Giada De Laurentiis Shares her Favorite Foods, Cultural Influences & Summer Recipes

Ricotta with Honey and Raspberries Recipe Below

Posted by Sharon on Jul 21

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During the Sicilain Food Festival in San Diego's Little Italy this summer, celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis was on hand to sign cookbooks, host cooking demos, and share her origins as well as influences that played a part during her extensive culinary journey.

The chef enthusiastically divulged her favorite foods; they include freshly made pasta, Neopolitan pizza, ripened tomatoes, and olive oil.

"I like lighter food," she said. Her favorite dishes are inspired from her Neopolitan and Roman heritage. In these regions, fresh and light flavors are more common in local fare.

"Northern Italian food is very influenced by Germany and France, so the food is heavier and based in tomato sauces, soft cheeses, and lots of meat," explained Giada. "Central Italy does a lot with stuffed pastas, and the coasts do a lot with fish."

The birth of her daughter Jade in 2009 has played a significant part in Giada's career pursuits. She'd someday like to host children's programming, develop an animated series around cooking, or begin a new travel series. "I'd like to do specials where I can bring my daughter and husband with me to be part of the exploration," she said.

Giada is also the spokesperson for Bella Sera wines, owned by a good friend of hers, Stephanie Galo. "We have a lot in common," Giada says of her friend. "Both our families came to this country to start a new life; we have a very similar story and cultural background."

For the summer, Giada pairs a Bella Sera Pinot Grigio with her recipe for Piadina with Fontina and Prosciutto. A piadina is a thin Italian flatbread, often used as a wrap for sandwich fillings. The dish is topped with lemon zest and fresh basil.

And for a quick summer dessert, Giada recommends Ricotta with Honey and Raspberries paired with a glass of Bella Sera Moscato. The recipe is below.

From Giada De Laurentiis: Ricotta with Honey and Raspberries

Add 1 lb. ricotta cheese to a bowl, then sprinkle 1 tsp. sweetened cocoa powder on top. Then top with 1 cup fresh raspberries and a drizzle of 2 Tbsp. honey. Use biscotti cookies as spoons. When berries aren't in season, try substituting pears for the raspberries.

Source:  San Diego Entertainer

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