The home cook who champions the joys of cooking and eating looks amazing at 56 years and is such delightful company. “I think it’s about really taking the most savory moment; there is great pleasure in life,” Nigella Lawson told us at an intimate brunch for Contadina, a brand of olive oils, pastas, tomatoes, and sauces that she is endorsing in the Philippines. “You may be exhausted, or you may have a long day at work, or [have gone through] terrible traffic, but nevertheless you get home and start cooking and feel better.” Here are a few notes from Nigella for a great and memorable meal:
KEEP IT SIMPLE!
“Great as they are, we watch chefs cook, and we think when we have friends over, [we need to have] a restaurant in our own home. When you go to an Italian house and they serve spaghetti, they’re not going to be braiding the pasta and making pyramids. And you do need to start with good ingredients, because if you can trust your ingredients, you begin to trust yourself as a cook.”
Contadina Pure Olive Oil, P250; Contadina Extra Virgin Olive Oil, P260, available at leading supermarkets
“It’s not sensible to use extra virgin olive oil for cooking because it just burns and you’re wasting the flavor. When I cook, I use the Contadina Pure Olive Oil, and at the end, I dribble the Extra Virgin Olive Oil so you can get all the flavor.”
NOT JUST NOODLES
Contadina Spaghetti, P68, available at leading supermarkets
“Spaghetti is not just a vehicle to put sauce on; the spaghetti is as important. When you try the Contadina Spaghetti (P68, leading supermarkets), you will detect— and it’s evident in the golden color—that slight sweetness of semolina [flour]; you don’t lose that.”