Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis shares her top 8 kitchen essentials

Let’s get one thing straight. Although famed chef Giada De Laurentiis is an Emmy-winning Food Network personality, cookbook author, restaurateur and entrepreneur, she prepares meals in her home kitchen just like everyone else.

“Using a commercial or production kitchen is not for my job,” said De Laurentiis, who cooks up to five times a week at her Los Angeles home. “I’m trying to teach the average person how to make a certain dish without too many steps. That means staying home and using your own pots and pans on your own stove. That’s how you make cooking a real touch. accessible.”

De Laurentiis shares more expertise through the Italian lifestyle platform Giadzy, which features a selection of over 200 handcrafted products (from breadsticks to artichoke spread), recipes, travel guides and more. “People said to me during the pandemic, ‘I can’t go to my mom and the popular Italian grocery store, so what am I going to do now?'” she said. “Then after the world reopened, our perception of where, how and what to eat changed. Eating at home just makes you feel better.” (Giadzy was her childhood nickname.)

To feel your best in the kitchen, think about quality over quantity. “I look in people’s drawers and there’s a lot of gadgets and utensils in there that no one uses,” she said. On the other hand, a well-stocked pantry can do wonders: “If you have all the staples, you’ll never feel like you can’t put together a meal in one sitting. You just need to go to the store for veggies and protein.”

Eager to learn more? De Laurentiis spoke with CNN Underscored about her secrets to culinary success.

• related: The best kitchen essentials we’ve tested

Japanese Santoku Chef's Knife

A proper knife sits at number 3. 1 on her list. “You want one that feels good in your hand,” she said. The chef chose Japanese Santoku cutlery because it’s light and sturdy, noting that the metal handles (as opposed to wooden ones) are ideal for cleaning. She cuts bread with a serrated knife, and cuts tomatoes, lemon zest and other citrus with a small paring knife. Don’t forget to sharpen them! De Laurentiis does this every day.

Le Creuset Cast Iron Signature Dutch Oven

This is a big problem on many levels. After all, a Dutch oven is “perfect for soups, stews, sauces, pâtés and anything that takes a long time to cook,” she explains. “The cast iron allows it to heat more evenly, with no scorch marks.” She likes the heavy Le Creuset because of its seven-layer construction, which ensures excellent heat distribution. She puts the pan on the stove and advises her fellow chefs to do the same: “Choose a fun color that will look great in your kitchen!”

• related: The best dutch oven we’ve tested

Stainless steel clad frying pan

De Laurentiis has stainless steel high surface Made In frying pans in a variety of sizes (8″, 10″ and 12″, in case you were wondering). But, she adds, “That’s just because I cook a lot for different numbers of people. You really only need one — especially if you live alone.” As she explains, the right pan is brewing with various possibilities. “You can make bases for sauces, chicken piccatas, Milanese, and you can scramble eggs in them,” she said.

Setaro Nodi Marini Pasta

The truth is, De Laurentiis would choose any An uncooked pasta because of its long shelf life. The only requirement is that the noodles must be made in Italy. “U.S. wheat tends to be the worst because it’s highly processed and improved and makes me feel bloated at night,” she said. She hand-picks imported pasta on her website because it’s higher quality and has minimal ingredients. Just durum wheat semolina and water, to be exact.

Bio Orto Organic Whole Peeled Tomatoes

No Rotten Tomatoes gentlemen. “Fresh tomatoes aren’t always in season, they don’t always have the right flavor, and you can’t keep them for two months,” she said. But canned or canned tomatoes in any form are always ready (red-dy?) to go. “I mix peeled tomatoes with a little dried oregano and make a pizza sauce,” she says. “You don’t really need to cook.” That said, she also uses it as a base for soups and stews.

Diamond Crystal Coarse Salt

“Salt is the foundation of all flavors, right?” she said. “But people are not salting enough in their food and are adding more butter and fat because they are compensating. They don’t realize that the salt itself is not bad for you. Processed stuff with all the preservatives is bad for you. De Laurentiis sprinkles her dressings and pasta with kosher salt because it’s thicker, “and I can feel at my fingertips how much I’m using.” She also likes to season with dried oregano and lemon zest.

Kandi Pasta Spice Kit

According to the chef, spices are the variety of life – and a delicious dish or stew. This pack is a spicy mix of dried Calabrian peppers, tomatoes, parsley, and garlic. “I love it because it’s a flavor bomb,” she says. “I also don’t have to go to a fancy grocery store and spend $7 on fresh oregano or rosemary and it will go bad.”

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