Plus I Don't Think There's Any Hope For The Food Network Website
Giada at Home with Giada De Laurentiis
Vegetable Fritto Misto with Lemon Mayonnaise
Bucatini All'Amatriciana with Spicy Smoked Mozzarella Meatballs
Is that Aunt Raffie in the kitchen with Giada? Yup, it is. She’s joining her today and they’re going to cook some dishes from Rome, where they were both born.
And I thought I was opinionated…Aunt Raffie has her own point of view about EVERYTHING. Yum, Giada is going to make vegetable fritto misto for them to snack on while they cook.
The food styling, always fine, is now spectacular. The finished dishes have the same va-va-voom as Giada. We see scenes of Giada and her movie star perfect family.
She quickly starts on the meat balls, so they’ll be done before Aunt Raffie arrives.
She combines 1/3 cup of Italian style breadcrumbs and parsley. She likes everything to get mixed together before the meat goes in, so it doesn’t get overworked. She adds red pepper flakes (to make it spicy for Auntie) and 3 smashed, peeled and chopped cloves of garlic. Then Giada adds onion, which she likes to grate, so she doesn’t have to worry about cooking it.
Giada wipes off her wooden board with a dishtowel, so she can cut up some cheese. How about a new board for that? One egg goes into the mixture. She hurries and squeezes in 2 tablespoons of ketchup, so Aunt Raffie doesn’t see.
She adds 2/3 cup of grated Parmesan and a little salt and pepper. She mixes everything together well and then adds the meat. She usually uses ground turkey, but today she’s “remembering Rome”, so the meatballs will be made from ½ pound of ground veal and ½ pound of ground beef. She mixes the meat in, but not too much.
Giada cuts up smoked mozzarella into cubes. I think she says that it’s from the The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills . She forms a meatball and pokes a hole in the center and places in a cube of her fancy cheese. She covers up the hole with the meat. They will get baked at 400°F for 15 minutes. Baking is okay. I prefer sautéing, but, at least, it's not boiling.
For “something to nibble on” while they cook, Giada makes fritto misto. She mixes 1/2 cup mayo with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice for a dipping sauce.
For frying, she readies green beans, fennel, cauliflower, chickpeas and lemon slices. Hmmm…interesting. She dredges them in flour with salt and pepper. Giada fries them up in plenty of 375°F vegetable oil. They look good!
Raffie arrives and starts cooking. She dices pancetta, while Giada pours her some white wine. Raffie tries the fritto misto. Oh, she doesn’t like the dip.
Aunt Raffie adds oil to the pan and adds the pancetta. In Italy, they say you don’t need to add oil. HERE, the pancetta doesn't have as much fat. Of course, Raffie thinks the dish tastes closer to the Roman original if you make it with thick bacon, instead of pancetta.
Her aunt says that Giada has HER OWN way of making the dish, while Raffie’s is the RIGHT way. Next Raffie queries her about wanting the onion MINCED. Raffie insists on SLICED onion and then she protests adding garlic. Giada grimaces at the camera.
Raffie DOES approve of the choice of pasta - bucatini. Then they “discuss” when to remove the pancetta and when to remove the garlic…and how much longer Giada can stand to have Raffie in the kitchen. Oh wait, THAT was just going on in her mind, which I could read.
The pasta goes in. Giada opens the tomatoes. Raffie actually admits that Giada taught her something - adding a bit of salt to soften the onion more easily. Giada asks if Raffie is ready for the tomatoes. NO, she says, you add the vinegar first. Giada says WHAT vinegar and a fist fight breaks out.
Alright, maybe not, but Giada says there’s no vinegar in the recipe and Raffie says yes there is or you can add wine. She grabs a glass of white wine and pours it in before Giada can stop her. Raffie adds, “By the way, that was YOUR wine”, and takes of swig out of the other glass. She repeats that it’s not Amatriciana without vinegar.
Giada takes the meatballs out of the fridge. Raffie eyes them suspiciously and says you didn’t add ketchup did you? Giada says, of course not. They go in the oven.
Next the tomatoes go in. Raffie only adds half a can, because she says the sauce should be PINK. Giada doesn’t really want to bother saving the other half, but she agrees reluctantly. Giada adds the pasta to the water.
Giada tests the pasta and sprays Aunt Raffie with hot water by mistake. Mistake? I don’t think so.
Aunt Raffie lifts the pasta into the sauce. Giada takes out the meatballs. Raffie says in Italy they call smoked mozzarella scomorza or ugly lady.
Giada sprinkles a lot of pecorino on top. Giada says how about a little parsley. Raffie says NO. Giada says “Shot down again!”
Raffie is also appalled at serving the Amatriciana with meatballs. Giada says “I was making a Giada twist!” Apparently, it’s against Raffie’s religion to put meatballs in hers.
“I’m happy to try it your way”, she says ”but it’s not Roman.” Giada explains that “the bottom line is that half of me is Italian and half of me is from here”. You go, GIRL!
They taste. Giada had added pepper flakes for Raffie. Raffie says, “For ME, the meatball is not spicy.” Raffie takes out an old family album showing pictures of them eating amatriciana. “Here’s to remembering Rome.”
Note: Seriously, the new FN website is a complete abomination. ALL I wanted to do was to find Giada’s recipes from this show. I had to click around for FIFTEEN MINUTES with annoying videos going off every second. WHERE IS THE LIST OF TELEVISION SHOWS and episodes? It is so irritating, aggravating, maddening and unnecessary. Whoever designed this website did a truly completely, totally, awful job. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. And, really, I was willing to give it the benefit of the doubt, because I thought maybe it would take a bit of time to get used to it, but this is not an improvement. It is not good, not well-organized and not user-friendly. Did I mention that I really don’t like it?