Nigella Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of the Home

Nigella Lawson has a new cookbook full of recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.

November 9, 2010 9:38:14 AM PST
Nigella Lawson has a new cookbook full of recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.

"This is the book I've been wanting to write for a very long time -- the story of my love affair with the kitchen, " says Nigella Lawson, Food Network host and best-selling cookbook author. She's describing her newest new cookbook, Nigella Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of the Home. Nigella's eighth book offers 190 recipes--including 60 that can be prepared express-style in 30 minutes or less.

Published to coincide with the launch of Nigella's new Food Network television series of the same name, Nigella Kitchen is a resource for both hectic weekday and leisurely weekend cooking.

"The kitchen isn't just the room in which I cook, it's the place where I live," says Nigella, who makes her home in England. "There's a dynamism to a kitchen that seems to draw people in. Part hub, part haven, the kitchen is where, I've always found, people speak more freely than anywhere else."

Along with an array of inspired new recipes, Nigella serves up answers to everyday cooking quandaries--from how to rustle up a quick meal for friends to what to do about those black bananas. She reveals how to "make leftovers right" by describing how we can transform one recipe into another. There is an entire chapter devoted to chicken, another on meats with recipes for die-hard carnivores, and another on the calming qualities of making a wide array of delicious risottos--the ultimate comfort food. Of course, it wouldn't be a Nigella Lawson cookbook without her "sweet solutions," such as beloved Chocolate Chip Cookies, Rice Krispie Brownies, or Raspberry Almond Bars, not to mention thirst quenchers that include a Lagarita, a Giddy Geisha and a lovely Chocolate Martini.

Nigella Kitchen has something for everyone, including Nigella's must-haves: no-nonsense equipment and necessary "magical" standby ingredients. Above all, Nigella reminds us all how much pleasure there is to be had in real food and in reclaiming the traditional rhythms of the kitchen.

Nigella is a food enthusiast, television personality and journalist, is the bestselling author of Nigella Express, Nigella Fresh, Nigella Christmas, Nigella Bites, Feast, How to Be a Domestic Goddess (for which she won the British Author of the Year Award), and How to Eat, which have sold more than 6 million copies worldwide. These books, along with her groundbreaking iPhone App and her television shows on Food Network, E! Entertainment Television, and Style, have made hers a household name around the world. Nigella lives in London with her family.

For more information visit: and Follow Nigella on Twitter:

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(C) 2010 Nigella Lawson. Published by Hyperion.

Speedy Scaloppine With Rapid Roastini
Serves 2

Well, I know it's true that an escalope can never take that long to cook, but when I make this for supper, I can never quite get over the near-instant gratification it provides. The scaloppine are cooked as the Italians do them so well, just kissed with some spiced flour and sauced with the pan juices de-glazed with a lemon. In Italy, you'd expect the meat to be veal; here I use either pork or - perhaps more frequently - turkey.

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Shake (dash) mixed spice (pumpkin spice)
  • Shake (dash) cayenne pepper
  • 4 small turkey or pork escalopes (thin-sliced cutlets), about 12 ounces total
  • 2 tablespoons garlic flavored oil
  • Zest and juice 1 lemon
  • Salt, to taste

Put the flour and spices into a resealable bag, then add the escalopes, shaking to coat them.
Heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan and add the floured meat, cooking for 2 minutes a side or until the escalopes are just cooked through.
Remove the escalopes to warm plates and take the pan off the heat.
Grate the lemon zest into the (still warm) pan and squeeze in the lemon juice. Stir until the juices are golden and slightly syrupy. Season to taste, pour the sauce over the escalopes and serve with the rapid roastini below.


Rapid roastini
Serves 2

I am an enormous believer in instinct: whenever I allow myself to be deflected from what I think is right, I regret it, whether in the kitchen, or out of it. But here, in the kitchen, it went like this: I had, in the small hours, one of my bathetic revelations that if I fried some gnocchi, they might turn out like my Express sautéed potatoes. I mentioned the idea around and was met with, at best polite, grimaces. I insisted, tried it out, and luxuriated in how right I was. These are crisp on the outside, fluffy inside and totally scrumptious. And, in fact, rather than being like sautéed potatoes they are really more like miniature roasted potatoes, hence the title.

If you want, you actually can roast them, and they'll need 10 minutes a side in an oven preheated to 400°F. I find more than 8 ounces is difficult to fry, so the oven's a good option (if a little slower) when you want to feed lots of people. I've allowed 8 ounces, that's half a bag (the other half will keep, sealed, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days) of gnocchi for 2 people, but I have a sliding scale: 4 ounces per head for children, 4-5 ounces for normal people, and 6 ounces per head for men and teenage boys. And I have to tell you how good they are as a quick kitchen appetizer, when they're piping hot, gorgeously golden and sprinkled with sea salt along with a cold, cold beer.

  • 2 tablespoons regular olive oil
  • 8 ounces fresh gnocchi from the chilled cabinet in the supermarket

Heat the oil in a large frying pan.
Put the gnocchi in, making sure you separate them, and fry for 4 minutes. Then turn them around and give them another 4 minutes.
Or if you'd prefer to bake them, tumble the gnocchi into a roasting pan, add the oil, and put into a preheated 400°F oven for 20 minutes, giving them a stir after 10 minutes.

NOTE: I would not advise frying frozen gnocchi, as they could cause the fat in the pan to spit.


Flourless chocolate lime cake with margarita cream
(Gluten free)
Serves 8-10

There is something about a flourless chocolate cake that makes it so easy to eat. This is one of my go-to favorites for dessert when I have friends over for dinner.

  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (3/4 cup chips)
  • 1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) soft unsalted butter, plus some for greasing
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups superfine sugar
  • 1 cup almond meal/flour
  • 4 teaspoons best-quality unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • Zest and juice 1 lime
  • Confectioner's sugar, to dust (optional)

  • 1 x 9-inch spring-form pan

Preheat the oven to 350°F, line the base of your spring-form pan with parchment paper, and butter the sides.
Melt the chocolate and butter together either in a heatproof bowl suspended over a saucepan of simmering water, or in a microwave (following manufacturer's instructions), then set aside to cool slightly.
Beat the eggs and sugar together until about tripled in volume, pale and mousse-like. I do this using a freestanding mixer, but a hand-held electric model would be just fine too; obviously, by hand is possible but would demand tenacity and muscle.
Mix the almond meal with the cocoa powder and fold this gently into the egg and sugar mixture, followed by the slightly cooled chocolate and butter. Finally, fold in the zest and juice of your lime.
Pour and scrape this mixture into the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes (though start to check at 35); the cake will be just firm on top, but still have a bit of wobble underneath.
Remove from the oven and set the cake in its pan on a wire rack to cool. Once the first heat has left it, drape a clean kitchen towel over the cake to stop it getting too crusty, though a cracked and cratered surface is to be expected; it's crunch I'm avoiding here.
When cold, unmold, dust with confectioner's sugar if you wish, and serve with the jaunty Margarita Cream that follows.

MAKE AHEAD NOTE: The cake can be baked up to 3 days ahead. Store in airtight container in a cool place and dust with confectioner's sugar just before serving.

FREEZE NOTE: The cake can be frozen (still on base of pan if easier), wrapped carefully in a double layer of plastic wrap and a layer of aluminum foil, for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight at cool room temperature and dust with confectioner's sugar just before serving.