The less time it takes to get your meal ready, the more time you have to enjoy it, says De Laurentiis. Here, she shares her tips for weeknight family dinners.
Use themes. I have less time to cook since my daughter Jade, now 4, was born, so I need to be more organized than ever. To make meal planning easier, I assign a theme to each night. For example, we do “Meatless Mondays” and “Breakfast for Dinner.”
Make it in one pot. Pasta dishes make excellent family meals. All you need to do is add greens and a protein to make it a complete meal. Try different pasta shapes and colors; kids get a kick out of them!
Try a new recipe. If your child doesn’t like a food, cook it a different way. If Jade doesn’t eat her roasted carrots, I may puree them with yams or dice and toss them with pasta the next time.
Dig into these Italian dinners:
For more easy Italian meals, check out Giada De Laurentiis’s new book, Weeknights with Giada: Quick and Simple Recipes to Revamp Dinner.
Photos: © 2012 by Amy Neunsinger. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, a division of Random House, Inc.