Keeping to our Mediterranean motif, we have Giada de Laurentiis' first cookbook, Everyday Italian, a new, delightfully simple collection of recipes that show you how to create real Italian meals in your own kitchen every day of the week. Born in Italy and raised in Los Angeles (the granddaughter of famed Hollywood producer Dino de Laurentiis), Giada says that she has always had fun in the kitchen preparing the meals that play such a major role in Italian families. She's parlayed that fun into an exciting career as a cook in some of the best California restaurants, a caterer and now star of the very popular "Everyday Italian" Food Network show, a new series exploring Italian-American traditions and a multi-episode special shot in Italy. Though she's done the fancy stuff, her goal is everyday-easy and her style quick, straightforward and practical. You'll find antipasti that spring from the pantry, homemade marinara sauce sensational solo or the basis for four fabulous variations a passel of fragrant pestos, classic cutlets of various sorts that cook in a jiff, roasts, stews, greens and divine dolci. Cooking with Giada is an everyday treat, but looking like the gorgeous Giada might be even better.

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