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A Few 'Everyday' Recipes From Giada De Laurentiis

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, or more to taste

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli rabe and cook it about 1 minute. Remove the broccoli rabe and set aside, reserving all the cooking liquid. Cook the orecchiette in the same pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up any large chunks with a spoon, until the sausage is brown and juices form, about 8 minutes.

Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds, then the broccoli rabe and toss to coat. Add the pasta and enough reserved cooking liquid, 1/4 cup at a time, to moisten. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to pasta bowls and serve either hot or at room temperature.

Recipe tested by Candy Sagon; e-mail questions to food@washpost.com.

Per serving: 934 calories, 29 gm protein, 70 gm carbohydrates, 59 gm fat, 82 mg cholesterol, 19 gm saturated fat, 902 mg sodium, 5 gm dietary fiber

Vodka Sauce

Makes about 1 quart or 4 servings

De Laurentiis says this Italian-American dish is a favorite of her husband's -- and just about every man who watches her show or uses her cookbook, judging by the comments she gets at her book-signing appearances.

In her original version, the marinara and vodka are simmered for 20 minutes, which diminishes the flavor of the alcohol. In this adapted recipe, the simmering time is reduced somewhat so that more vodka flavor remains to cut through the richness of the cream. Serve with rigatoni or penne.

3 cups marinara sauce

1 cup vodka

1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

In a heavy skillet over medium-low heat, simmer the marinara sauce and vodka. Stir often until the mixture reduces slightly, about 10 minutes. Stir in the cream and continue to simmer over low heat until the sauce is heated through. Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Adjust seasoning as necessary.

Recipe tested by Candy Sagon; e-mail questions to food@washpost.com.

Per serving: 336 calories, 9 gm protein, 10 gm carbohydrates, 15 gm fat, 51 mg cholesterol, 9 gm saturated fat, 351 mg sodium, 3 gm dietary fiber

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