausage Meatballs, page 75

Several of the recipes in Nigellissima have been inspired by an experience or another recipe and learning about those stories is fascinating, especially if you're reading it right before you eat it. Adding in Anglo influences, Nigella has created tastes and flavors than showcase her reverence for Italy's culture, cuisine and traditions, while also reflecting her British heritage in a way that makes these recipes more accessible for all of us cooking in UK kitchens.

Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake, page 175
Cappuccino Pavlova, page 249
I love this book! It's a fast favorite and mostly because the food is so incredibly good and easy to prepare. The desserts alone are lifesavers and I take great pleasure in sharing that on three occasions I made desserts from Nigellissima and every single guest at all three dinner parties had seconds if not more. I have never seen such dessert devouring in my life until I saw it three times in three weeks, but I'm not judging - it was a happy sight to behold. On each occasion I was practically screaming Nigella's name in praise for making me look good in front of fiends and colleagues - I wonder if her ears were itching? Should you choose to purchase this book, and I would suggest that you do, don't underestimate the power of the Cappuccino Pavlova or the Chocolate Olive Oil Cake - they are pure stars and fondly enough, both are gluten free! Also, if you're not a fan of lamb, I urge you to try the Lamb Ragù on page 9 - it made a lamb lover out of me and I'm now eating lamb at least once a week after years of hating it! For more information on Nigellissima or Nigella Lawson, visit

All photos and food preparation above by Ashley Turner.

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