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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Everyday Italian

In my home, Italian food is very popular. I don't think I could stomach a no-carb diet since it would mean giving up pasta! Good olive oil, garlic, gorgonzola, proscuitto, parmesan ... these are all things I love. I remember the first time I caught Everyday Italian on the Food Network; right from that first episode, I thought the show was a winner. The host, Giada De Laurentiis, was a bit awkward in front of the camera -- a fault she quickly overcame as the show went on -- but I wanted to make her food. I still do.

This was also the show that turned my non-foodie sister-in-law into a foodie. Heather was housesitting for my mother-in-law and we popped by to visit her. "Is there anything on television?" she asked. Heather didn't watch the Food Network, but I did, and I told her there was this italian cooking show I had started to watch, not expecting her to be interested. But she changed the channel and, well, the rest is history. Giada's Chili-Infused Oil became a staple in her home and a Food Network expert was created. Her kitchen has never been the same.

For this week's A-Z Wednesday Challenge, I have chosen Everyday Italian, which is the first cookbook -- and, I believe, the best -- Giada has created. I have them all but this book is the one I pull off the shelf more than the others. Besides the aforementioned Chili Oil, don't miss the Orecchiette with Toasted Bread Crumbs, the Ziti with Asparagus, Smoked Mozzarella and Prosciutto or the Chicken Piccata. All good. Giada's Basic Risotto is also a favourite -- a simple, straightforward recipe. This book also caused my girlfriend Lori and I to go on a quest for farro (a grain similar to barley) to make her Farro Salad. We never did find it.

My favourite recipe in this book, one I've made several times, is the Classic Italian Lasagna. It's by far the best lasagna I've ever made. The Pizza di Spaghetti is the only recipe that has been problematic for me. The recipe calls for too much olive oil; I found the finished dish too greasy for my tastes. But one miss in a string of hits is perfectly acceptable and I highly recommend this cookbook.


Leslie Jane Moran said...

I love Giada.

Anonymous said...

I love her show!!!

Thanks for playing!

Irene said...

my favorite Giada recipe is "Lemon Spaghetti" it's quick and easy and my family loves it. (Except for Sasha he doesn't do pasta).

Nise' said...

Giada was in my hometown a couple of weekends ago. Her mom-in-law lives here! A couple of my friends met her. What a yummy book!

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