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80 of 84 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The subtitle - instant Italian inspiration - sums it up
This isn't Nigella's best book...that is probably How To Eat: The Pleasures and Principles of Good Food (Cookery) or Nigella Christmas or How To Be A Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking. It isn't her most inventive or her most beautiful book, but if what you want is good looking, delicious, Italian inspired food that you can get to the table quickly...
Published 21 months ago by purpleheart

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Its okay a trifle overhyped
My other half likes the style and clear and concise recipes easy to follow minimum of fuss and great results.

I personally think the book is more media centric than foodie centric and a trifle overhyped for what it is.
Published 14 months ago by cm


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Nigella, 23 Jun 2013
I'm a huge fan of Nigella Lawson but don't ever watch cookery programmes as I don't think I have the time!! I stumbled across the programme that this book accompanies and found the pile of ironing shrank quite quickly! Anyway - this review isn't about my ironing. Having watched the programme I decided to pick up the book - like so many of her books this is written in a very chatty style the recipes are as ever easy to follow and delicious.

If you've never bought a Nigella Lawson book this will be a treat - if like me, you own loads this will be a treat!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great cooking ideas, 25 May 2013
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the easy way to cook (like) an Italian "mamma" with a little effort, and brilliant suggestions to "cut" some uneasy corners. Thank you Nigella!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pasta pronto and so much more, 19 May 2013
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Book is well illustrated with clear cooking guidelines, the recipes are varied and actually turn out like the photos. The red pepper and halloumi sausage recipe is an amazing mealtime treat.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bellisima!, 29 April 2013
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Written in an endearing manner, Nigella always amuses me. Add to that fine recipes around good quality ingredients with some speciality Italian goods, make this a super book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Food porn, 14 April 2013
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Very good recipes and fabulous photography on each page. All recipes do able and I'm a veggie but will make for family and friends
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect cooking companion, 21 Feb 2013
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Mr. B. W. Molley "Cheshire boy" (Cheshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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Bought for our Grandaughters birthday, from a request by her, when we gave it to her she sat for 30 minutes justing browsing the book, then stated she had found the perfect meal to cook for us, just waiting for the invitation to dinner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab, fab, fab., 15 Jan 2013
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Qwerty3 (Northants, UK) - See all my reviews
I'm new to Nigella. I've not seen any of her previous programmes or read / bought any of her previous books. However, we saw this series on TV and after a bit of consideration bought the book. What I love about this is: 1) the recipes are really quick and simple - there's nothing complex or difficult here; 2) the ingredients are largely what you have in the cupboard anyway or would buy as part of a regular shop - the only additional ingredient I've bought is Marsala wine (an Italian fortified wine (Port didn't really work)); 3) the flavour combinations are great - our favourite so far is the smoked mackerel pasta with capers and raisins - brilliant.

Recipe books are a bit like music albums - you like one song, so you buy the album and then find you don't really like any of the other songs on the album. I bought Jamie's 30 minute meals last year and have barely used more than 2 or 3 of the recipes. So far I've used 6 or 7 of the recipes (and several of those several times) and I'm still looking for opportunities to use more.

If you like cooking and you like Italian this isn't a 'pure' Italian cook book - however, if you're looking for Italian flavour that's quick, simple and tasty - this is the book for you.

By the way, Nigella's Italian roast chicken is the best I've ever done roast chicken, moist, tasty lovely.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nearly Nigella, 28 Dec 2012
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This time round, I began at last to find Nigella's screen persona resistible. In book form, though, one is spared (most of) the simpering to camera, the oh-so-sexy sumptuousness and knowing innuendo, and the food is indeed just what I like to cook and eat: colourful, tasty, not unhealthy (even at Nigella's hands!), generally pretty quick and easy.

Certainly Nigella is as literary as ever, yes, perhaps even overly so, but in the world of celebrity chefs and cooks, isn't this a quality to be cherished? At least in the book we don't have to watch her writing in a library furnished with classics in the original Italian, probably even Latin.

Perhaps though, the traditional cook's virtue of making a little go a long way is not so appropriate when applied to the art of publishing: several, if not many of the recipes here are derivative, even cheekily 'little more than opening a can' - her own words - but who cares: do we really buy books like this out of utilitarianism? And so here we are again, back to the idea of Nigella as glamour queen. Perhaps she really is as irresistible as her food!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Italian inspiration, 28 Nov 2012
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Marand (Warwickshire) - See all my reviews
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The recipes in this book aren't authentically Italian but this is not intended as criticism. The book didn't set out to be an authentic Italian cook book (try Anna del Conte, Marcella Hazan, Gennaro Contaldo for that) but is certainly inspired by Italian cuisine. I think it is well laid out and the recipes are explained clearly which makes this an ideal book for novice cooks.

There is plenty of pasta, for example mini macaroni cheese - not the usual recipe using a roux-based sauce, but a simple, quick & effective alternative. I really liked the tortelloni minestrone and the fettuccine with marsala, mushrooms & mascarpone. Other good dishes include farro risotto; lamb cutlets with mint, chilli & potatoes; lamb steaks with anchovies & thyme; pork loin with parma ham & oregano; monkfish wrapped in rosemary, lemon & parma ham; tempura prawns with an Italian twist and a tray bake of Italian sausages & chicken thighs.

There are some very nice side dishes too. I am not normally a fan of cabbage but the savoy cabbage dish with potatoes, fennel & taleggio (the cheese is optional) elevates a mundane vegetable. I tend to avoid Brussels sprouts too but there is a recipe which looks promising - the sprouts are roasted with rosemary and lemon, then sprinkled with pecorino cheese. The gnocchi gratin recipe produces a lovely, comforting dish that can be made quickly as it uses shop-bought chilled gnocchi, and the saffron orzotto (barley instead of rice in a risotto-type dish that can be made ahead) and the fabulous mock mash made with semolina rather than potatoes are excellent too.

Sweet dishes include a no-churn coffee ice-cream, cinnamon almond cake, aniseed shortbread, amaretto semi-freddo, a very quick take on chocolate mousse and meringue gelato cake (another very quick and easy recipe).

On a seasonal note, there is a whole chapter devoted to Christmas and offering a variety of dishes as an alternative to the traditional Christmas meal. This includes nibbles like polenta triangles with a chilli sauce and parmesan shortbread, an Italian inspired roast turkey stuffed with Italian sausages and Marsala soaked cranberries, plus suggestions for vegetables. There is a good selection of desserts and sweet things such as a chocolate salami, no-churn chestnut ice-cream and an alternative Christmas cake based on panettone or pandoro.

One thing I didn't spot initially, is a final section of notes tucked away at the end of the book with useful information as to whether a dish can be prepared ahead, if so to what stage, how long it will last in the fridge/freezer. This is really helpful information but it is a pity it is easy to miss.

This isn't Nigella's best book - I would put How to Eat & Feast at the top of my list - however, I don't regret buying it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Instant Italian Inspiration, 27 Nov 2012
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D. Elliott (Ulverston, Cumbria) - See all my reviews
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Nigella Lawson is already a "food writer" of numerous best selling books, and is presenter of a series of TV cookery progammes. The title `Nigellissima' proclaims her household name, and perhaps to confirm the sub-title is sufficient a review - `Instant Italian Inspiration'. In her introduction Nigella Lawson informs readers how when she was 16/17 years old she decided to be Italian - this wasn't just a passing phase as she has studied the language and worked in the country. Nigella admits to not visiting Italy as often as she'd like so she brings as much of Italy as she can into her kitchen. Nigella Lawson has long been inspired by Italian food and this latest coffee table sized book concentrates on her first love.

`Nigellissima' is divided into 5 main sections - `Pasta', `Flesh, Fish & Fowl', Vegetables & Sides', `Sweet Things' and `An Italian Inspired Christmas'. Some ingredients may be difficult to source, but most recipes are straightforward, presentation is excellent, and results are mouthwatering. Nigella writes in a style that conjures up her TV image and her inspirational appeal is to both novices and experienced cooks. The striking illustrations are somewhat darker than other similar publications, the font size can be on the small side, and text is grey and therefore not as crisp as black on white. However it is the recipes that matter - these cannot be faulted. Anyone who likes Italian food will like this book, and those who haven't tried Italian should be inspired to do so, and there are enough easy recipes to confirm the description "instant".
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Nigellissima: Instant Italian Inspiration
Nigellissima: Instant Italian Inspiration by Nigella Lawson (Paperback - 1 Aug 2013)
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