In her hit Food Network show Everyday Italian, Giada De Laurentiis shows you how to cook delicious, beautiful food in a flash. And here, in her long-awaited first book, she does the same—helps you put a fabulous dinner on the table tonight, for friends or just for the kids, with a minimum of fuss and a maximum of flavor. She makes it all look easy, because it is.
Everyday Italian is true to its title: the fresh, simple recipes are incredibly quick and accessible, and also utterly mouth-watering—perfect for everyday cooking. And the book is focused on the real-life considerations of what you actually have in your refrigerator and pantry (no mail-order ingredients here) and what you’re in the mood for—whether a simply sauced pasta or a hearty family-friendly roast, these great recipes cover every contingency. So, for example, you’ll find dishes that you can make solely from pantry ingredients, or those that transform lowly leftovers into exquisite entrées (including brilliant ideas for leftover pasta), and those that satisfy your yearning to have something sweet baking in the oven. There are 7 ways to make red sauce more interesting, 6 different preparations of the classic cutlet, 5 perfect pestos, 4 creative uses for prosciutto, 3 variations on basic polenta, 2 great steaks, and 1 sublime chocolate tiramisù—plus 100 other recipes that turn everyday ingredients into speedy but special dinners.
What’s more, Everyday Italian is organized according to what type of food you want tonight—whether a soul-warming stew for Sunday supper, a quick sauté for a weeknight, or a baked pasta for potluck. These categories will help you figure out what to cook in an instant, with such choices as fresh-from-the-pantry appetizers, sauceless pastas, everyday roasts, and stuffed vegetables—whatever you’re in the mood for, you’ll be able to find a simple, delicious recipe for it here. That’s the beauty of Italian home cooking, and that’s what Giada De Laurentiis offers here—the essential recipes to make a great Italian dinner. Tonight.
Spicy Tomato Sauce from Giada de Laurentiis's Everyday Italian
Makes about 1 quart;
Serves 4 over a pound of pasta as a main courseThe sauce known as all’arrabbiata—or “in the angry style”—is made with hot red pepper flakes (and sometimes fresh chilies for an extra kick). I like to use the briny elements of olives and capers and skip the fresh chilies, adding depth to the spiciness rather than just more heat. Perfect with penne or rigatoni.
• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 small onion, minced
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1/2 cup pitted black olives, coarsely chopped
• 2 tablespoons drained capers, rinsed
• 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
• Generous pinch of dried crushed red pepper flakes
• 1 28-ounce can crushed Italian tomatoes
In a large skillet, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. When almost smoking, add the onion and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the olives, capers, 1⁄2 teaspoon of salt, and red pepper flakes, and sauté for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and simmer until reduced slightly, about 20 minutes. Season the sauce with more salt to taste. (The sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat before using.)
Excerpted from Everyday Italian by Giada De Laurentiis Photographs by Victoria Pearson. Copyright © 2005 by Giada De Laurentiis Photograph. Excerpted by permission of Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
About Giada De Laurentiis
GIADA DE LAURENTIIS is the Emmy-winning star of Food Network’s Everyday Italian, Giada's Weekend Getaways, and Giada at Home; a contributing correspondent for NBC’s Today; and the author of four New York Times bestselling cookbooks. She attended the Cordon Bleu in Paris and worked at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago restaurant in Los Angeles before starting her own catering company, GDL Foods. Born in Rome, she grew up in Los Angeles, where she now lives with her husband, Todd, and their daughter, Jade.