In Nigellissima episode 1, Nigella Lawson shows how easy it is to bring the spirit of Italy into the kitchen and on to the plate – using ingredients available in any English supermarket.
With her passion for Italy and Italian cooking – she lived and worked in Florence before starting a degree in modern languages – Nigella’s mouthwatering dishes have their roots in tradition but take us into fresh territory, knowledge worn light of touch but full on taste.
In this first show, Nigella introduces us to her love of Italian food through a spectacular yet simple Sicilian pasta with tomatoes, garlic and almonds. There’s a midweek family feast of tagliata – a juicy steak cut into thin slices – served with crisp, fluffy Tuscan fries. Plus Nigella’s ‘eggs in purgatory’ – a late night fiery dish inspired by her early party days in Florence.
Nigellissima episode 1 recipes:
Eggs in purgatory
When I lived in Florence I was young, so I wanted to have a good time. I preferred to spend my chambermaid’s wages on a Prosecco than a fancy dinner. But there was one dish that I could afford, that absorbed alcohol and was delicious. And I still eat it now. I always say eggs in purgatory is absolute heaven when you feel like hell.
To make this recipe you will need: a couple of eggs, a can of chopped tomatoes, some parmesan, fresh garlic and dried chilli flakes.
Chocolate hazelnut cheesecake
I do know, I really do, that cheesecake is not Italian. But chocolate hazelnut paste was one of my discoveries when I first went to Italy and I just fell in love with it. This recipe is a firm family favourite.
To make this recipe wou will need: a packet of digestive biscuits, unsalted butter, chocolate spread, chopped & toasted hazelnuts, cream cheese and icing sugar.
Sicilian pasta with tomatoes, garlic and almonds
I absolutely adore eating this Sicilian pasta cold, should any be left over. It is so easy to make and, being both simple and spectacular, is first on my list for a pasta dish to serve when you have people round.
I find this more and more helpful in the repertoire as so many children – small children at any rate – seem to be kept on strict wheat-free diets by their parents these days, this is why I’ve given the option of replacing the breadcrumbs with porridge oats, and very well it works, too.
Tagliata for two & Tuscan fries
You can’t go to Florence without encountering Florentine steak – it’s a famous huge T bone cooked over a grill. At home, I’ve got my own version of another Italian classic – a tagliata – which is a steak that you cook and then slice on the diagonal, so you can feed 2 people out of one steak.