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Interview Fri Jul 01 2011
This afternoon Giada De Laurentiis will be at The Taste of Chicago presenting a free demo in conjunction with Bella Sera Wines. The demo will take place next to Buckingham Fountain and will include cooking demonstrations, a question and answer period and a chance for audience members to assist in the preparation of a signature De Laurentiis recipe.
Sitting in the Bella Sera tent, De Laurentiis shared a few of her ideas on how to incorporate Italian cuisine into your Fourth of July celebration as well as into other summer festivities. Some of her suggestions include a dish that is perfect for any picnic, Pea Pesto Crostini, which keeps well in any cooler or picnic basket.
"It's got a beautiful color to it, and since the peas are initially frozen it keeps it's texture well," said De Laurentiis.
De Laurentiis also suggested a fun twist on a traditional burger, ideal for your holiday grill out. Do not sell this burger short, as it is a dish that she would serve to her family if they were celebrating the 4th in her birthplace, Rome.
"Since they don't have the 4th in Italy, I'd try to have American fare and I'd try to incorporate Italian elements into it. The Caprese Burger is great for this. You have the American cheeseburger with the Italian flag," she said.
De Laurentiis iterated that the ideal wine to pair with the Caprese Burger is the Bella Sera Pinot Grigio. It's light, crisp and not too sweet. If you're not a fan of white wines, Bella Sera also offers a soft-finish Merlot to pair with lighter dishes.
If you're partying on a budget this weekend but you would still like to partake in some
Italian-style cooking, De Laurentiis refers you to her Target brand line of Italian sauces and noodles. For as little as $2.99 you can purchase a unique tapenade or sauce, developed by De Laurentiis for quick, cheap and easy cooking. A great choice is the summer-friendly Tomato Basil sauce.
"Just mix it with a little pasta and you've got a great dish for as little as 5 bucks," De Laurentiis said.