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Kitchen Queries

Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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Latest Queries

  • Substitute for Marsala

    What would be the best substitute for Marsala in Nigella's Pronto Pig Feast recipe? I don't want to buy a whole bottle and let it go to waste just to try out the recipe.  

    Very dull question but is it best to use dry Marsala or Marsala dolce in savoury recipes? It seems to be getting increasingly difficult to get dry marsala and just wondered if you can substitute? Cheers, Leigh.

    From the nigella team:

    Marsala wine is a fortified wine from Sicily. It comes in 3 broad types - sweet and dry, though there are 8 different categories of Marsala. Sweet (dolche) can usually be found in most supermarkets and is usually drunk as a dessert wine or used in zabligone and tiramisu. However a dry (secco) type can be better for savoury cooking. As Marsala is fortified it keeps very well. It can be splashed into gravies, sauces and risottos, so a bottle is unlikely to go to waste. 

    Marsala is made using the perpetuum system - where different vintages are blended together. This is very similar to the solera system for sherry and sherry is a useful substitute for Marsala. An Amontillado would be a partcularly good one to try. You could also try using port if it is in small quantities. For sweet Marsala then a cream sherry or Pedro Ximenez could be used but we would suggest sticking to Marsala for zabligone.

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