Giada the Great

If there’s one television show out there that really inspires me, it’s Everyday Italian on the Food Network. I never remember to watch it, but when I happen to catch it, I’m always inspired to get in the kitchen and start cooking. Part of it is the format of the show…cool music, easy-going pace, and a gorgeous kitchen. I like that Giada seems to take her time in slicing an onion or chopping a tomato. She makes it look fun, inviting, and way, way cool. Not to mention that she has the most awesome set on the network…from her ceramic measuring spoons to her Chicago Metallic baking sheets. I found this list online of where to buy her dishes, bakeware, etc., and of course I’ll be updating my wish list soon.

I saw an episode recently in which she made Pasta Primavera, and I knew I had to make it immediately. It calls for a ton of vegetables, which means a ton of chopping, but for me, it becomes meditative…and it’s so worth it. The vegetables become caramelized and sweet, the cherry tomatoes just fill your mouth with a burst of freshness, and the Parmesan just pulls it all together.

Pasta Primavera

  • 3 carrots, peeled
  • 2 medium or 1 large zucchini
  • 2 yellow summer squash
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced (I used red)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs or herbes de Provence (I used Provence)
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 pound dried farfalle pasta (bow-tie pasta)
  • 15 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450ËšF.

Cut the carrots, zucchini, squash and bell peppers into thin 2-inch-long strips. On a large heavy baking sheet, toss the vegetable strips, onion, oil, dried herbs, and 2 teaspoons each of salt and pepper to coat. Transfer half of the vegetable mixture to another large, heavy baking sheet, and arrange the vegetables evenly over both sheets. Bake, stirring after the first 10 minutes, until the carrots are tender and the other vegetables begin to brown, about 20 minutes total.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the farfalle and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. In a large bowl, toss the pasta with the cooked vegetables to combine. Add the cherry tomatoes and Parmesan, and some of the cooking liquid if the mixture looks dry.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Source: Everyday Italian by Giada De Laurentiis.

5 thoughts on “Giada the Great

  1. Sweet Pea

    I love Giada too! I have both her cookbooks and try to watch her show whenever I can. I recently made the Pasta Primavera (with some slight modificiations) and loved it. Her meals are just wonderful!

    Reply
  2. Adam

    Glad to know there are many giada fans out there in the world. For me, chopping is very cathartic. It’s a good way to get stress out.

    Reply
  3. Tanvi

    I agree- Giada’s show always inspires me to cook, too. I just made a variation of one of her cookies (from the Dessert Party episode) and they were great. I should say, though, that her use/consumption of chocolate is astonishing! :-)

    Reply

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