In new children’s book, Giada helps kids make pizza, zeppole

Giada De Laurentiis has a new gig — as a children's book author!

The first two installments of the chef's new children's book series, "Recipe for Adventure," just came out on Sept. 3. They follow the adventures of a brother and sister named Alfie and Emilia who magically get transported to different cities, where they learn how delicious home cooking can be. At the back of each book, readers find recipe cards featuring dishes from the places Alfie and Emilia visited.

Here are recipes for tomato-basil pizza and zeppole from Giada's "Recipe for Adventure: Naples!" book.

Tomato-basil pizza

Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup warm water
    • 2 teaspoons dry yeast
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon fine salt
    • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal
    • All-purpose flour, for dusting
    • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
    • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 3 large tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (if you can find them, Roma tomatoes are best for this)
    • 1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1/2 packed cup fresh basil leaves, torn or coarsely chopped
    • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Note: Make sure you have a parent or adult help you make this recipe.For the dough: In a small bowl, combine the warm water and yeast. The water should be "hand hot," so that it's not too hot to put your fingers in, but not lukewarm. Stir until the yeast is dissolved.In a medium bowl, whisk the flour and salt together. Add the yeast mixture and stir until a soft dough forms. If the dough is too dry, you can add a little extra water, 1 tablespoon at a time. If the dough is too sticky, add extra flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface. With floured hands, knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic, about 5-7 minutes. Drizzle the inside of a clean bowl with olive oil and rub it all around to coat the inside of the bowl. This keeps the dough from sticking to the bowl. Put the dough in the bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap or a clean, damp kitchen towel. Set the bowl in a warm, draft-free place. (I like to place my dough in the oven, which I've preheated to 200 degrees F. If you want to try this method, remember to make sure you turn off the oven before the dough goes in!) Let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, about 2 hours.After your dough has risen, punch it down with your fist and form a ball. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and let it rest for 1 hour. If you are not going to make your pizza right away, wrap your dough in plastic and refrigerate it for up to 1 day.To make the pizza: Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Sprinkle the cornmeal on a large rimless baking sheet.On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll out the dough onto a 12-inch diameter circle, about 1/4-inch thick. Transfer the dough onto the prepared baking sheet, making sure the cornmeal is evenly distributed on the bottom of the dough.Drizzle the pizza dough with olive oil. Spread the minced garlic over the dough, then sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge for the crust. Place the tomato slices in a single layer over the cheese and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle the basil leaves on top. Drizzle with olive oil again and bake until the crust is crisp and brown on the bottom and the cheese is melted, about 18-20 minutes. Sprinkle with a little salt and cut into slices.Serve immediately. Buon appetito! Enjoy!

Zeppole

Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup sugar, plus 3 tablespoons
    • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (the secret ingredient!)
    • 1 stick of butter
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 4 eggs
    • Olive oil, for frying

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Note: Make sure you have a parent or adult help you make this recipe.In a small bowl, combine the 1/2 cup sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon. Stir until it's mixed and then set aside.In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, salt, 3 tablespoons sugar and water over medium heat. Once it starts to boil, carefully take the pan off the heat and stir in the flour. Once the flour is mixed in, return the pan to medium heat and keep stirring until the dough forms a ball. This should take about 3-5 minutes. Transfer the mixture into a medium bowl. Using a spoon or an electric hand mixer (if you have one) on low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, mixing in each egg completely before adding the next. Beat the mixture until it is nice and smooth. If you're not going to fry your zeppole right away, cover the mixture with some plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator.Now, to fry the zeppole! First pour enough olive oil into a large frying pan so that the oil is about 2 inches deep. Heat the oil over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 375 degrees F.Use a large spoon to scoop up about a tablespoon of dough, then use another spoon to carefully slide the dough off into the hot oil. (It's best to fry the zeppole in small batches.) Turn the zeppole once or twice, cooking them until they are golden and puffed up, about 5 minutes. When they are done, drain them on paper towels. Gently toss the zeppole in the cinnamon-sugar-nutmeg mixture until they are coated.Eat them while they are still hot. Yum! Where will they take you?

Hot chocolate
Servings:

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

    • 6 cups whole milk
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped or broken into 1/2-inch pieces
    • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Preparation

Baking Directions:

In a large saucepan, whisk together the milk, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Bring to just below a boil over medium-high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate and sugar. Stir constantly until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. Keep warm over low heat until ready to serve.Savor every sip!

Crepes

Ingredients

    • 4 eggs
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • 1/2 cup flour
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 3 tablespoons butter, cut into about 10 cubes

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, milk, flour, sugar and salt. Whisk until the mixture forms a smooth batter. Preheat a 10-inch nonstick frying pan or skillet over medium-low heat. Melt 1 cube of butter in the pan. Add ¼ cup of batter and quickly tilt the pan to form an even coating of batter on the bottom of the pan. Cook for 1 minute until set and slightly browned. Using a heat-resistant spatula, carefully loosen the sides and gently flip over the crepe. Cook for 1 minute. Repeat with remaining batter and butter. Place the crepes on the prepared baking sheet and place in a warm oven, for up to 20 minutes, until ready to serve.You can use lots of things for crepe fillings! For sweet crepes, try sliced bananas and chocolate sauce, raspberry or strawberry jam, peanut butter and jelly, or chocolate-hazelnut spread. For savory crepes, try ham, bacon, cheese, mushrooms or spinach.

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