Giada's Kitchen: New Italian Favorites Hardcover – Sep 30 2008
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About the Author
GIADA DE LAURENTIIS is the star of Food Network’s Everyday Italian, Giada’s Weekend Getaways, and Giada in Paradise. She attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and worked at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago restaurant
in Los Angeles. This is her fourth book.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Tomato, Watermelon, and Basil Skewers
Everyone seems to love this simple combination of clean, fresh flavors. If watermelon is not in season you can substitute cantaloupe, but for a burst of pure flavor that really plays off the herbal flavor of the tomatoes, you can’t beat watermelon. Stacking the skewers vertically and serving them upright looks especially elegant.
6 to 8 servings
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup sugar
1 4- to 5-pound seedless watermelon
60 small basil leaves (or torn larger leaves)
16 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse or kosher salt
Special equipment: 16 (6-inch) wooden skewers
Combine the balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small nonreactive saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Cut the top and bottom off the watermelon, then make 4 straight cuts down the sides so you have a cube of rindless watermelon. Cut the cube into 1½-inch slices, then cut the slices into 1½-inch cubes. Assemble the skewers by pushing a basil leaf to the end of one skewer. Then skewer a cube of watermelon, then a tomato half. Continue with another watermelon cube, basil leaf, and tomato half, ending with a basil leaf. Repeat to make 15 more skewers.
Drizzle the skewers with the reserved balsamic syrup and the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. Serve.
Whole-Wheat Linguine with Green Beans, Ricotta, and Lemon
Serves 4 to 6 servings
Not all cream sauces are super-rich. This pasta gets its creamy sauce from a combination of part-skim ricotta and pasta water, which come together to make a really easy, lighter cream sauce. Don’t leave out the lemon zest; it brightens the flavor and adds a wonderful lemony aroma as well.
• 1 pound whole-wheat linguine
• 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1/2 pound French green beans (haricots verts), trimmed and halved lengthwise
• 1 garlic clove, chopped
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
• Zest of 1 lemon
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Transfer the hot pasta to a large heat-proof bowl and add the ricotta. Toss to combine.
Meanwhile, in a large, heavy skillet, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the green beans, garlic, salt, and pepper and saute for 4 minutes. Add the reserved pasta cooking liquid and continue cooking until the beans are tender, about 4 more minutes. Add the ricotta-coated pasta to the pan with the green beans and toss to combine. Add the tomatoes and toss gently. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with the lemon zest. Serve.