Nigella’s Feast: Midnight Feasts and book review

It’s that time between Christmas and New Years where no one knows what day it is, but unfortunately for us, Aaron’s still been working and his day shifts are LOOOOONG days. So by the time he gets home it’s already 7:30 and he really likes to have dinner with us so we’ve been doing some quick throw together meals lately and these two from Feast fit into that category perfectly.

First up, Nigella’s carbonara recipe – I didn’t have spaghetti on hand so I used up a bag of white spiral pasta that Aaron accidentally bought that has been sitting in my pantry for a couple months (we usually only buy wholemeal pasta). We bought diced pancetta from Woolies so this recipe was super quick to prepare. While the pasta is cooking the pancetta cooks in a bit of olive oil and some white wine and in a measuring jug I mixed together eggs, cream and parmesan. I drained the pasta reserving some of the liquid and then stirred that through the pancetta with the pasta water and then slowly stirred in the creamy cheesy egg mixture. Then I seasoned it really well and finished it with some grated nutmeg.

This was delicious! Although Nigella says it serves 2 (refueling for a midnight rendezvous) this was a generous sized pasta dish for our family (though because we didn’t bother with salad there were no leftovers). I would definitely rate this as the best of the carbonara recipes we’ve tried.

The second dish was her French-Canadian Toast, a simple concept, French toast served with bacon and maple syrup. We stepped it up a notch and used panettone instead of brioche and it really hit the spot for a late night meal. Nigella’s tip to pour the egg mixture into a lasagne dish and lay all the pieces of bread in the dish to soak up the egg was so useful. 5-10 minutes, then flip it over and soak for another 5-10 minutes. No extra batter and everything was thoroughly coated.

Our normal French toast recipe is more milk than egg so this was definitely an eggier dish than I’m used to, but I really enjoyed it. The proportions were pretty easy to commit to memory too, so I could definitely see myself using this recipe in future.

Feast is a mammoth book of Nigella’s recipes and I have definitely enjoyed flicking through it over and over again since I picked it up last month. While it has been a bit hit and miss at times, I am glad to have tried a variety of different meals and still have plans to make more. Clearly bread sauce is not my thing – I didn’t really like it or the bread sauce flavored potato gratin. I also didn’t really like her turkey gravy and while the chicken and sausage sheet pan dish was good, it wasn’t any better than our sausage bakes that we regularly make. That said, we will always make her sweet potato dish on Thanksgiving, it was amazing!

I had grand plans to do a traditional Sunday roast with a rib eye and Yorkshire puddings and roast potatoes but it’s just been way too hot. As soon as we have forecast a day under 30, it will be promptly put on the menu. I also ran out of time to try her fruit mince tarts so it’s already on my list for next Christmas. And my almost 13 year old has requested the apple cheesecake for his upcoming birthday so that will be something to look forward to in the next couple weeks. We’ve clearly not seen the last of this book. =)

In the meantime, to see the other recipes we’ve made this month, click on the links below: