Everyday Pasta Hardcover – Apr 3 2007
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About the Author
giada de laurentiis is the star of Food Network’s Everyday Italian and Behind the Bash. She attended the Cordon Bleu in Paris, and then worked in a variety of Los Angeles restaurants, including Wolfgang Puck’s Spago, before starting her own catering and private-chef company, GDL Foods. The granddaughter of movie producer Dino De Laurentiis, Giada was born in Rome and grew up in Los Angeles, where she now lives.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Rigatoni with Sausage, Artichokes, and Asparagus
Anytime you add sausage to a pasta dish, you exponentially increase the number of people who are going to love it; by adding vegetables, you turn it into a complete meal, a win-win situation all around.
3/4 cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, sliced, 2 tablespoons of oil -reserved
1 pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed
2 (8-ounce) packages frozen artichoke hearts
1 cup asparagus, trimmed and cut in 1-inch pieces
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
12 ounces rigatoni or other tubular pasta
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cubed (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil reserved from the tomatoes in a large, heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until browned, breaking up the meat into bite-size pieces with a fork, about 8 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausage to a bowl. Add the artichokes, asparagus, and garlic to the same skillet, and saute over medium heat until the garlic is tender, about 2 minutes. Add the broth, wine, and sun-dried tomatoes. Boil over medium-high heat until the sauce reduces slightly, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta in boiling water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Drain the pasta.
Add the pasta, sausage, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese, the basil, and parsley to the artichoke mixture. Toss until the sauce is almost absorbed by the pasta. Stir in the mozzarella, if using. Season to taste with salt and -pepper. Serve, passing the additional Parmesan cheese alongside.
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Top Customer Reviews
However, if you're looking for traditional italian recipes or more advanced cooking techniques, this isn't the book for you.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Rigatoni with Sausage, Peppers, and Onions - I come from an Italian family and grew up with Italian sausage on the grill, peppers and onions served alongside. I've never had it with pasta before but Giada's recipe is divine. I used chicken Italian sausage rather than the turkey and this dish was so tasty that I could hardly wait to eat the leftovers the next day.
Roman-Style Fettuccine with Chicken - This was another hit that even my rather picky daughter liked. The sweetness of the peppers blends well with the mustardy tang of the capers. The chicken was juicy and delicious and the sauce perfectly seasoned.
Turkey and Artichoke Stuffed Shells - My four-year-old daughter loved this one so much that as she was eating it, she was asking when we could have it again. I found the yield to be much higher than indicated in the recipe but this was a bonus as I was able to make an extra tray of the shells, freeze them, and then pop them into the oven one night for a quick dinner. The dish is savory and delicious and tastes very rich--even when using all white meat ground turkey.
Linguine and Lobster Fra Diavolo - My husband raved about this one and positively devoured it. I'm not as big of a seafood fan as he is but I liked it as well. It has a very nice bite to it and is surprisingly spicy for a dish with just a bit of red pepper. The cognac really brought out the bite of the pepper.
Basic Marinara - This is a tasty basic sauce that is easy to make and just takes a bit of time for the simmering. We made a double batch and frozen it and it was very good when thawed and used to make a quick baked penne with some mozzarella.
We do a lot of pasta cooking and Italian cooking at home. We cook up a "gravy" each Sunday (tomato sauce and accompanying herbs and goodies). The recipes in this book will be solid additions to our repertoire.
The book begins with a nice, brief essay on the nature of pasta, concluding with the author's "Top 10 Pasta-Cooking Tips" (e.g., always cook pasta in a big enough pot; don't add olive oil while cooking; make sure that the end product is al dente; don't overdo portions when serving; etc.). The introductory part of the book concludes with a "dictionary" of types of pasta, from capellini/angel hair to spaghetti.
The first section of the book is what she calls "Pasta Go-Withs," antipasto, appetizers, side dishes. One dish in this section that resonates with me: "Sautéed spinach with red onion" (page 58). Easy to make and tasty! Ingredients are straightforward; the instructions are pretty easy to follow. A good antipasto is always a nice accompaniment to a meal. On page 81, the author presents a nice antipasto salad, complete with pasta (in this instance, fusilli).
Pasta main dishes? Some that strike my fancy: Roman-style fettuccine with chicken; Linguine with butter, pecorino, arugula, and black pepper; Spaghetti with sautéed onions and marjoram; Mini penne with parmesan chicken.
Sauces? I like marinara. The author provides her recipe for this redoubtable treat on page 224. Dressings? Take a look at her Roasted garlic vinaigrette on page 228.
All in all, for those who like pasta dishes, this is a very nice addition to one's culinary library.
I'm not into the use of too many "prepared" ingredients, such as canned broth, wonton wrappers and frozen ravioli, but she advocates for fewer of these than I expected. Also, she introduced me to a few fun ingredients I didn't know existed: frozen artichokes, Meyer lemon oil, panko (Japanese bread crumbs).
The sheer number of recipes allows for a wide variety of ingredient choices. I have found the book fun, useful and worth having.
I'm going to buy a new copy before my old book is completely worn out.