Giada's Kitchen

New Italian Favorites

by Giada De Laurentiis and Tina Rupp

Hardcover, 240 pages, Random House Inc, List Price: $35 | purchase

Purchase Featured Book

Title
Giada's Kitchen
Subtitle
New Italian Favorites
Author
Giada De Laurentiis and Tina Rupp

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

Book Summary

The host of Food Network's Everyday Italian presents a new collection of nearly one hundred tempting recipes for classic Italian dishes with a California-inspired twist, including lighter versions of such traditional dishes as Osso Bucco, as well as regional specialties, pasta, salads, meats, desserts, and special meals for kids. 600,000 first printing.

Read an excerpt of this book

Note: Book excerpts are provided by the publisher and may contain language some find offensive.

Excerpt: Giada's Kitchen

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.