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…
Tiramisini: For someone who started off as a tiramisu-scorner, I have turned out to be its most slavish proponent, finding any excuse to whip up a new one. From Anna Del Conte's all-white meringue version, and something more trad (and I say this being well aware that tiramisu as such came into being only in the latter half of the 20th century), to one made with Frangelico and another with Baileys.
I remember, when I was in the south of Italy, eating aubergines that had been roughly chopped, sprinkled with dried wild oregano, doused with olive oil and then roasted with a little garlic and a lot of red onions. This below, is my version: quicker, yes, but I also like the way it can be eaten as a starter or part of an antipasti table, and even as a main course, sprinkled with some ricotta salata or crumbled feta, or as an accompaniment to meat and fish. If you are adding cheese, then sprinkle
Butterflied Leg of Lamb With Bay Leaves and Balsamic Vinegar: A roast, boned, butterflied leg of lamb is just about the easiest, speediest way to cook a joint of meat. Plus, you dispense with all the difficult carving (I am an embarrassingly inept carver myself) as all you need to do is slice the boned meat once it’s cooked, which even I can manage without stress.
BUTTERFLIED LEG OF LAMB WITH BAY LEAVES AND BALSAMIC VINEGAR A roast, boned, butterflied leg of lamb is just about the easiest, speediest way to cook a joint of meat. Plus, you dispense with all the difficult carving (I am an embarrassingly inept carver myself) as all you need to do is slice the boned meat once it’s cooked, which even I can manage without stress.
ITALIAN ROAST CHICKEN WITH PEPPERS AND OLIVES A roast chicken always feels celebratory; indeed, a roast chicken always is celebratory. The vibrantly coloured and intensely flavoured vegetables that are cooked alongside here seem only to underline this, offering their own brightness and brio, sunny in taste as well as mood.
Panettone Stuffing Squares: I have written a recipe for panettone stuffing before: the sweet seasonal fruit bread was cubed, toasted and mixed with Italian sausage; this is very different, not least because I see it not as an accompaniment to the turkey but to be served, at parties or over drinks, in small squares, like savoury brownies.
Chocolate Salami: I’ve encountered quite a few versions of chocolate salame in Italy – coming to the conclusion that it’s really an Italian version of our chocolate refrigerator cake – and although I am not normally a huge fan of the culinary pun, this does seem the right time of year for such whimsical enterprises.
Italian Christmas Pudding Cake: This recipe is my own but at the same time a conflation of a couple of Italian Christmas must-haves: the glorious, fruit-studded panettone and crema di mascarpone, which is best described as tiramisu without the Savoiardi biscuit layer, and sometimes with pieces of chocolate stirred through the mascarpone mixture.
Turkey Breast Stuffed with Italian Sausage and Marsala-Steeped Cranberries: I know it might sound a bit of a faff, but take it from me that stuffing a whole double breast joint is very much easier than stuffing and rolling a single breast joint, as is more commonly found in supermarkets. Basically, all you’re doing here is opening out your boneless turkey joint, smothering it with stuffing and folding it over.