Whether you're trying to please your family after a long workday or are cooking for an assorted group at a summer gathering, Giada De Laurentiis recommends giving yourself a break in the kitchen.
"Oftentimes, that means making semi homemade dinners for busy weeknights – which we're 100% on board with," she writes on her website. "Whether that means store-bought ravioli or tortellini, or creating a nourishing dinner out of a rotisserie chicken, we accept all the shortcuts we can get when we're strapped for time."
Also on that list, is her "Kid-Approved" Meatball Pizza, which is an effortless way to satisfy everyone at the table.
Taking inspiration from her own household, Giada's recipe combines two Italian favorites, hearty meatballs and pizza — which also happen to be two of her daughter's favorites dishes — as both an easy and efficient way to entertain.
"The inspiration came from Jade's fondness of pizza and meatballs, and the combination turned out so delicious, we decided to put it on the kids' menu at my restaurant GIADA in Las Vegas, too," De Laurentiss wrote.
The pizza base itself uses simple ingredients that can easily be changed depending on your fridge's contents for that week. Layer flatbread or naan with marinara sauce, followed by the toppings of your choice. Giada uses sliced meatballs, mozzarella and parmesan cheese, although with the freedom of a blank canvas, these personal pizzas can be customized with different ingredients.
When Salon's Joseph Neese spoke with James Beard award-winning cookbook author Ken Forkish about his book "Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza," Forkish said that his favorite toppings were "just tomato sauce and cheese." But feel free to get inventive: Add a swirl of pesto, shred some leftover barbecue chicken, enter the "does pineapple belong on pizza?" debate.
For Giada's pizzas, recommends cooking them on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzling with olive oil to get a nice crust, then flipping on the broiler for the last four minutes of cooking time in order to get the cheese just a little browned. For freshness, top with a little torn, fresh basil.
Throw it all into the oven, and it's an easy way to accommodate any preferences or restrictions without the hassle of multiple meals. Full recipe can be found here.
For more of our favorite recipes from Giada, check out:
- Giada De Laurentiis' one-pan chicken Marsala is a quick and delicious weeknight meal
- Giada De Laurentiis' Italian sheet pan chicken makes delicious seem absolutely effortless
- Giada De Laurentiis' baked fettuccine is proof that an elegant dinner doesn't have to be complicated
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