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Alex Guarnaschelli welcomes spring with chicken skewers and spinach-artichoke dip

Alex Guarnaschelli makes the most of bright seasonal ingredients with her pesto chicken satay, layered sorbet cake and creamy spinach-artichoke dip.
/ Source: TODAY

Food Network star, chef, restaurateur and cookbook author Alex Guarnaschelli is stopping by the TODAY kitchen to share a few of her go-to easy entertaining recipes. She shows us how to make chicken satay with basil pesto, creamy spinach and artichoke dip and a colorful layered sorbet cake.

Satay is most commonly served with peanuts, but I went Italian and reimagined it with Parmesan pesto. The cheese, to me, almost acts as nuts would, offering richness and deep flavor that the chicken really needs.

I have to say that my mother actually never made dip when I was growing up and I have been making up for lost time ever since. I love steamed and roasted artichokes, served plain, with some lemon, and this dip is a quickly enriched version of that great flavor mixed with lots of fresh herbs and tangy cream cheese.

Sorbet Cake

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Sorbet Cake

Alex Guarnaschelli

I went to the Feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy in New York City every year growing up. It's a celebration of Italian American culture to the nth degree. My favorite items were always the cannoli and the spumoni. Spumoni is an layered dessert that consists of a few flavors of ice cream (often pistachio, strawberry and vanilla to represent the colors of the Italian flag). It's festive, colorful and above all, tasty and refreshing. This is a good, no-bake dessert with some dramatic flair for spring and summer. I make it with sorbet so it's even lighter and more refreshing.

If you like those party-perfect recipes, you should also try these:

No-Bake Cheesecake
French Dip Sandwiches