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Giada De Laurentiis: the queen of Italian cuisine talks about pasta, food shopping, and easy weeknight cooking.

Her new book It's called Everyday Pasta, and it's a book I always wanted to write. Before World War II, my family had a pasta factory in Naples, Italy. My grandfather, Dino De Laurentiis, sold pasta. Even after he went to work as an actor and then as a producer, he still made pasta. The book has recipes he made with me, plus things I came up with on my own--newer, easier recipes.

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Making great pasta You need lots of salted water--the pasta needs to be able to swim. I like to pull my pasta out and let it finish cooking in the saucepan, so it catches the flavor of the sauce.

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Cooking for Mother's Day I love to start with a Bellini bar. Take a bottle of prosecco (sparkling wine) and then puree blueberries and strawberries and peaches and put them into three little pitchers. I also do this breakfast scramble: eggs, orzo pasta, pancetta, and fresh asparagus.

Food shopping I go to the Santa Monica Farmers' Market on Wednesdays--that's the best produce day. For seafood, I like Santa Monica Seafood. For meat, honestly, when I need to buy in bulk, I go to Costco. They have great meat.

On wine For California wines, my favorite is from right here: Tom and Ruth Jones's Moraga Vineyards in Bel-Air. They make a red wine that's an 80 percent Cabernet and 20 percent Merlot blend--it's wonderful.

Weeknight dinner One of my favorites is orecchiette ("little ears") pasta. I cook the pasta, toss it with fresh mixed greens and olive oil, crumble goat cheese over it. That's it--I have my carbs, my green vegetables, and my protein.

Giada De Laurentiis's newest book is Everyday Pasta (Clarkson Potter, 2007; $33). Her television show, Everyday Italian, appears on the Food Network. Visit www.giadadelaurentiis.com for more info.

INTERVIEW BY PETER FISH
COPYRIGHT 2007 Sunset Publishing Corp.
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Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:LOS ANGELES
Author:Fish, Peter
Publication:Sunset
Article Type:Interview
Date:May 1, 2007
Words:312
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