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Weeknights with Giada: Quick and Simple Recipes to Revamp Dinner Hardcover – March 27, 2012

116 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

Featured Recipe: Sweet Corn and Basil Lasagna

Sweet Corn and Basil Lasagna

No-boil noodles and a food processor are what make this lasagna a weeknight-dinner friend. Both help to put a super-creamy, provolone-cheesy, comforting, and downright amazing pasta dish on the table for the family. One tip to minimize clean-up and avoid hand-grating the cheese: use the shredding attachment of the food processor to grate the provolone first. Then, without having to wash the bowl, you can switch to the blade to make the sweet corn and basil filling. Smiles all around!

Serves 4-6

  • 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 two 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.


"De Laurentiis delivers on her promise—the book is full of quick, easy dishes that follow her formula—simple and pleasing."
--Publisher's Weekly

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; First Edition edition (March 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030745102X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307451026
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

GIADA DE LAURENTIIS is the star of Food Network's Everyday Italian, Giada's Weekend Getaways, and Giada in Paradise. She attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and worked at Wolfgang Puck's Spago restaurantin Los Angeles.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

151 of 156 people found the following review helpful By Amanda on March 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I have been a fan of Giada De Laurentiis for a long time. By now, I've integrated several of her recipes into my cooking repertoire and have even taken the liberty to tweak a few of the recipes to my own liking. I've always been drawn to Giada's warm personality on camera and her accessible approach to Italian cooking. Not only is Giada's food easy enough to make, but it tastes excellent -and is certainly a favorite of my very Italian boyfriend.

When I saw the title of Giada's newest cookbook, I got excited. It seemed that as she moved forward in her career, Giada's cooking had become more complex and not as accessible to the everyday person to work with a busy schedule. In fact, with Giada's more recent move to food that's designed to entertain, I've found that there are fewer and fewer of her new recipes that I can tackle -mostly due to complexity and time constraints. I was hoping that Weeknights with Giada would go back to her roots more and offer dishes that could fit around my job and life.

I was a little disappointed. A handful of the recipes here do fall into that category of "weeknight dinners," but most really don't: at least they don't fit my definition of weeknight meals. Most recipes here take the more complex entertainment approach. The result certainly seems tasty, but doesn't work as recipes for a working woman trying to put good food on the table Monday through Friday. Really, if the title had just been different, my disappointment wouldn't be so high.

Weeknights offers a handful of different categories: soups and salads, bruschettas, sandwiches and pizzas, pastas and grains; meat, poultry and fish; something called "change of pace," breakfast for dinner, veggies and sides, and desserts.
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51 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Baker Bronte on March 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I own all of Giada's cookbooks and was thrilled to preorder this one through Amazon. However, I feel that this cookbook is the weakest book in Giada's line.

The title, of course, is Weeknights with Giada:Quick and Simple Recipes to Revamp Dinner. Many of the recipes are quick and simple, but a disproportionately large number just involve too much prep work and dirtying too many kitchen appliances, pans, and implements for me to feel good about attempting the recipes on a weeknight when I have worked all day, picked my toddler up from childcare, and have to get something on the table quickly. However, I understand that these are her recipes for a typical day in her life. I just fail to see how these recipes are much simpler than any other she has published before. There are many other cookbooks out there that deliver on weeknight recipes made from wholesome ingredients with efficiency in preparation/cleanup.

Sections include: soups and salads; bruschetta,sandwiches, and pizzas; pasta and grains; meat,poultry, and fish; change of pace; breakfast for dinner; veggies and sides; and desserts.

I was disappointed by the "Change of Pace" section which, as promised, is a departure from her light Italian fare. These recipes seem to be a variety of Asian, Spanish, and South American recipes. I do realize that the title of the book said nothing about it being an Italian cookbook, but I was still a little thrown by the inclusion of these recipes. Many of them just don't interest me. I also found a few of the ingredients a little hard to locate. For example, the three grocery stores in town and the three major Asian markets do not carry black forbidden rice.
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41 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Norma Lehmeierhartie VINE VOICE on March 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Weeknights with Giada: Quick and Simple Recipes to Revamp Dinner is a collection of mostly simple dinners that the chef makes for her own family, husband and four year old daughter and occasional extended family and friends. The With her busy schedule, Giada likes to keep weeknight meals simple. Her four year old has been eating what they eat for the past year, so this book contains recipes that she adapted for all of them to share at mealtimes.

A beautiful book with lots of photos that show off the food and and Giada and her friends and family. (Yes, they are so photogenic.)

The book is divided as follows:
Soups and salads
Sandwiches and pizzas
Pasta and grains
Meat, poultry and fish
Change of pace
Breakfast for dinner
Veggies and sides

Many recipes are healthy and look very good, as Giada incorporates more whole grains and pastas into her recipes. The family eats meatless on Mondays for health. That said, my chief complaint is how much meat is used in most recipes. For example, there is a full pound of bacon in the cauliflower soup. (It sounds delicious, however, and I will make it with about 1/3 of a pound.)

Giada explains to the reader how to save time cooking. As a former caterer/chef, I think she gives some good advice. For example, when using a food processor, if you need to process several items, do them in the order that you don't have to clean machine between ingredients. Great advice--I often think twice about using my processor because clean up is so time consuming.

Some time saving tips are silly; pre-cooked brown rice, for instance. Yes, brown rice takes about 50 minutes to make, but it is chiefly unattended.
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