132 of 141 people found the following review helpful
Giada's third entry into the cookbook theater is as good as her first two, and there seems to be no end to her culinary offerings to us. This time, she immerses herself into the somewhat crazy world of pasta and the many "clothes" it wears. Delicious to say the least!
I have to admit that one of the first things that grabs my attention when looking at cookbooks is its presentation; does it make me want to look at because it invites me with with something comfortable and familiar? Or is it something that jazzes up that same familiar look? With it's sharp, fresh, and detailed photography and simple, yet inviting writing, Giada brings to you a compendium of sorts in her ode to pasta.
She begins her introduction with "The Origins of Pasta" then goes into her "Top 10 Pasta-Cooking Tips" which is followed by "Matching Pasta Shapes to Sauces" (I never really thought of how the shape of the pasta actually influences the flavor depending how it attaches to the shape). The book then breaks down into 3 sections: Pasta Go-Withs, Pasta for All Seasons, and Pasta Basics.
ANTIPASTI and APPETIZERS
Baked Caprese Salad (baguette slices w/ tomatoes, mozzarella)
Goat Cheese Toasts
Bruschetta w/ Frisee, Prosciutto, and Mozzarella
Toasted Ciabetta w/ Balsamic Syrup
Crostini w. Anchovy Butter and Cheese
Parmesan Popovers (definitely a big hit w/dinner)
Fried Ravioli (these were EXCELLENT!)
Zucchini and Carrot a Scapece (pickled veggies)
Prosciutto-Wrapped Veggies w/ Parmesan
SOMETHING ON THE SIDE:
Arugula Salad w/ Fried Gorgonzola
Spinach Salad w/ Citrus Vinaigrette and Frico (very light and healthy)
Insalata Mista w/ Basil Dressing
Hearty Winter Salad w/ Sherry Vinaigrette
Greens w/ Gorgonzola Dressing
Asparagus w/ Vin Santo Vinaigrette
Anytime Veggie Salad
Sauteed Spinach w/ Red Onion
(Pasta for All Seasons)
SOUPS AND PASTA SALADS
Italian White Bean, Pancetta, and Tortelini Soup
Pasta e Ceci (garbanzo beans)
*a small info section on "grating" types of cheese for the soup/pasta's
Italian Veggie Soup (perfect during winter!!)
Tuna, Green Bean, and Orzo Salad
Fusilli Salad w/ Seared Shrimp and Parsley Sauce
Neapolitan Calamari and Shrimp Salad
*tips for a perfect pasta salad
Italian Chicken Salad in Lettuce Crisps
Baked Penne w/ Roasted Veggies
Venetian "Mac and Cheese"
Crab and Ricotta Manicotti
Rigatoni w/ Sausage, Peppers, and Onions
Roman-Style Fettucine w/ Chicken
Farfalle w/ Creamy Mushroom Gorgonzola Sauce
Pappardelle w/ Lamb Stew
Cinnamon-Scented Ricotta Raviolo w/ Beef Ragu (very different/tasty)
Turkey and Artichoke Stuffed Shells (the artichokes add a nice twist)
Gnocchi with Thyme Butter Sauce
Ricotta Gnudi in Parmesan Broth
Tagliatelle w/ Short Rib Ragu
Penne w/ Swordfish and Eggplant
Baked Pastina Casserole
Baked Gnocchi (these are heavenly little dumplings)
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
Linguine w/ Better, Pecorini, Arugula, & Black Pepper
*no-cook pasta sauces
Saffron Orzo w/ Shrimp
Penne w/ Spicy Tomato Sauce
Spaghetti w/ Sauteed Onions and Marjoram
Eggplant Mezzaluna Ravioli
Orecchiette w/ Mixed Greens and Goat Cheese
Spaghetti alla Pirata
Spaghetti w/ Red and Yellow Peppers
Swordfish and Spaghetti w/ Citrus Pesto
Conghilie w/ Clams, Mussels, and Broccoli
Rotini w/ Salmon and Roasted Garlic
Rigatoni w/ Red Pepper, Almonds, and Bread Crumbs
Angel Hair Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese
QUICK AND EASY WEEKNIGHT PASTAS
Chicken in Lemon Cream w/ Penne
Little Stars w/ Butter and parmesan
Breakfast Scramble w/ Orzo, pancetta, and Asparagus
Farfalle w/ Broccoli
Wagon Wheels w/ Artichoke Pesto
Spinach Fettuccine w/ a Quick Sugo or Salsa
Spicy Angel Hair Pasta
Rotelli w/ Walnut Sauce
Cheesy Baked Tortellini
Cinnamon Pancetta Carbonara
Rigatoni w/ Sausage, Artichokes, and Asparagus
Linguine w/ Turkey Meatballs and Quick Sauce
Ditalini w/ Mushrooms and Artichokes
Mini Penne w/ Parmesan Chicken (this is very tasty and very filling)
Farfalle w/ Spicy Sausage and Kale
Penne w/ Beef and Arugula
Capellini w/ Tomato and Peas
PASTA FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS:
Spicy Baked macaroni
Tagliatelle and Duck Ragu
Spaghetti w/ Eggplant, Butternut Squash, and hrimp
Crab Salad Napoleans w/ Fresh Pasta
Shrimp Lasagna Rolls w/ Creamy Marinara
Pork and Lemon Orzotto
Spaghetti w/ Pinot Grigio and Seafood (very romantic indeed)
Butternut Squash Tortelloni w/ Cranberry Walnut Sauce
Pappardelle w/ Seafood Cream Sauce
Champagne Risotto (light and flavorful)
Linguine and Lobster Fra Diavolo
Corn Agnolotti w/ Tarragon Butter
Turkey and Cranberry Ravioli
*dried pasta versus fresh
Sweet Fresh Fettucine
PASTA BASICS (basic recipes):
Basic Marinara Sauce
Citrus Olive Oil
Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette
Red Wine Vinaigreet
Parmesan Frico (for the Spinach & Citrus Salad; they're pretty & tasty)
Italian Wine Course by Christian Navarro
This was a delight to go through in my initial run of cooking; I plan on going through more as the list of requests continues from those who know Giada from TV. Funny how I never seem to run out of volunteer taste-testers with her recipes! Enjoy!
81 of 86 people found the following review helpful
I swear by Giada's first 2 cookbooks and this one doesn't dissapoint at all! I am a newlywed and I haven't been cooking for very long and every recipe of Giada's has always come out wonderful. There are some basics in there, but tons of recipes that sound and taste much fancier and more difficult than they really are. My favorite thing about Giada's books is how exact her directions are, they really don't leave room for error. Honestly, when a cookbook just says to brown the pork chops, or sautee the veggies to crisp-tender, or whatever that is just SO meaningless to me. Giada lays it out perfectly, with specific directions like over medium heat cook the pork chops for 3 minutes on each side etc. She doesn't use any jargon or leave any guesswork to you so your meals will come out perfectly every time!! I recommend this book to people who want the most impact from their meals, with minimal amount of effort. Most of the meals in this book take under 15 minutes to prepare, and the rest only really take 15-30 minutes of hands on time. Amazing food that is healthy, and much less expensive than a trip to your favorite italian restaurant, can really be prepared VERY quickly with Giada's help. Oh, and it is great for entertaining since the recipes can easily be doubled or tripled.
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
I have been a fan of Giada de Laurentiis since watching her cooking show on the Food Network, and loved her cookbook, Everyday Italian, that had lots of interesting recipes, and were generally fuss-free. In her latest offering, Giada doesn't disappoint...the cookbook is filled with great, practical pasta recipes,and also recipes for sauces, salads, and side dishes.
There are useful tips interspersed throughout, for e.g. pasta-cooking tips, how to match pasta shapes to sauces, grating cheeses, no cook pasta sauces & different ways to dress up risotto.
The book itself is divided into several sections: antipasti & appetisers [e.g. parmesan popovers], side dishes [e.g. greens with gorgonzola dressing], soups and pasta salads, hearty pastas [e.g. crab & ricotta manicotti], lighter dishes [for the more health conscious, e.g. eggplant mezzaluna ravioli], stuffed pastas, quick & easy weeknight pastas [e.g. penne with beef and arugula], flavored pastas, pastas for special occasions [champagne risotto!], & even some basic recipes.
Best part is that most of them are easy to make, and in fact can be made with ingredients at hand. The pictures are a delight, and a feast for the eyes, and the recipes are mouthwatering indeed. Another winner from a lovely and talented chef!
86 of 104 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2007
This book contains a collection of recipes that Giada has presented on her show on the Food Network, and can be viewed as the companion to her show. The emphasis is, obviously given the title, on pasta, but there are some salad, appetizer, and dessert recipes as well. The production quality of the book is outstanding. There are beautiful photos of every dish, and the book is nice to flip through. I didn't think that the recipes themselves are particularly imaginative, however (just look at the sample recipe above). If you are a relative newbie to Italian cuisine, you may find this cookbook interesting, but for anyone who has cooked (or eaten) much Italian cuisine, this book isn't going to broaden your repertoire very much. You will easily be able to find better pasta cookbooks on Amazon. Most of the dishes in this book are designed to be made quickly and can be prepared in half an hour or less, so they are well suited to the busy lifestyle. There are a few baked pasta dishes that require a bit more effort (and time). Many of the dishes have also been `Americanized'. Bottom line is that this is a nice cookbook if you want some ideas for quick appetizers or pastas, but there aren't a lot of particularly memorable recipes (or even ideas here). Not something you are likely to return to again and again. A nice companion if you like Giada's show, but not a serious pasta recipe book.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
I confess that my husband and I have something of a cookbook fetish. We have, however, invested in some books that didn't prove worthwhile and so before shelling out the money for Giada's books, I decided I would check them out from the library, make some recipes, and go from there. I wanted to know if the recipes were as good as she makes them look on the show and if, upon tasting it, my husband and I would have expressions on our faces that mirror the food ecstasy Giada seems to experience. The answer to that question: Oh, yes! Today I've ordered all three of her books because I simply can't imagine living without them and not being able to make her delicious, heavenly recipes whenever I want. Here are my thoughts on a few of the recipes:
Rigatoni with Sausage, Peppers, and Onions - I come from an Italian family and grew up with Italian sausage on the grill, peppers and onions served alongside. I've never had it with pasta before but Giada's recipe is divine. I used chicken Italian sausage rather than the turkey and this dish was so tasty that I could hardly wait to eat the leftovers the next day.
Roman-Style Fettuccine with Chicken - This was another hit that even my rather picky daughter liked. The sweetness of the peppers blends well with the mustardy tang of the capers. The chicken was juicy and delicious and the sauce perfectly seasoned.
Turkey and Artichoke Stuffed Shells - My four-year-old daughter loved this one so much that as she was eating it, she was asking when we could have it again. I found the yield to be much higher than indicated in the recipe but this was a bonus as I was able to make an extra tray of the shells, freeze them, and then pop them into the oven one night for a quick dinner. The dish is savory and delicious and tastes very rich--even when using all white meat ground turkey.
Linguine and Lobster Fra Diavolo - My husband raved about this one and positively devoured it. I'm not as big of a seafood fan as he is but I liked it as well. It has a very nice bite to it and is surprisingly spicy for a dish with just a bit of red pepper. The cognac really brought out the bite of the pepper.
Basic Marinara - This is a tasty basic sauce that is easy to make and just takes a bit of time for the simmering. We made a double batch and frozen it and it was very good when thawed and used to make a quick baked penne with some mozzarella.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2007
I have all three of Giada's books, and I must say that she never fails to deliver. This particular book is oraganized so well, that all I have to do is go to a section for what I am looking for that evening. Not only does she provide great new recipes, she also has the best organized modern cookbook I have ever seen. I also like the fact that she has various levels of dishes. Her first book had recipes that were too "basic" in flavor for my tastes. Here, she adds bold recipes like her beef short ribs. In addition, hands down, Giada makes the best baked pastas, but she also has new makeovers for old dishes that brings pasta to the present, with a hint of nostalgia. Everytime I cook a dish from her cookbooks, I get a big smile from my husband, who looks forward to our evening dinners.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2007
I absolutely love this book! Giada is incredible ! Her shows are entertaining and her enthusiasm and passion for food are infectious! I (now) own all 3 of her cookbooks and I have to say "Everyday Pasta" could easily be my favourite installment. This book has beautiful colour photos and is very easy to follow not to mention, inspiring....I love the pasta glossary although minimal and I agree with one review where it could have contained pics of the pasta thats described but...thats about the only "flaw" to this book.
I have tried a few recipes from her previous books and have been very pleased with the results. I cant wait to start with Everyday Pasta...
Buying this book wont promise you an entry into the culinary school in Paris BUT it is guaranteed to inspire you in some way.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2007
This is a great book! I have already tried a few of the recipes and loved them, I told my neighbor about the book, and after looking at mine she bought it and has tried a few of the recipes and loves them too!
They are, as always with Giada, easy to follow, and yummy tasting. A must if you are a pasta person!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 2007
I have all of Giada's books and have made quite a few of her recipes. Being an experienced cook for many years it is a pleasure to find new and exciting things to try out. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys cooking and having dinner parties. Giada rocks!!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2007
This is one of the best Italian cookbooks I've purchased in years. I've owned it for only a few weeks and have already made and enjoyed many recipes. The recipes are well tested and delicious. I would recommend this cookbook to anyone who loves pasta!