The Best Authentic Recipes from Giada in Italy
From craveable pasta to refreshing cocktails, check out classically Italian eats and drinks from Giada De Laurentiis' homeland.
Asparagus with Grilled Melon Salad
Quickly grilling the melon boosts the natural sweetness of the fruit. Giada turns the cantaloupe into a savory salad by tossing it with fresh cherry tomatoes, mint and chile paste.
Get the Recipe: Asparagus with Grilled Melon Salad
Spaghetti with Chianti and Fava Beans
Not only does Giada's cheesy pasta sauce boast the earthy taste of Chianti wine, but the noodles themselves are flavored too. Giada boils the pasta in a wine-water mixture, which delivers both taste and color to the spaghetti.
Get the Recipe: Spaghetti with Chianti and Fava Beans
Traditional affogatos feature gelato or ice cream with a shot of espresso, but Giada skips the coffee in flavor of warm, cinnamon-spiced red wine, which pairs well with a scoop of rich vanilla ice cream.
Get the Recipe: Chianti Affogato
Avocado and White Bean Dip
Ready to eat in just 10 minutes, this cool dip is the ultimate in last-minute appetizers. Giada likes to serve it with raw veggies and crunchy bread for easy dunking.
Get the Recipe: Avocado and White Bean Dip
Laced with nutty Parmesan and flecked with fresh crab, these breaded rice balls are quickly fried until crispy on the outside and creamy inside.
Get the Recipe: Crab Arancini
Creamy Orzo with Prosciutto and Peas
A rich mixture of eggs and nutty Parmesan cheese turns into a silky sauce for this speedy pasta, balanced with salty prosciutto and sweet sauteed shallots.
Get the Recipe: Creamy Orzo with Prosciutto and Peas
Prosciutto Broth with Farro and Spinach
This is the soup recipe you didn't know you've been missing. The deeply savory prosciutto-based broth is simmered with fragrant thyme and a Parmesan rind, which imparts salty, nutty flavor as it cooks. In place of the usual noodles, there's chewy farro, an authentic Italian grain. Don't opt out of making the Parmesan crisps — those golden, crispy rounds that adorn each bowl — as they pack a serious punch of both texture and taste.
Get the Recipe: Prosciutto Broth with Farro and Spinach
Seared Mushrooms with Wilted Arugula
When you think there's no time to make a side dish, look to Giada's 15-minute mushrooms. These earthy beauties are quickly cooked then tossed with a few ready-to-go mix-ins: chewy dried cranberries, crunchy walnuts and peppery arugula.
Get the Recipe: Funghi alla Fiorentina (Seared Mushrooms with Wilted Arugula)
Italian Fruit Toast
Not just for savory bruschetta, toasted slices of bread can become dessert too. Giada sprinkles ciabatta with sugar before caramelizing the bread, and after that, it's all about the toppings. A smear of ricotta delivers creamy richness, while fresh berries provide a bright bite.
Get the Recipe: Italian Fruit Toast
Featuring golden, crispy skin on the outside and tender meat inside, Giada's hearty chicken is simmered in a savory-sweet broth studded with olives and dried figs. Just before serving, she finishes the chicken with chopped hazelnuts for added flavor and texture.
Get the Recipe: Hazelnut Chicken
Italian Tuna Salad
This isn't the gloopy tuna salad you likely know and surely do not love. Giada skips the mayo and brightens up the salad by opting for a light, fresh lemon-Dijon dressing. Follow her lead and choose oil-packed tuna, as it's full of bold flavor.
Get the Recipe: Italian Tuna Salad
Burrata and Kale Salsa Verde Bruschetta
Who said you have to prepare bruschetta on individual servings of toast? In place of the traditional bread slices, Giada builds her appetizer on a halved loaf of ciabatta bread, which she quickly grills, then finishes with a colorful mix of toppings that lend both taste and texture. The vibrant kale-garlic blend promises a tangy bite, while rich Burrata offers craveable creaminess; the pine nuts are on hand for crunch.
Get the Recipe: Burrata and Kale Salsa Verde Bruschetta
Olive Oil Sorbetto with Berries and Balsamic
Not just for salad dressing, olive oil and balsamic vinegar combine to create a cool, refreshing treat. The naturally fruity flavor of extra virgin olive oil lends itself well to the sorbet, while the sweetness of aged balsamic is an ideal topping alongside fresh berries.
Get the Recipe: Olive Oil Sorbetto with Berries and Balsamic
Carbonara Cacio e Pepe
Giada's quick-fix recipe is a marriage of two classic pastas: It features a sauce made with butter and cheese, a la traditional cacio e pepe, and even though Giada skips the usual egg, the dish gets a carbonara flavor from crispy pancetta, which promises a decadent saltiness.
Get the Recipe: Carbonara Cacio e Pepe
Pork Chop Agrodolce
Agrodolce is Italian for "bittersweet," and here Giada combines the two flavors for one bold result. She fuses the bite of balsamic vinegar with the sweetness of sticky honey in a thyme-laced sauce, in which she cooks the pork chops until they're tender.
Get the Recipe: Pork Chop Agrodolce
Featuring a rich ricotta-laced sauce and mini beef meatballs, Aunt Raffy's baked pasta is the ultimate in comforting casseroles. She layers the tomato sauce and pasta with mini meatballs, plus hard-boiled eggs and two decadent cheeses, to create hearty, gooey-good results.
Get the Recipe: Ziti Stufati
Fennel Gratin Pizzette
To save time in the kitchen, Giada starts with ready-to-go dough to make these fuss-free pizzas. In place of the usual tomato sauce topping, she opts for layers of rich ricotta and creamy mozzarella, then dots the tops with cherry tomatoes. Her secret ingredient: fennel. She shaves the bulb and bakes the fennel atop the pies, then finishes them with the fronds (the greens) before serving.
Get the Recipe: Fennel Gratin Pizzette
Cheesy Mashed Potatoes
There's no doubt that Giada's big-batch side dish lives up to its "cheesy" name: These creamy spuds are made with shredded mozzarella and a whopping cup of Parmesan, which promises a salty and nutty bite.
Get the Recipe: Cheesy Mashed Potatoes
Fresh Citrus with Gelato and Almond Cookies
Ideal for entertaining and low-key nights alike, Giada's easy yet elegant dessert is ready in only a few minutes. She dresses up a scoop of Italian ice cream with just a few simple ingredients: a trio of colorful citrus fruits (blood oranges, navel oranges and pink grapefruit) as well as crumbled biscotti for welcome crunch.
Get the Recipe: Fresh Citrus with Gelato and Almond Cookies
Artichoke and Fennel Crudo
Crudo is Italian for "raw," and indeed Giada's simple salad is a no-cook pick. She slices fresh artichokes and fennel, and she pairs them with peppery arugula and a lemon-scented dressing for a refreshing bite.
Get the Recipe: Artichoke and Fennel Crudo
Marinated Bistecca Fiorentina
It's all about the bold flavors of fresh garlic, fragrant herbs and bright lemon zest in Giada's quick-fix marinade. She rubs the marinade into the steak, then allows it to rest for a half-hour before grilling.
Get the Recipe: Marinated Bistecca Fiorentina
Chocolate Cherry Shortbread Cookies
Since Giada rolls her cocoa-laced dough in a log and simply slices individual cookies from there, there's no need to worry about rolling out the dough with flour and carefully cutting intricate shapes.
Get the Recipe: Chocolate Cherry Shortbread Cookies
Fusilli with Fresh Pomodoro
The season's best tomatoes, a few cloves of garlic and fragrant basil — that's all it takes to form the base of Giada's ultimate pasta, which she makes lusciously creamy with ricotta cheese.
Get the Recipe: Fusilli with Fresh Pomodoro
Pan-Seared Branzino with Tomato and Capers
It's all about the savory sauce atop Giada's tender fish. While the juicy cherry tomatoes offer subtle sweetness, briny capers add a welcome bite, while a splash of wine and a pat of butter round out the mixture with rich, decadent taste.
Get the Recipe: Pan-Seared Branzino with Tomato and Capers
Double Chocolate Brownies
Giada says her easy-to-make brownies, laced with a duo of unsweetened chocolate and semisweet chips, are her daughter Jade's "favorite poolside treat." But surely you don't have to be a kid to enjoy them.
Get the Recipe: Double Chocolate Brownies
The Gentle Italian
Made with only three ingredients in mere minutes, this quick-fix cocktail, spiked with bubbly Prosecco, is a blush-colored sipper.
Get the Recipe: The Gentle Italian
Sweet and Tangy Orzo Salad
Skip your ordinary pasta salad and make this simply dressed one instead. Giada mixes the rice-shaped noodles with fresh fennel, chewy cranberries and peppery arugula for a colorful presentation, plus creamy mozzarella, which promises requisite Italian flavor.
Get the Recipe: Sweet and Tangy Orzo Salad
While there's no actual artichoke in this cocktail, there's indeed a splash of artichoke liqueur, which Giada says adds to the "earthy flavor" in this drink. She mixes that with a heavy-handed pour of whiskey and a bit of sweet vermouth, then brightens up the flavor with a petal of fennel and a fragrant orange peel.
Get the Recipe: Artichoke Manhattan
Linguini with Anchovy and Walnuts
Believe it or not, Giada's simple pasta can be on the table in 20 quick minutes. The secret? Her no-cook sauce. She uses the heat of the just-drained noodles to warm up her savory mixture of chile paste and an anchovy, then dresses up the pasta with nutty Parmesan, fresh greens and chopped walnuts for crunch.
Get the Recipe: Linguine with Anchovy and Walnuts
Want More Giada in Italy?
Check out Food Network's Giada in Italy headquarters for more recipes, plus insider photos from Giada's summer vacation in Italy.
More: Giada in Italy