July 14, 2014 at 11:20 AM ET
Giada De Laurentiis shows how you can take advantage of fresh ingredients with easy-to-make summertime dishes, including a kid-friendly "pirate" pasta and a Mediterranean salad with couscous and veggies.
Serves 4 to 6
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but still firm to the bite (about 8 to 10 minutes). Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water. Place the pasta and 1 cup of cheese in a large bowl, and toss until coasted.
In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, garlic, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms begin to brown (about 5 to 6 minutes).
Add the tuna, olives, tomato paste, capers, red pepper flakes, 1 1/2 tsp. of salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Using a wooden spoon, break up the tuna into 1-in. pieces. Add the chicken broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Remove the garlic and discard.
Pour the tuna mixture over the pasta, and add the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese and the basil. Toss until coated, using the reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve.
Little thimbles sciue sciue
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring often to prevent it from sticking together, until tender but still firm to the bite (about 8 minutes). Drain.
Meanwhile, in a heavy large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add the tomatoes and sauté just until heated through (about 2 minutes). Add the cooked pasta.
Remove the skillet from the heat. Add the cheese and basil, and toss to coat. Season the pasta with salt, to taste. Spoon the pasta into small serving bowls and serve immediately.
In a medium saucepan, warm 3 tbsp. of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the couscous and cook, stirring often, until toasted and lightly browned (about 5 minutes). Carefully add the stock and the juice of 1 lemon, and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer covered, stirring occasionally, until the couscous is tender but still firm to the bite (about 8 to 10 minutes). Drain the couscous.
In a large bowl, toss the cooked couscous with the remaining olive oil, the remaining lemon juice, zest, salt and pepper and let cool.
Once the couscous has cooled to room temperature, add the fresh herbs, quartered cherries and almonds. Toss to combine, and serve.