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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Giada. No Last Name Necessary.

Typically, I'm not a fan of Giada. I can't exactly pinpoint the reason per se, it's just something about her that rubs me the wrong way. Know what I mean?

Flipping through my TiVo today, I saw that I had taped her show "Everyday Italian" by accident. I decided to watch it to see if I could decipher the "bug" factor.

After listening to her pronounce her Italian pasta shapes with such exaggeration, I have to say I was ready to turn off the show. The smile. The teeth. Until she started on her Pasta Ponza recipe. I turned up the TV and leaned in to listen. She was speaking my language. Fresh, simple, pure ingredients. Easy directions. Quick and easy recipe. I quickly took a mental inventory of my fridge and pantry. Did I have the ingredients needed to make this delicious dish? The short answer? No. Will I have them soon enough? Yes. This dish will be made before the week is out.

Giada, you've changed me. Thank you!

Photo courtesy of Cooking Light Magazine
Recipe below courtesy of Food Network


  • Butter for greasing
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) red cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) yellow cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
  • 1/2 cup Italian-style seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 pound ziti or other short tube-shaped pasta
  • 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 ounces) Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 8-inch glass baking dish. Set aside.

Place the tomatoes, capers, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in the prepared baking dish. Toss to coat. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the tomato mixture. Drizzle the top with olive oil and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the top is golden. Cool for 5 minutes.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.

Place the pasta in a large serving bowl. Spoon the tomato mixture onto the pasta. Add the cheese and toss well. Thin out the sauce with a little pasta water, if needed. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve immediately.

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Blogger theprofessionalpalate said...

True Confession: I actually love Giada's show... don't hate me? ~Regan

August 31, 2009 at 4:47 AM  
Blogger Danielle said...

I also must confess to taping her show pretty religiously...but couldn't agree with you more about her bobble head (I know, it's mean) and her italian words (spag-het-ti), and the toothy smile. She's rather annoying, but her food IS awesome.

September 1, 2009 at 1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She makes great stuff but if I ate what she made I don't think I would be her size. How does she stay so tiny?

September 9, 2009 at 5:58 PM  

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