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VINE VOICEon May 16, 2007
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.

(Pasta Go-Withs)


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)

Fried Zucchini

Prosciutto-Wrapped Veggies w/ Parmesan


Cornbread Panzanella

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)


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!!)

Ribollita (soup)

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

Mediterranean Salad

Antipasto 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)

Proscuitto Raviolo

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)


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

*stuffed pastas

Orecchiette w/ Mixed Greens and Goat Cheese

Capellini Piedmontese

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


Chicken in Lemon Cream w/ Penne

Little Stars w/ Butter and parmesan

Breakfast Scramble w/ Orzo, pancetta, and Asparagus

Creamy Orzo

Farfalle w/ Broccoli

Wagon Wheels w/ Artichoke Pesto

*flavored pastas

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


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)

*reimagining risotto

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):

Fresh Pasta

Basic Marinara Sauce

Bechamel Sauce

Arrabbiata Sauce

Chili Oil

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

Topic Menu's

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!
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VINE VOICEon April 12, 2007
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.
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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!
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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.
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VINE VOICEon May 6, 2008
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.
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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.
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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.

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I have an automatic pasta maker and wanted some inspiration for new dishes in which I could utilize it. Although this doesn't get me that creative with the pasta dough recipes at all as it is really a primer on what to do after you have dough--as in store bought or homemade, it really has some fantastic recipes that utilize a multitude of pastas and pasta shapes.

(The Complete Book of Pasta is better if you want to start from scratch but don't pass up this book if that is what you are looking for, this one gives you great dishes and is a must for an Italian dish lover)

What shines in the book are the creative takes on pasta such as Tagliatelle with short rib ragu, Butternut Tortelloni with Cranberry Walnut Salad, Spaghetti with Pino Grigio and Seafood, Toasted Ciabatta toasts with Balsamic Syrup, Champagne Risotto, Linguini and Lobster Fra Diovolo, Shrimp Lasagna Rolls with Creamy get the picture...such a variety of simple such as baked macaroni casserole to more gourmet and everything from light dishes, to hearty ones to appetizers etc.

What's nice is she even gives you full menus such as suggested items for a party with kids, or a feast for Christmas need to think of what will pair well together, the thinking is done for you.

I find myself reaching for this cookbook often for dinner parties. It seems to have the kind of things that everyone loves but that look beautiful when plated. And, best yet, that taste amazing.
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on January 14, 2012
I was excited about this cookbook: the setup, pictures, and fun recipes, made this look like a go to for restaurant quality unique dishes. unfortunately the only Restaurant similarity was the cost to make the dishes. I am not afraid of expensive or time intensive home cooked meals--there are a few stables in my house-- but if I put in more than an hour cooking I expect unparalleled taste, and this cookbook did not deliver.

I have made 4 dinners from this cookbook. The recipes I cooked called for unusual ingredients--that are not cheap-- had a lot of prep and cooking involved, then fell flat on the taste. The meals didn't taste bad, they just didn't taste great or even memorable.

I wish I was not so disappointed in this cookbook, or afraid to possibly waste my time on another recipe, but I am.
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on October 12, 2015
Not loving the book. I have never really been a fan of Giada's but a friend recommended it to me since I love to cook pasta. It is ok, but nothing I would write home about. Scott Conant and Mario Batalio have much better cookbooks. Sorry.
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