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Real Italians Test Nigella Lawson's New Italian Cookbook and Ask 'Is She Mad?'

[Photos Courtesy Sagra in Casa & Nick Cornish]

This is one way to review a cookbook: the Daily Mail set up an Italian professional cook and "a typical nonna" with a copy of Nigella Lawson's new Italian cookbook, Nigellissima, to see what they thought. Apart from the fact that several ingredients (cranberries, liquorice) actually had to be brought from London, the women were not impressed.

Lawson's ingredients were dubbed too expensive, too rich, and one of the dishes they prepared was fed to a dog (who was not really into it). Above, outtakes from the Daily Mail's photo shoot. And below, some of the best quotes from the Daily Meal's Italian "mammas" versus Nigellisma experiment:

· Simona Fabrizio on Nigella's love of double cream: "Nigella uses so much double cream, but double cream does not exist in Italy. We do not have it. I don't know what I am going to do."
· Mariella Serpanti on the "Meatzza," a pizza with a meat base: "My teenage nephews would never eat this. Oh no, stop, stop! It keeps coming back on me! I need a digestif."
· The Meatzza is also called "an insult to Italy." Apparently Lui the dog "doesn't like it much" either.
· On a dessert that Nigella calls "an unconventional but intriguing sweet treat," Mariella says: "It's too sweet." Simona says: "It's disgusting."
· On Nigella's "Renaissance salad" made with radicchio and tardivo lettuces, balsamic vinegar and pomegranate seeds: "Bitter, bitter, bitter!" cries Simona. "Why would anyone put three bitter things together? This does not make sense."
· On a liquorice pudding: Nigella says: "I get a frisson just thinking about it." Mariella says: "I hated it."
Simona says: "We chucked it in the bin."
· Simona on pistachio pesto: "Pistachios! She uses a lot of expensive ingredients. Again. And that is my problem with Nigella. No one cooks like that here."

—Thanks Eugen!

· What Italy's Mammas Think of Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Pasta [Daily Mail]
· Sagra in Casa [Official Site]
· All Nigella Lawson Coverage on Eater [-E-]