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[Photograph: Petrina Tinslay]

At this point, Nigella Lawson is a household name. But before the television show, or the best-selling cookbooks, there was Italy. Nigellissima is a love letter to the country that inspired her as a chef. In her characteristic bubbly, passionate style, Nigella explains her inspiration in each recipe, showcasing its Italian influence. Not everything necessarily comes straight from the old country, but everything is beautifully presented and enthusiastically endorsed.

Like a traditional Italian meal, Nigellissima is divided into pasta, meats, vegetables, and sweets. There's also a bonus chapter for an Italian-inspired Christmas, featuring an array of dishes, both old-fashioned and new-fangled, that encapsulate Nigella's creative vision.

As this is Bake the Book, we've plunged right into the sweets. Starting off with Sambuca Kisses, and moving to a semifreddo, a panna cotta, and a shortbread, we've selected recipes that encapsulate the flavors and textures of Italian dessert.

Win A Copy!

Thanks to the generous folks over at Clarkson Potter, we are giving away five (5) copies of Nigellissima this week.

All you have to do is tell us your favorite Italian dessert in the comments section below.

The standard Serious Eats contest rules apply.

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