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on 28 December 2012
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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on 12 July 2014
I'm love Nigella's cookbooks because they're idiot proof for people like me who love to cook, but aren't gifted enough to just whip something amazing together from whatever is lying around in the kitchen. I need guidance. Her instructions are clear and her ingredients are basic. For most recipes if I don't already have all the necessary ingredients at home, then I don't have to go to a specialist shop to find them.

This Italian cookbook is arguably the best to show off all the things I love about her books. Is it 'proper' Italian? No, not really. But what it is a a collection of delicious, idiot-proof and simple Italian-esque recipes. I've tried 10 different recipes so far and each has been a winner. Surprisingly, my favourite has been the no churn coffee ice cream. So easy, but feels like a decadent final course with friends over and served with espresso.
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on 13 September 2012
I am an unashamed Nigella fan; my desert island cookery book would be "How To Eat"! However, I was sceptical about whether this book would inspire. I love Italian cookery but did I really need a new Italian cookery book? The answer is a resounding yes.
Let's get straight to the food. I love the simplicity of Yellow Spaghetti, beautifully golden due to saffron, marsala and cream. Prawn Pasta Rosa uses Rosato Vermouth to provide a delicate pink blush and sweetness - yes, we will all be buying it this weekend! I am bowled over by the thought of broccoli with lemon and parmesan. Why did I never think of that?!
I have made Iced Berries with White Chocolate sauce before (a Mark Hix recipe) but Nigella has speeded up the sauce-making and added several splashes of limoncello - brilliant! The Italian Christmas Pudding Cake looks very impressive and I know that Tuscan Fries will disappear very quickly in my house. And Liquorice Pudding? Not for me but friends are buying the Italian liquorice pellets, even as I write...
As always, Nigella's passion for cooking and eating is infectious and her recipe notes are like a chat with a friend. There are recipes for confident and less experienced cooks. The food photography is simple but elegant.
I am off to make a batch of Aniseed Shortbread and a Yoghurt Pot Cake; what better to accompany a strong Italian expresso. This book is a complete pleasure...
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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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on 25 July 2013
I was looking forward to new recipes from Nigella and was bitterly disappointed. There are so many recipes in this book that I recognised from her earlier books. I was also surprised to see that she uses more and more canned food items for her recipes when there are so many fresh ingredients available. I realise they are shortcuts, but I do not expect this from Nigella. Otherwise I might have bought Delia Smith's latest book! And she doesn't pay any attention to seasonality! I know we all love our tomato, mozzarella and basil salad but to put this into the Christmas dinner suggestion when tomatoes are at its worst? Saying all that, there are some wonderful recipes like the Chocolate Olive Oil Cake, there are lots of helpful tips and I love the layout of the book. If you are new to Nigella, buy her Nigella Bites first and I can also recommend How to be a Domestic Goddess.
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on 2 October 2012
I am really enjoying Nigellissima, and love the recipes that I have cooked so far. With her last few books being really big, and spanning the globe as far as inspiration for recipes, it does feel different, if not a little refreshing, to find her in a single focus here. The book is extremely well writtten and photographed and is both a practical manual as well as an inspiring read. Of course it also features Nigella's magic prose and does give you great ideas on making your daily cooking have an intriguing Italian flair.

Of course it's the recipes that really count, and these are fantastic. People can complain all they want about Nigella's TV shows, but the fact is she is probably the best and most useable cookery writer out there. Her recipes and methods always work. More than that, they are doable at home and always feel just the right side of elegant and special. The recipes in this book are no exception, and have been both easy to create, but a wonderful treat for dinner or dessert.

Favorites so far include; Meatzza, Quick Calabrian Lasagna, Yogurt Pot Cake, Tortelloni Minestrone, Iced Berries with White Chocolate and Limoncello Sauce, Tagliata for Two, Tuscan Fries, Italian Roast Chicken, No Churn Chestnut Ice Cream, and the Sicilan "Telephone Chord" Pasta. There are many more that look really tempting and that I can't wait to try.

I think people's expectations may have been different than what was intended here. Many people are complaining that these recipes aren't authentic enough. She goes into great detail to explain that her intent was not to give exactly authentic recipes, but rather, how to use ingridients and ideas from Italy to inspire your cooking. I have read many authentic Italian cookery books, and they have all been great. However, I never cook from them. They either have too many ingridients that we can't get, or are processes that I would never do at home. Nigellissima gives you fantastic recipes, encourages you to find lesser known but still easily sourced ingridients, and allows you to cook and serve wonderful Italian inspired food to your family and freinds.

I think it is a great book and highly reccomend it!
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on 24 October 2012
Was watching Nigella doing a pea & pancetta risotto using Orzo pasta and I remembered that I'd bought some Orzo then didn't know what to do with it! After the show I thought I had to try her recipe, it looked simple to make and tasty, not full of hard to find ingredients either as so many recipes are.

Thanks to the wonders of Amazon and their Kindle edition books, I was able to get the book in under two minutes and get cooking. Worth every penny, as it's full of easy to make recipes, which are both fresh and tasty and I love her style which makes things easier to cook. Anyway, in no time at all I was able to get the pea and pancetta pasta risotto on the table and it was great, creamy, tasty and fresh. I'll be making this again that's for sure!

I also liked the commentary you get throughout the book, well written and interesting to read with quite a few useful hints and tips throughout. I read a few other reviews saying it's not entirely traditional Italian recipes and techniques? But that's the whole point of the book, it captures the essence of Italian cooking and flavours, but in a way we can all find easy to cook and get ready to eat nice and quickly.

I can't wait to start going through the book and making as many recipes as I can from it.

For the cost of 3 lattes at your local coffee shop you can have something that will really expand your meal varieties and last forever!

Looks good and works really well in the Kindle App for iPad.
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on 20 May 2013
Was recommended this book after attending a dinner party where recipes were used, I love it, especially the biscotti recipe which has been more successful than Paul Hollywood's version !
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on 7 November 2012
Nigellissima is packed full of the intelligent, well-written, lively recipes and information we are used to from Nigella. Just flicking through makes you want to start cooking immediately. My grandchildren loved the meatzza - an easy, nutritious meal for kids and adults.
Purists may not be thrilled with her approach but those of us who have cooked from her books for years know we can always find a reliable recipe that is well within our scope.
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on 25 November 2013
Whilst this isn't authentic Italian food (she does say in her foreword that it isn't), the recipes have been "tweeked" to allow us cook some very tasty Italian "style" food. I purchased this book so I could make the bacon, pea and Orzo pasta (like rice grains) dish having seen this in her television programme where she doesn't tell you weights/measures. I love pasta, hubby loves rice so are both happy. This pasta can be purchased in the supermarket that has a "Finest" range or a decent deli. The easy coffee ice cream also took my fancy and, again, you can buy fairly cheap coffee liqueur at the same store (£5.60 at date of writing this review). Most are very simply written and Although, in saying that, frozen artichoke hearts don't seem too popular in Wales. But ..... you can, apparently, use those from a jar provided they are not in brine or smoked (as advised on her own web site).

All recipes are clearly written and involve easy to find products. , wonderfully photographed and I now have loads of those little yellow sticky pieces of paper on each recipe page which have been tried so far ... quite lot!

A nice book for Italian type food easy to cook at home.
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