Nigella Lawson's New Cookbook "Nigellissima"

A Book Review

Nigella Lawson

Years ago when I was a young Mom just starting to find my way around the kitchen, I discovered Food Network and stumbled upon Nigella Lawson’s show. I was instantly taken in not just by the stunning shots of food, but from Nigella’s unabashed love of food as well. “Who cares about what society dictates,” was the message I gleaned from her attitude, “when you want to stand in front of an open fridge and grab a snack?”

Nigella’s books were some of the first real "foodie" books I read and tried before the term "foodie" was coined-and so when Nigellissima came out, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy.

Fans of Nigella Lawson won’t be disappointed. There’s plenty of her lovely prose to read, along with a large selection of recipes to choose from, with the more daring squid ink spaghetti for the adventurous to a more simple figs with honey, cream, and pistachios for the more timid cook. There are plenty of photographs, which I always love in a cookbook. In fact they are often so beautiful I’d likely keep the book from any workspace to save it from becoming splattered.

Nigella’s books, I’ve always thought, are ones that you read more of than cook from. Oh, I do cook from them, but there’s much to read in the blurbs before we get down to the actual food, and Nigella does a wonderful job of explaining unfamiliar ingredients or what you should serve this or that with.

The only drawback I can see from this book is that there are some unfamiliar ingredients, or ones that could be hard to find unless you know what to look for. The average home cook could be quite intimidated, but if you have an adventurous streak in you, then one might make the effort to find chocolate pasta or borlotti beans. All is not lost, however—there are plenty of recipes that would be easily managed. This is not a quick book full of uncomplicated food; it’s more of a journey through Italy with Nigella as your guide. The pre-requisites would be that you love to eat and are a bit fearless in the kitchen.

Grab your passport, an apron, and get ready to eat, Italian style.

She may go by the name Scatteredmom online, but Karen really is anything but scattered when it comes to the kitchen.  Churning out tasty treats within view of the Georgia Strait on Canada's west coast, Karen will hand you an organized weekly meal plan or teach you how to make meals from scratch.  As Mom to a teenage boy, she knows exactly what it takes to keep kids full and happy-which has really come in handy with her job as the Food Editor at Yummy Mummy Club.

A strong supporter of Food Revolution who has been endorsed by Jamie Oliver himself, by day Karen can be found working as a special education teaching assistant, running a kitchen and showing teenagers how to cook nutritious meals for themselves.  By night, when she's not chatting on Twitter and answering cooking questions,  she writes her popular blog Notes From the Cookie Jar, or posting mouthwatering recipes over at Chasing Tomatoes.  Not afraid to give her opinion and passionate about community, Karen spoke at Blissdom Canada 2010 and her writing has been published in Canadian Living magazine, as well as in various online publications. 

Follow Karen on Twitter @scatteredmom