Four Easy Weeknight Meals from Giada De Laurentiis

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Topping off a long day with an elaborate dinner isn’t always realistic – or necessary.  The Giada De Laurentiis for Target product collection offers a line of specialty foods, perfect for everyday cooking and entertaining.  From pasta and pasta sauce to vinaigrettes and soup starters, Giada makes it easy to create a delicious dinner without adding extra stress to the day.  The Giada De Laurentiis for Target collection also features more than 70 quality manufactured kitchen essentials, such as cookware, ceramic bakeware and kitchen tools.  And, Giada’s Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce was recently given top honors from Consumer Reportsfor its buttery rich flavor and value.

“As a busy chef, wife and mother, I know that life sometimes gets too hectic to even think about what to make for dinner,” said Giada De Laurentiis.  “I’ve found that delicious and balanced meals can start with just a few quality and versatile ingredients that please the whole family in a snap.”

Try these recipes from Giada for a weeknight meal that is quick and easy on even the busiest days:

Linguine with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olives and Lemon

1 pound linguine pasta

1 cup (6-ounces) Giada De Laurentiis for Target sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

1 cup (4-ounces) medium green olives, pitted

1 packed cup fresh basil leaves

1 garlic clove, roughly chopped

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)

Zest of 1 large lemon

3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.  Place the pasta in a large serving bowl.

In a food processor, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, olives, basil, garlic, oil, lemon juice and lemon zest.  Pulse until blended, but still chunky.

Add the tomato mixture and Parmesan cheese to the pasta and toss well until the pasta is coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Prep Time: 8 minutes

Cook Time: 8 to 10 minutes

 

Chicken Stew

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

1 small onion, chopped

1 (14 1/2-oz.) can diced tomatoes

1 (14-oz.) can low-salt Giada De Laurentiis for Target chicken stock

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 bay leaf

2 chicken breast with ribs (about 1 1/2 lb.)

1 (15-oz.) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

 

Heat oil in pot over medium heat.  Add carrot and onion.  Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes with juices, broth, basil, tomato paste and bay leaf.  Add chicken ­ and submerge.

Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through, turning chicken and stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes.  Transfer chicken to cutting board.  Discard bay leaf. Add beans to stew and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

Discard skin and bones from chicken.  Cut chicken into pieces; return to stew.  Bring to a simmer.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Total Cooking Time: 50 minutes

 

Orzo with Sausage, Peppers and Tomatoes

1 pound Giada De Laurentiis for Target orzo pasta

2 tablespoons olive oil

7-oz. mild Italian turkey sausage, casings removed

1 garlic clove, minced

2 jarred roasted red bell peppers, sliced

2 plum tomatoes, chopped

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Cook orzo according to package directions.  Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.

Heat oil in saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add sausage; sauté until cooked through, about 4 minutes.  Add garlic; cook 1 minute.  Add bell peppers, tomatoes and pepper flakes; sauté until heated through, about 2 minutes.  Add orzo and 1 tablespoon parsley; salt and pepper to taste. Add reserved cooking liquid to moisten, if needed.  Top with parsley and Parmesan.

 

Yield: 8 servings

Total Cooking Time: 15 minutes

 

Baked Gnocchi

1 (17-ounce) package potato gnocchi

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup low-salt Giada De Laurentiis for Target chicken stock

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

6 ounces baby spinach

1 1/2 ounces goat cheese

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

 

Preheat oven to 400F.

Cook gnocchi according to package directions; drain.  Place gnocchi in lightly greased baking dish.

In medium saucepan, whisk together cream, chicken broth and flour over medium heat.  Continue whisking until the sauce is simmering and thickened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Add spinach and toss to coat in the cream.  Pour mixture evenly over gnocchi and gently spread the spinach out to cover.

Crumble goat cheese over the spinach.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Bake until the top is golden in places, about 10 minutes.

 

Yield: 4 servings

Total Cooking Time: 20 minutes

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