For Realsies

I remember when Giada De Laurentiis came on the scene and none of us knew if she was for real.  Andra was convinced she was a front for a heavy old Italian woman with a hairy mole on her face.  I think we were all a little suspicious of her credibility because of her tiny waist, big green eyes, impeccable taste and her rack that probably keeps the Super Tight/Super Deep V-Neck Shirt Company in business.

While it would be easier to accept that she’s simply a cover, the truth is that she’s totally legit.  Educated at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris with a serious resume before her TV career, she is in fact not just another pretty face.  All that aside (or maybe because of it), I’m a fan because her recipes WORK.  I have an arsenal of Giada recipes that I use regularly, like this one, Pasta alla Formiana, which uses fresh tomatoes, crushed tomatoes and olive oil to cook dry pasta in the oven.  This is in rotation around here in the summer when there always seem to be more ripe tomatoes than we know what to do with.  I was hesitant about the amount of dried oregano called for, but true to her recipes, it works.  The oregano mellows in the oven with the long cooking time and permeates the pasta.  The tomatoes caramelize and actually become the perfect serving size outline; one cubic tomato for the adults, less for kids.

You’ll love this recipe (and you’ll appreciate that Giada shared it with us lesser attractive, non-celebrity home cooks).*

*I’m just saying that for everyone else; I can tell that you’re actually very good-looking.  

– Catherine

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