Nigella Lawson shows her passion for Italy in Nigellissima
by Simon Ward | 24 September 2012 | 1 commentTweet
Find out why Italian cooking has inspired Nigella Lawson since her teens, leading to her new TV series.
Nigella Lawson will be back on our screens shortly with her new series Nigellissima (accompanied by a recipe book of the same name), in which she recreates her favourite Italian dishes.
Filmed in a studio recreation of her own home kitchen, so as to not disturb her children and stepdaughter from exam revision, Nigella promises to show us her own brand of Italian “passion and taste”.
She has long held a love for Italy, working as a chambermaid in Florence prior to heading off to Oxford to study languages. “By the time I'd left (Italy) I had found my spiritual and gastronomic home,” she says now.
Nigella's Italian inspiration
She has also cited Italian-born cookery writer Anna Del Conte as her culinary inspiration (alongside her mother). She says Del Conte’s 1976 book Portrait Of Pasta was “the instrumental force in leading us beyond the land of spag bol, macaroni cheese and tinned ravioli”.
“Her recipes are part of my life and my own cooking history,” she wrote in an article about her love for her “maternal” heroine for the Observer. So much so that Del Conte’s history of creating Italian food using ingredients readily found on British supermarket shelves appears to be one of the key inspirations for the new series.
It will be interesting to see how much of the food we get to see. Journalist Xanthe Clay bemoans the “fake food television” of most of our homegrown programmes in this recent article for the Telegraph. She believes Nigella has gone from “intelligent commentary and evocative descriptions” in her books to “totty cookery” on telly.
Her eye-catching appearance on the cover of Stylist magazine, dripping in salted caramel, last Christmas also raised the question of how much the food is merely an accessory to her own personality.
Hopefully substance will prevail over style in Nigellissima.
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