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updated 9/13/2010 4:44:01 PM ET 2010-09-13T20:44:01

Recipe: Thyme butter sauce

Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
Preparation

Melt the butter with the thyme leaves in a medium, heavy skillet over medium heat until the butter is melted, about 2 minutes.

Recipe: Vodka sauce

Ingredients
  • 3 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
Preparation

In a heavy, large skillet, simmer the marinara sauce and vodka over low heat, stirring often, until the mixture reduces by one fourth, about 20 minutes. Stir in the cream and continue to simmer over low heat until the sauce is heated through. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the Parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Season the sauce with more salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe: Spicy pesto sauce

Ingredients
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 (2- inch) red or green jalapeno pepper, stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups grated asiago cheese
  • 2 teaspoons salt, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, or more to taste
  • 2 cups (3 ounces) baby spinach
  • 3 cups (3 ounces) arugula
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
Preparation

In a food processor, combine the walnuts, garlic, jalapeno, grated cheese, salt and pepper. Process until the mixture is smooth. Add the spinach and arugula and process until blended. With the machine running, gradually add the olive oil

Video: Giada’s simple and easy pasta sauces

  1. Closed captioning of: Giada’s simple and easy pasta sauces

    >>> this morning on "cooking with giada" pasta sauce made simple. with kids back in school and full day of work it can be hard to time tinld for a hearty meal. giada de laurentiis has three simple pasta sauces. you can't go wrong with pasta for the kids.

    >> no. i think parents love pasta. it's an easy way to fill up the kids and give them some nutritious. three easy ways. 1 1/2 sticks of butter. all the kids love butter. melt the butter and then add a tablespoon of fresh thyme. this is kind of a spin on the classic which is buttered sage but the thyme is lemoner and gives more body and flavor and lightens it up. that melts. you add the thyme. you let that all kind of melt together just for like two minutes and then pour it over ravioli. i like it with stuffed pasta. so any kind of ravioli. next vodka sauce. love vodka sauce. three cups of marinara store bought. wrong one. sorry. a cup of vodka.

    >> wow!

    >> there we go. you cook this down for 20 minutes . obviously all of the vodka doesn't evaporate but most does. it gives a little heat in the back of the throat which is why i love it. after 20 minutes add half a cup of heavy cream and half a cup of parmesan cheese . this is what it looks like.

    >> kind of a more brownish color.

    >> it's kind of creamy, just like that.

    >> and if you wanted to, you could replace the heavy cream with a lighter one if you wanted. but you don't want to. you don't want to!

    >> if you want to. but after you taste this lovely spaghetti with vodka sauce, you won't want to. but for a lighter spin, something that you --

    >> this is very healthy.

    >> this is really healthy. i use some walnuts. it's a spicy pesto. jalapeno. if you use the seeds it can be spicier. so decide how much jalapeno you want to add. add no seeds if you want. two garlic cloves, arugula, asiago cheese . you must take a bite.

    >> ordered by giada to take a bite.

    >> hi, come on in. this can be cold. it can be a snack or side dish . add shrimp or chicken or beef or anything to this.

    >> you made this with walnuts and not pine nuts ?

    >> walnuts, gentlemanly pena, garlic, spinach, arugula.

    >> we like this.

    >> i'm going to try one of each.

    >> those ravioli and vodka sauce with spaghetti.

    >> you have helped solve our dinner problems with the kids as usual.

    >> vegetable in there. pasta sauce. all of it is in there.

    >>> much more -- carl, you want to eat a bite of this?

    >> i do. move over !

    >>> plus, you have fitness trainer jackie warner . come in here.

    >> out of hiding. test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test

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