Posts Tagged ‘Nigella Lawson’

A quick fix for no water days: Spaghetti with Marmite

In Nigella Lawson, pasta on April 13, 2014 at 11:35 pm

spaghetti with Marmite

Many of us who live in the Klang Valley have experienced water rationing since March due to the drought. Despite heavy rainfall in the past two weeks, the water level in the dams are not even half full yet. It looks like we will have to suffer the inconvenience well into May. Affected households are getting water supply on a two-day rotation.

I live in a condo so it is not so bad. On no water days, the water from the tank in each block is rationed to conserve supply. We receive running water from 5.30am to 9.00am and 5.30pm to 9.00pm. Being at work the whole day, I’m not really affected as I have water to get ready in the morning. I just need to reach home in time to have a shower and wash the dishes. Thankfully, the rationed supply usually runs until 10.00pm. And there’s always the water I have saved in the pails.

It’s the weekends that are a bummer. If the no supply rotation falls on the weekend, that means I can’t cook lunch. It’s no fun prepping, cooking and washing up with scoops of water.

Today, I was reminded of an easy dish I have cooked before. Nigella Lawson’s Spaghetti with Marmite. It’s the perfect meal for no water days. Minimal prepping is required. There is nothing to cut or wash. Just boil the spaghetti, melt butter with Marmite and a bit of pasta water in a pan, toss in the cooked pasta, mix everything around and it’s ready to serve with a generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Sedap! (Delicious!)

From the pantry: spaghetti (I used linguine), Marmite, butter

Can I do it?: Yes, of course. You can’t mess this up. 

Credit: Kitchen by Nigella Lawson. Full recipe here.



Linguine with lemon, garlic and thyme mushrooms

In Nigella Lawson, pasta on March 24, 2013 at 4:32 pm


Here’s something you can partly prepare in advance. Just marinate the ingredients for a couple of hours or in the fridge overnight. Cook it when needed and toss in the spaghetti, done!

I made this for visiting relatives and it was well received. It’s simple and has a fresh, clean and light taste about it.

The recipe calls for chestnut mushroom but I used Swiss brown mushrooms. I guess any fresh type will do.

Shopping list: chestnut mushrooms, lemon, thyme (dried will do if you can’t get fresh), parsley, parmesan cheese

From the pantry: linguine, olive oil, garlic, pepper

Can I do it?: Yes, it’s a toss and mix recipe. 

Tips: 1. For extra zing, add lemon zest.   2. Reduce the pasta and increase the mushrooms if you want more mushrooms with every mouthful. I find Nigella’s pasta recipes often has too much pasta and not enough ‘liao’.

Credit: Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson. Full recipe here.

Slut’s spaghetti

In Nigella Lawson, pasta on March 24, 2013 at 3:58 pm


There’s nothing kinky about this recipe. It apparently is called such because a woman who has better things to do than grocery shopping could whip this up from items in her pantry. Not the case in Malaysia, as we don’t stock up on anchovies, capers or olives.

I tried this because I was curious about one of the ingredients – capers, pickled flower buds from the Mediterranean. I’ve never heard of it until a condo project in my neighbourhood bore this name. Curious, I hunted it down and found it at the ever reliable Hock Lee’s mini market. It comes in glass bottles and would be in the same section as where the olives are.

That bottle of capers remained in my pantry for a long time because I didn’t know what to do with them. I was told they go well with baked fish, but I don’t like the western style of cooking fish.

When I found this recipe, I had to try it. It’s easy and fast to make and you could pack leftovers for office lunches.

Shopping list: tomatoes, anchovies, dried chilli flakes, black olives, capers

From the pantry: spaghetti, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper

Optional: parsley

Can I do it?: If a slut can do it, so can you. 

Tips: 1. If you don’t have dried chilli flakes, add anything else that can give your dish heat, like Tabasco sauce.   2. Get pitted olives if you can as deseeding them is a pain.   3. No need to follow the recipe to a tee. Cut down on the pasta so there’s more ingredients to go around.

Credit: Kitchen by Nigella Lawson. Full recipe here.

Madeira cake to impress your mother-in-law

In baking, cake on October 11, 2012 at 11:42 pm

No, I don’t have a mother-in-law. But Nigella Lawson does, and this is her mother-in-law’s recipe.

I made this on a whim. Have not been cooking/baking seriously (as in trying out a new recipe) for months. Then last weekend I came across this recipe as I was browsing my Facebook. I had all the ingredients and the recipe seemed easy, so what the heck. It’s time to get back on board. Bree Van de Kamp may bake when she’s feeling down, I’m baking to get my mojo back!

Whenever Bree Van de Kamp was feeling low she found solace in the act of baking. When her first husband passed away, she made coffee cake. When her second husband went to jail, she made sugar cookies. And when her teenage daughter got pregnant, she madecrème brûlée. So when Bree’s best friends stopped speaking to her, she hoped that her warm cherry scones might thaw their chilly relationship.

Intro from ‘Putting it Together’, Desperate Housewives Season 8, Episode 9

Madeira cake is said to be similar to pound cake, which I had attempted before. Comparison between the two:

  • Both use lemon juice. Madeira cake includes the zest.
  • Pound cake calls for buttermilk or yogurt.
  • Pound cake uses more sugar. A lot more.
  • There’s more butter in the Madeira cake. Fine by me. I love butter more than sugar.

Verdict: Pound cake is more dense and sweet. If you don’t have a sweet tooth, go for the Madeira. Both are simple cakes. No fuss, both in taste and preparation. Goes well with a cup of hot tea. Perfect for lazy Sundays.

Shopping list: lemon, eggs

From the pantry: butter, caster sugar, plain flour, self-raising flour (if you don’t have this, substitute with plain flour, baking powder and salt – follow the guide here)

Hardware: cake pan or loaf pan, oven

Can I do it?: Absolutely. If you can measure and keep an eye on the oven, you’re all set.

Credit: How to Be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson. Full recipe here.

Chopping herbs like Nigella Lawson

In tools/utensils on November 28, 2011 at 1:53 pm

“This half-moon shaped, double-handled herb (and everything else) chopper is indispensable. It works like a speedy dream, and safely: two handles mean you can’t cut yourself while chopping!” – Nigella Lawson

Ever since I saw Nigella using a herb chopper on her show, I’ve been intrigued. She looked like she was having so much fun chopping herbs with it. I’ve always wanted to get one but was too stingy to pay for it it. There are other more important things to get, like a salad spinner and magnetic knife strip. Besides, I can always use a normal knife, right?
The push factor that finally nudged me over the edge was the RM40 Robinsons shopping voucher I needed to spend. Dresses were too expensive, there were no nice panties within that price range (unbelievable, right?) and I still had to top up a substantial amount for pillowcases to complete my slowly assembled Egyptian cotton bedding set.
A browse around the household department (my favourite section at Robinsons) led me to the Typhoon table – a lot of nice stuff, but too expensive to splurge on. I saw the herb chopper and visions of Nigella taunting me with her kitchen gadgets (another piece I want – the wooden lemon squeezer!) came flooding back. I didn’t have to pay much out of my own pocket, so that was the deciding factor.
While Nigella’s herb cutter has only one blade, Typhoon’s has two. It chops herbs in tiny pieces in no time at all and is certainly more efficient than using a chef’s knife. And it felt so good! Chop! Chop! Chop! Some people use it to chop onions and garlic too.
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