Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Nigellissima by Nigella Lawson

by Nigella Lawson
ISBN: 9780307362711
Random House of Canada
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced 
Buy from Indigo

Description: Nigellissima takes inspiration from Italian cooking to bring the spirit of Italy into the kitchen and onto the plate, pronto. At the heart of Italian cookery lies a celebration of food that is fresh, tasty and unpretentious; Nigella Lawson reflects this in recipes that are simple and speedy, elevating everyday eating into no-fuss feasts.

Italian food has colonised the world. Nigellissima shows us how and why in over 100 delicious dishes - from telephone-cord pasta with Sicilian pesto to the crustless Meatzza, from Sardinian couscous to Venetian stew, from penne to papardelle, from rag├╣ to risotto, from Italian apple pie and no-churn ices to panna cotta and sambuca kisses - in a round-Italy quickstep that culminates in a festive chapter of party food, with an Italian-inspired Christmas feast as its mouthwatering centerpiece. From the traditional to the unfamiliar, here are recipes to excite the taste buds and the imagination, without stressing the cook.

Nigella's gastronomic heart is in Italy, and in this new book she conjures up, with passionate relish, the warmth, simplicity and directness of Italian cooking, with an Anglo-twist. Illustrated with gorgeous photographs to instruct and delight Nigellissima is accompanied by a major new BBC TV series.

The Good Stuff
  • Truly stunning photography
  • Love the use of many natural ingredients
  • Plenty of unusual combinations that really work 
  • Simple uncomplicated meals
  • The introduction is fabulous and interesting - one of the more in-depth introductions I have ever seen in a cookbook
  • The Shrimp Pasta Rosa is now a main staple in our weekly dinners. Its easy and quick to make and the kids love it. We also substitute chicken for the shrimp frequently as seafood is seriously pricey in Calgary (and don't get me started on how expensive dairy products are in this province - Mascarpone is $12 a container - thank god this recipe only calls for a bit of it)
  • A fabulous cookbook as every recipe has a remarkable introduction - definitely one of a kind
  • From this day on I will only make her fries - her cooking method (up front stolen from another chef) is the perfect method for french fries. Never greasy!!!!!
  • I love her because she is down to earth & loves food - and because she refuses to be Photoshopped!!!!!  (Hubby thinks she is hot too)
  • You have to make the mascarpone/ricotta crepes - trust me - I ate 4 at one sitting - num num num num

The Not So Good Stuff
  • Not really a not so good entry - more an fyi - read the introduction before making any of the recipes, it makes a huge difference when prepping and preparing the recipes 
  • Not a lot of kid friendly type recipes - my kids had fun looking at the pictures and mentioning unflattering comments about what the finished product looked like (for example one picture reminded them of vomit & I won't tell you what they said about one of the recipes that involved squid ink pasta)
  • This is not one for the beginner cook. Way too many ingredients and steps that will frustrate the novice
  • She actually suggested using store bought crepes -- gasp -- much cheaper to make your own (Yes Jeff made them for me - you know I suck at making them)

Favorite Recipes
  • Chocolate Olive Oil Cake
  • Mascarpone & Ricotta Crepes with Rum Steeped Strawberries (to die for I swear - btw recipe calls for store bought crepes - we made our own and much better, cheaper & healthier)
  • Shrimp Pasta Rosa (we eat this weekly - sometimes with chicken)
  • Italian Tempura Shrimp - Now I suggest u spice up your tempura batter & forget the deep frying of the sage & lemon (icky)
  • Italian Breakfast Banana Bread - very moist & although I balked at adding espresso - it actually gives it an interesting edge (ok & I added chocolate chips - hey I have too - banana bread is wrong without it)
Who Should/Shouldn't Use
  • Obviously fans of Nigella will enjoy
  • This book is not for cooks like me -- I am much too lazy for the work involved
  • Would recommend this book for more experienced cooks who like to experiment and have access to hard to find ingredients
4 Dewey's (Quality is a 5 - but I base my review on MY enjoyment of them)

I received this from Random House in exchange for an honest review

Italian Breakfast Banana Bread (w/ Mascarpone Cheese)
Mascarpone/Ricotta Crepes w/ Rum Steeped Strawberries)
Tuscan Fries
Italian Tempura Shrimp
Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

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