Giada De Laurentiis is one of America’s most-loved culinary stars, adored for her Food Network hit shows and her New York Times bestselling cookbooks alike, both of which feature her fresh, flavorful Italian recipes. For the first time, Giada tackles weeknight cooking, sharing her favorite tips and go-to dishes—all in her vibrant signature style—to get a delicious meal on the table in a flash.
After a full day, Giada, like most parents, wants nothing more than to sit down for a home-cooked dinner with her husband, Todd, and their daughter, Jade. Weeknights with Giada rises to the challenge, delivering soups, sandwiches, pizzas, pastas, and meat and fish dishes that come together quickly as stand-alone main courses—most in half an hour or less: Rustic Vegetable and Polenta Soup, a hearty soul-warming one-pot dish, cooks in under twenty minutes; Lemony White Bean, Tuna, and Arugula Salad is a great meal that’s quickly assembled from pantry and fridge essentials; Spicy Linguini with Clams and Mussels is a fifteen-minute-or-less spectacular pasta; and you can’t beat Grilled Sirloin Steaks with Pepper and Caper Salsa, which are also ready in just fifteen minutes. From inventive breakfast-for-dinner dishes and meatless Monday vegetarian recipes—both weekly traditions in Giada’s house—to picnic sandwiches and hearty salad recipes for reinventing leftovers, Weeknights with Giada reveals every secret in her repertoire. Even the desserts are quick to mix and bake, should a craving—or a last-minute school bake sale—strike.
Here is Giada at her most inventive—and at her most laid-back. Flavor, freshness, and fun take center stage while cooking times, pots dirtied, and stress are kept to a minimum. With gorgeous color photographs and intimate home snapshots of Giada and her family, Weeknights with Giada is a welcome handbook of fantastic recipes and surefire Monday-to-Friday strategies for every home cook.
sweet corn and basil lasagna
serves 4 to 6
Vegetable oil cooking spray
3 cups frozen corn, thawed
½ cup heavy cream, at room temperature
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1 ½ cups grated pecorino romano cheese
Grated zest of 1 large lemon
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¾ packed cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 ½ cups (6 ounces) shredded sharp provolone cheese
6 no-boil lasagna sheets (about half a 9-ounce box)
Olive oil, for drizzling
Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray an 8-inch square glass baking dish with vegetable oil cooking spray. In a food processor, blend the corn, cream, and garlic until chunky. Add the mascarpone cheese, 1 cup of the romano cheese, the lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth. Add the basil and pulse until just combined. Spread one-third of the corn mixture on the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with one-third of the provolone cheese. Place 2 lasagna sheets on top. Repeat twice with the remaining corn mixture, provolone cheese, and lasagna sheets. Sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup romano cheese and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Cool for 10 minutes. Cut into 6 pieces and serve.
Excerpted from Weeknights with Giada by Giada De Laurentiis. Copyright © 2012 by Giada De Laurentiis. 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.