cover image Giada's Family Dinners

Giada's Family Dinners

Giada de Laurentiis, . . Clarkson Potter, $32.50 (254pp) ISBN 978-0-307-23827-6

With her second cookbook, Food TV star De Laurentiis proves she's more than just a pretty face. Although the host of Everyday Italian is not hard to look at, and photos of her and her family cooking are scattered throughout, there are many more reasons to pick up this book. If classics like Escarole and Bean Soup, Chicken Marsala, and Basic Polenta aren't strong enough incentives, then perhaps modern interpretations such as Chicken Carbonara, Roasted Red Snapper with Parsley Vinaigrette, Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Swiss Chard and Pecorino Cheese, or Espresso Brownies will be. Like De Laurentiis's first, bestselling book (named after her show), this volume presents doable dishes, though there's an emphasis here on feeding a crowd (which doesn't mean small households can't make Italian Wedding Soup and freeze some for an easy weeknight supper). There are twists on Thanksgiving classics, including Turkey with Herbes de Provence and Citrus, Ciabatta Stuffing with Chestnuts and Pancetta, and Butternut Squash Lasagna as well as recipes for traditional Italian holiday foods like Easter Pie, Pizza Rustica, and Panettone Bread Pudding with Amaretto Sauce. Broader and more developed than Everyday Italian , De Laurentiis's second book nicely showcases her range and depth. (Apr.)