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Nigellissima - TV review

The delectable Nigella Lawson is back with her new series, bringing the spirit of Italy into our kitchens.

Nigellissima - TV review

With her incredibly sensual way of cooking, this new show guides you to serve up an Italian feast, and no doubt again pile on the pounds with the delicious helpings.

It is more inspired by Italy, rather than sticking strictly to the nation's recipes, but has been designed for the average housewife, amateur cook, or indeed just to watch and salivate at the dishes I could cook if I had any mastery of kitchen skills, using ingredients you can just pick up at any local supermarket.

Her show kicks off with viewers being able to indulge in the Italian-style steak and chips dish.

Very English you may think, but in her recipe she puts the chips into the oil cold before heating, then adds a good helping of herbs and garlic cloves, and marinades the steak, adding some tomatoes.

And obviously serving them in a very un-British way, sliced into strips and covered in juices and even more herbs.

"The juices from the steak ooze into the marinade," Nigella purrs.

There is also a children's dish thrown into the mix – a small pizza and chocolate cheesecake.

The dessert may not exactly be Italian, but she justifies it by saying the chocolate hazelnut paste (in my house, its called chocolate spread, or as a child, a treat reserved only for holidays,) as she scoops it into the pan and reveals it was inspired by the very first time she was in Italy, working there as a chambermaid in a hotel.

"It does occur to me that this entire cheesecake is made out of ingredients that comes out of packets or jars. Should I be embarrassed, I'm not," she laughs.

So great for any mother wanting to make something herself and looked pretty simple to create in a short space of time.

Then there is her 'Meatzza' - a pizza with a meatball base instead of using a dough mix which she proclaims is a 'wondrous thing'. Of course!

To make, add some more herbs, some more garlic, some tomato and mozzarella for the topping and bake in a hot oven. Seems a simple and very tasty dish that pretty much again anyone can get to grips with.

Dishes on the show include a mid-week family feast of tagliata and 'eggs in purgatory' - which apparently is the ideal way to celebrate a late night party. Intriguing.

Again add heaps of garlic, chilli and tomatoes, 'smooshing' it in the pan, not burning it, before adding egg into the mix and some parmesan.

That's before tearing off a piece of bread and seriously dipping it in the pan and over-indulging.

"This is perfection," she says, before again "diving in".

I think I can feel my hips getting bigger already just watching this show. Oh dear.

Nigella also shares some of her cooking hints and tips with the viewer while making her pasta sauce dish.

Did you know that no creation of a pasta sauce should pass you by without adding a splash of the water used for cooking the pasta in?

After cooking, she makes sure she has a good tasting session of the dish.

"I say 'buon appetito' to myself and chow down," she adds before devouring it. Very Italian, I'm sure.

Right, excuse me while I'm off to rustle up and polish off a dish of spag bol and garlic bread before bedtime.

The show is one of six in the series and is accompanied, of course, by a cook book.

Claire Fry

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