Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending a book signing with Giada De Laurentiis. Hosted by Rainy Day Books, Giada was interviewed on stage at the Midland, and all attendees received a copy of her new cookbook. I’ve long been a fan of Giada and own nearly all of her cookbooks. Her basic risotto recipe is my go to, but for the most part, I don’t turn to her recipes regularly. In case you’re unfamiliar with Giada, I think you’ll get a feel for how charming she is. She’s one of those celebrities that I misguidedly think I could be friends with if we actually met.
As I flipped through her new cookbook at the event, I couldn’t wait to try it out. Weeknights with Giada has a different focus than her others. It focuses on simple dishes that come together quickly. In addition to Italian recipes, she also includes meals from other cultures. I think this cookbook is the perfect addition to the busy cook’s repertoire.
So far, I’ve made:
- Ham, Apple & Gruyere Panini
- Sweet & Spicy Greek Meatballs
- Fried Smashed Potatoes with Lemon
- Spiced Pork Chops With Sweet & Sour Glaze
- Pastina with Peas & Carrots
They were all delicious and took well under an hour to make. Here are my notes about the food I made:
My favorite was the pork chops. Keegan’s was the meatballs.
In terms of ease, the meatballs and smashed potatoes took the most time, but I suspect they’d come together a lot faster on my second try. Also, I used Yukon potatoes and think I would try baby red next time. Mine didn’t smash as well as hers, and for now, I’m blaming it on my potato choice.
Additionally, I burned the toast on the panini, but that’s kind of my thing. Be sure to watch yours closely.
Last but not least, if you have kids, I think the pastina would be a huge hit.