Giada De Laurentiis’ Family-Friendly Recipes (Access Hollywood Live)

Giada De Laurentiis’ 4-year-old daughter, Jade, inspired many of the dishes in her new cookbook, “Weeknights with Giada.”

It’s a must-have for any busy parent who ever rushed home and didn’t have a clue what to make for dinner. Once a week, Giada likes to switch up the menu and have breakfast for dinner.

Now, the Food Network star stops by Access Hollywood Live to share quick and simple recipes for the entire family.

Almond Pancakes

(serves 6)


1/2 cup (4 ounces) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons pure almond extract

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups buttermilk pancake mix, such as Krusteaz

4 ounces (1/2 cup) almond paste, cut into quarter-inch pieces

Unsalted butter, for the griddle

Maple syrup

Fresh raspberries

In a food processor, combine the mascarpone cheese, 1.5 cups water, the sugar, almond extract, and vanilla. Process until the mixture is smooth. Add the pancake mix and pulse until just combined. Add the almond paste and pulse once to incorporate.

Heat a griddle or a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Grease the griddle or skillet with butter. Working in batches, pour 1/4 cup of batter per pancake onto the griddle and cook for about 1.5 minutes on each side, until golden.

Arrange the pancakes on plates and serve topped with maple syrup and fresh raspberries


Baked Potatoes with Sausage and Arugula

(serves 4)


4 (8- to 10-ounce) russet potatoes, pricked all over with a fork

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 small yellow onion, diced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

8 ounces sweet or spicy

Italian-style turkey sausage, casings removed

1.5 cups tomato-basil or marinara sauce

3 packed cups (3 ounces) baby arugula or spinach leaves

1/2 cup (4 ounces) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Wrap each potato in foil and bake for 1 hour, until tender when pierced with a knife.

(Alternatively, cook the potatoes in a microwave. Put 2 potatoes at a time on a dinner plate; microwave on high for 8 minutes. Turn the potatoes over and cook for another 6 to 8 minutes, until soft. Repeat with the remaining potatoes.)

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the sausage, and using a wooden spoon, break up the meat into half-inch pieces. Cook until brown and cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add the marinara sauce and arugula. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until the arugula has wilted, about 2 minutes. Stir in the mascarpone until the mixture forms a creamy sauce. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cut a slit in the top of each potato and gently squeeze the ends to form an opening in the top. Spoon the sausage sauce into each potato. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.

(Reprinted from the book Weeknights with Giada by Giada De Laurentiis. Copyright 2012 by Giada De Laurentiis. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc.)

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