Thursday, December 2, 2010

Giada's Little Stars with Butter and Parmesan: Easy Belly-Warming and Soul-Filling Food

Warm the Belly, Fill the Soul” is our theme at I Heart Cooking Clubs this week. I took the cheater's way out this hectic week with Little Stars with Butter and Parmesan, a Giada recipe so basic it is barely a recipe--but it is comforting and good and both a belly-warming and soul-filling dish for your inner child. The fact that it goes together in less than 20 minutes and was made from items I already had in my fridge/pantry didn’t hurt either. This was a yummy little bowl of goodness at the end of a long, tiring day.

This recipe can be found in "Everyday Pasta" on page 157.

Giada says, “When I was very young, this was my staple dinner; it’s an Italian child’s comfort food, our version of mac and cheese. It’s really easy to make and the ingredients are very simple, which it is part of it’s charm. Serve it to the child in your life, or as a side dish with any kind of roast meat or poultry."

Little Stars with Butter and Parmesan
From “Everyday Pasta” by Giada De Laurentiis
(Makes 4 (1/2 cup) Servings)

1 cup (6 oz) stelline (Star-shaped pasta) or other small pasta shapes such as alphabets or riso
4 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring often to prevent the pasta from sticking together, about 8 minutes. Drain.

In a large bowl, toss the freshly cooked hot pasta with 2 tablespoons of the cheese until the cheese coats the pasta completely. Add the butter and the remaining 2 tablespoons of cheese. Toss again to coat. Season to taste with salt. (and if you are me, freshly ground black pepper too). Spoon the pasta into small serving bowls and serve immediately.

Notes/Results: Simple and homey--my only change to Giada’s instructions were to also season it with some freshly ground black pepper. This bowl of tiny pasta and cheese really satisfied and since I still have plenty of little stars left, I will make this again.

You can see how the other IHCC participants warmed bellies and filled souls by going to the post here, and following the links.


  1. at first I thought it was a bowl of rice....sounds like a warm and fuzzy kind of dish :)

  2. I feel warm and cozy just reading the recipe. This cold day here is perfect for this dish. Thanks.

  3. My son would love this. i make him such types of meals for dinner. They are so simple but so healthy and comforting.

  4. This sounds wonderful! Exactly like something my mom would make for us when we were little. In fact, she still makes it for my brother whenever he's cranky. Some things never change...

  5. sounds perfect for cold weather - love the idea of soul filling food.

  6. This is a dish I could easily eat everyday for the rest of my life and be perfectly happy. Love it!

  7. Guess what I'm making today!!! Oh yeah, this one is hard to mess up...notice she didn't even try to add any lemon zest...looks great, Deb! :D

  8. Oh yes, this is one of my favorites of Giada's! I make it all the time with various interpretations. I like adding frozen pease to mine at the very end of the pasta's cooking time.

  9. My pasta tastes have evolved over time and now for me it is the simpler the better. This sounds delicious!

  10. My son would go crazy over this. He loves pasta dishes w/out too much "stuff." Love that I (almost) always have the needed ingredients.

  11. Right, well now I know what I am having for tea tonight! How comforting and delicious!

  12. This sounds so yummy, I would love to find this star shaped pasta, my daughter would definitely like this!

  13. This was my favorite way to eat pasta as a kid! Naked pasta! To this day it's still my favorite but I can't convince my husband it's the real deal.

  14. So cute! Mac and cheese at its simplest. Great choice!


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