TODAY   |  September 25, 2013

Paula Deen’s son: Mom is ‘doing fantastic’

Jamie Deen talks with TODAY’s Matt Lauer about how his mother, Paula Deen, is doing after she lost many of her corporate sponsors in the wake of a lawsuit alleging she made racist remarks. He also shows how he makes his special eggplant rigatoni, a family-friendly favorite.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> this morning, what's for dinner, we're making pasta three ways. growing up in georgia jamie deen 's mother paula cooked dinner for her family every single night. he shares it in his new book called jamie deen 's good food. good to see you.

>> good to have you.

>> let me ask you, how is your mom doing. so much we had on this show. an interview with her. the situation she has been through over the summer. how is she doing?

>> she is doing fantastic and we have tremendous love and support and we would do anything for mom. it's been an interesting summer but we've been through challenges before and it will be fine.

>> what has it been like as a son watching this. what's it been like watching this as someone that loves her?

>> it's tough. we're in, you know as well as anyone you're in this business and people will take shots at you and you accept that with the opportunities that it allows you but personal attacks on your mom is never an easy thing but we know who mom is and people that know us and love us know.

>> mom wrote the forward for this book.

>> of course she did. she's proud of her boys. this is a fun week to be here.

>> you have two. 7 and 2.

>> yes. i'm at both ends of aggravation.

>> my kids love pasta.

>> all kids do. we're going to sneak in a little bit. this is a roasted eggplant. if you want to drizzle this with oil. we peeled it and cubed it. a little bit of olive oil .

>> a lot of people might fry it. you like to roast it instead?

>> i don't fry much and it's also a good meat substitute. we'll get this into our pan and cover it with a simple tomato sauce . so this has the meaty quality and texture without the fat and all of that.

>> nice hot skillet.

>> of course and we'll put fresh basil in here. you can put it together quickly and it makes really nice left overs.

>> that's as easy as it gets right there.

>> still got the homemade flavor. the roasted eggplant gives it a lot.

>> do you also like it because it holds a lot of sauce?

>> yeah, it's big. boys like it. my son when he was a baby would put it on the end of his fingers because he would put it on his finger and eat it.

>> you undercook it in there so you can cook it the rest of the way in the pot.

>> don't break it down too much. i don't mind a little bit of the water coming in so it will break the sauce down. let me get the rest of these in here. my son jack is on the back cover and my mom gave me a cookbook when i was seven or eight so i'm so proud to get the kids in the kitchen .

>> does he care about how the food is prepared? or does she just like eating it.

>> we spend so much time in the kitchen that matthew and jack want to know what's going on in there. they love to stir and put things together. it's being there as a family.

>> so start to finish, this is a 15 minute dish?

>> there's some things in this book where you can spend a couple of hours but for the most part this is for busy families that have to eat every night.

>> you got it in a baking dish and you'll add four different cheeses.

>> we have fresh mozzarella that the boys and brooke and i love a lot. we're going to fold this in and we have ricotta cheese we'll dial up in.

>> can i add this one here.

>> yes, please.

>> what is that?

>> that is fontina and we'll finish with parmesan.

>> when you put the cheese on, we came running.

>> and then this goes in the oven for 15 or 20 minutes just to melt all the cheese. this is a healthy serving. we'll pass it down the line.

>> while you're serving that tell me about this dish here.

>> this is a pasta salad . we do this a lot at our house. jack loves wagon wheels .

>> wagon wheels .

>> oh, yeah.

>> you can get in vegetables and protein and your dairy.

>> thank you.

>> we love this. it's something we do a good bit at the house.

>> jamie, thank you so much.

>> my pleasure. thank y'all, preeappreciate it.