Giada’s Italian Glossary

by in Food Network Chef, Recipes, June 24th, 2014

Giada MenuRigatoni, Burrata, mozarella — as much fun as Italian food is to cook, it’s even more fun to say, and Giada De Laurentiis would agree. In true Giada fashion, she’s even added a section on pasta pronunciation at her first restaurant, Giada, in Las Vegas. Click play on the video below to hear a few more terms from Giada herself, as well as recipes for each.

1. Al Dente: This is pasta with a little bit of rawness in the center, perfect for absorbing sauce, like in this Penne with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto recipe.
Penne with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

2. Antipasto: In Italy, “antipasto” refers to a whole table full of appetizers. Start with this Italian Antipasto Salad recipe.
Antipasto Salad

3. Biscotti: This is a twice-baked cookie that you need to dip into coffee or tea to soften. One of Giada’s best variations is this Chocolate Citrus Biscotti recipe.
Chocolate Citrus Biscotti

4. Calzone: The literal translation for this folded-over pizza is “long sock”, which is what this dish looks like. Try this Three-Cheese and Artichokes Calzones recipe for a unique blend of flavors.
Three Cheese and Artichokes Calzone

5. Frittata: A fried eggy dish, a frittata is an Italian version of scrambled eggs for breakfast. For a soft and rich option, try this Frittata with Asparagus, Tomato, and Fontina recipe.
Frittata with Tomato and Fontina

6. Risotto: A creamy rice-based dish, risotto can be made with a variety of ingredients. In this Risotto with Bacon and Kale recipe, lemon juice and chicken stock amp up the flavor in the rice.
Bacon and Kale Risotto

7. Mascarpone: One of Giada’s favorite cheeses, mascarpone is similar to cream cheese and can be used in sweet and savory dishes alike. In this Banana Muffins with Mascarpone Cream Frosting recipe, classic buttercream is replaced with a cheesy topping instead.
Bananna Muffins with Mascarpone Frosting

8. Tiramisu: Literally meaning “pull-me-up”, tiramisu is a perfect ending to an ideal Italian meal. It contains cookies, espresso and cream, and in this Lemon Hazelnut Tiramisu recipe, nuts add a crunch to the dessert.
Lemon Hazelnut Tiramisu


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Comments (23)

  1. TIMOTHY says:


  2. Pat says:

    Her accent is truly annoying she is in America learn to talk like Americans do stopped watching your show as others I know have also done its so annoying listening to her try and speak like she is in Italy if you want to talk like that take your show there

    • Joan says:

      I so disagree with you. I find accents delightful and Giada charming. Why do we, as Americans, think everything should be our way. Let's preserve some of the wonderful traditions of our ancestral countries (no, I'm not Italian). Don't you want to be educated? I certainly do. I'm 77 and love learning new things.

    • RG Porterfield says:

      I have to disagree. She was actually born in Italy, Rome, I believe, or her mother was. Either way, pronouncing dishes properly (the Italian way, not the Americanized Italian way) is simply a way for her to stay connected to her heritage. Listen to her aunt she has on the show often. She is ITALIAN because she came from Italy, not because she is pretending. I have strong German history. Would it be wrong of me to try to pronounce Grandma's dishes the way they were pronounced in the country they were invented in? I don't think so.

  3. Sheila Sensel says:

    I have a question about a "cookie" that my great grandmother passed down. It is called touchette and I am not sure of this spelling. My grandmother was from northern Italy in the White Mountains above Tourino. I would like to know the correct spelling. I bought some at a bakery outside of Torino about 10 years ago and they were not quite as good as my grandmother's baking. Is anyone familiar with them?

  4. joanne says:

    She is laughing all the way to the bank!! I don't like the boob thing…not necessary

  5. Lester says:

    How about adding the most mispronounced food item: Bruschetta. I get so tired of telling food servers that it is not and never has been pronounced "brushetta"; it is pronounced "brusketta". I mean, we don't say spajetti, now do we?

  6. Valentina says:

    I cringe to listen to her pronunciation. It's not spaghitti Giada!! It's spaghEtti!!! It's not pancitta – it's pancEtta!! She is certainly Italian by blood, but this girl is SO american. I have no clue why she can't get these basic words right. It's bizarre because she does in fact speak Italian quite well (I have spoken with her).

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