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Video: Giada’s pasta recipes are quick and easy

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    >>> we're going to do some cooking with giada this morning. we are doing springtime pasta dishes that the whole family can enjoy. giada de laurentiis is a chef and "today" contributor. good morning.

    >> hi, momma. i haven't seen you since.

    >> i know. here it is.

    >> look so good.

    >> ready to carbo load.

    >> this is just for you. very, very, very simple. i'm going to cook some frozen shrimp that i defrosted. just browning them two minutes on each side.

    >> you had me at frozen.

    >> you're going to make a lemon sauce. olive oil is already in here for you. 2/3 a cup of olive oil . dump the parmesan cheese . and a half a cup of fresh lemon juice .

    >> fresh.

    >> it's got to be fresh. and then a little salt, pepper. whisk it all together and your sauce is done.

    >> oh, my gosh, that was easy.

    >> tell me you can do that.

    >> this i can do.

    >> if you can't, i know your husband can.

    >> he definitely could.

    >> since he makes a mean salad, he knows how to make a dressing. that would work on a salad as well. just keep mixing it so you can get it mixed really well.

    >> those go quick.

    >> i always keep frozen shrimp in my freezer, which is a good place for them. but that way you can make dinner really fast and add protein. any kind of protein works on top of this pasta. so, the little added touch that i really like, if you don't want to do it, you don't have to, but it's really cute. i just take a little bit of oil. i'll let you back up for a second.

    >> you're frying those capers.

    >> i'm going to lower the heat for a second. you can just turn it off. and then you just let them fry for like ten seconds. and you get these crunchy little nuggets. just like that.

    >> very nice. that doesn't make it super fatty, does it?

    >> well, it's just a tiny --

    >> you paused. never mind.

    >> you love doing that to me.

    >> i just wanted to know.

    >> if there's a time to have fun with food, this sit. after that, forget about it.

    >> i know.

    >> spaghetti. you just take it out like this. i'm going to have you grab the lemon dressing. this is great spring, summer. i love it. i bring it to people's houses. it's so easy.

    >> we have one minute, so we've got to get to the other thing. what do i do?

    >> just dump it on top. and top it with the shrimp.

    >> you go over there. we'll fix this.

    >> well, this one's easy. artichokes. frozen artichokes. cook with a little white wine . broth. some asparagus, which are in season. some italian sausage .

    >> love it.

    >> we're using brown rice pasta, which means it's gluten-free. and it's a little sticky, so you've just got to mix it. taste one. it's good.

    >> if you insist.

    >> and then i add lots of colors. tomatoes, mozzarella, parsley.

    >> you wanted to make a point about using the pasta water. you don't think people use the pasta water enough.

    >> they don't.

    >> what does it do?

    >> if you eat it, i will tell you.

    >> pasta water creates a sauce, so it helps the sauce stick to the noodles because it's got that little bit of starch. so save it.

    >> so good. delicious. giada, thank you. recipes on today.com, just

TODAY recipes
updated 4/28/2014 3:09:55 PM ET 2014-04-28T19:09:55

Recipe: Penne with sausage, artichokes and asparagus

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

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.

Serving Size

6 servings

Recipe: Lemon spaghetti with shrimp

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

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. 

Serving Size

13 servings

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