Giada's spring-time pasta recipes for the family

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Giada's pasta recipes are quick and easy

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Not sure what to make for dinner? Giada De Laurentiis is here to help. She dished out two great pasta recipes, both packed with the fresh flavors of the season, that the entire family will enjoy.

Penne with sausage, artichokes and asparagus
Servings:

6 servings

Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 pound Italian hot sausages, casings removed
    • 2 (8-ounce) packages frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
    • 1 cup asparagus, trimmed and cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
    • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
    • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
    • 1/2 cup dry white wine
    • 12 ounces penne pasta
    • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
    • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
    • 1 cup cherry heirloom tomatoes, halved
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
    • Salt and freshly ground pepper
    • 8 ounces water-packed fresh mozzarella, drained and cubed (optional)
    • Additional shredded Parmesan cheese

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the sausages and cook until brown, breaking up the meat into bite-size pieces with a fork, about 8 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a bowl. Add the asparagus, artichokes and garlic to the same skillet and sauté over medium heat until the garlic is tender, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and wine. Boil over medium-high heat until the sauce reduces slightly, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta in boiling water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Drain the pasta (do not rinse). Add the pasta, sausage, 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, basil, tomatoes and parsley to the artichoke mixture. Toss until the sauce is almost absorbed by the pasta. Stir in the mozzarella. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve, passing the additional Parmesan cheese alongside.

Lemon spaghetti with shrimp
Servings:

13 servings

Ingredients

  • For the shrimp:

    • 2/3 cup olive oil plus 1 tablespoon
    • 3/4 pound frozen 31/35 shrimp, thawed, peeled, cleaned and patted dry
    • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • For the pasta:

    • 1 pound spaghetti
    • 2/3 cup olive oil
    • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan
    • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
    • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
    • 2 tablespoons fried capers

Preparation

Baking Directions:

In a medium sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat. Season the shrimp with the salt and pepper. In a single layer, add the shrimp to the preheated pan. Cook for 3 minutes per side or until pink and cooked through. Set aside.Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the oil, Parmesan and lemon juice in a large bowl to blend.Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Toss the pasta with the lemon sauce, the shrimp and the reserved cooking liquid, adding 1/4 cup at a time as needed to moisten. Season with the salt and pepper and stir in the basil. Garnish with lemon zest and fried capers.*Cooks Note: To fry capers, drain, rinse and dry the capers very well. Heat 1/4 inch vegetable oil in a small straight sided skillet over medium high heat until it shimmers when you swirl it. You can make sure it is hot enough by adding one caper to the oil. If it immediately starts to sizzle and pop, the oil is hot enough. Add the capers to the hot oil and fry for about 10 to 15 seconds or until they have popped open are golden brown and crispy. Using a slotted spoon, remove the capers to a paper towel lined plate and allow to drain before using. 

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