The Pasta Dishes Giada De Laurentiis Will Never Order At A Restaurant

Giada De Laurentiis' career is almost synonymous with Italian cuisine, and the Food Network star is well-known for her tips for cooking perfect pasta. Since the early aughts, the Italian-American chef has been sharing countless recipes and little nuggets of pasta-making wisdom with her audience. Given that she's so particular about how to make these dishes, it should come as no surprise that De Laurentiis is careful about what she orders — or, more precisely, does not order — when eating at an Italian restaurant, especially when it comes to noodles.

In an interview with The Messenger, De Laurentiis shared that she refuses to order lemon spaghetti when dining out. For that matter, she also forgoes any other simple pasta dishes, such as angel hair or spaghetti with pomodoro (a basic tomato sauce). The cookbook author currently helms two restaurants — Giada, opened in 2014 in The Cromwell Hotel, and Pronto by Giada, opened in 2018 in the iconic Caesars Palace — and says she'll only eat these super-simple dishes at her own establishments or at home. "I can make it better at home," she said in the interview. However, don't be surprised if you see her tucking into a plate of uniquely shaped pasta varieties instead — especially if they're Italian-made.

Giada prefers the less-common pasta shapes

It's not that Giada De Laurentiis has anything against the simple pastas of the world. She just prefers her noodles to have a more exotic form. At least, that's one of the reasons she launched her own private-label pasta line in 2023, which available on her online Italian lifestyle brand and specialty store, Giadzy. As De Laurentiis shared on the website, she wanted her line to feature "what matters most in a pasta: taste, texture, and fun."

Instead of your average noodle shapes, her line features more unique varieties, — all of which are hand-crafted in Italy, from the straw-shaped bucatini lunghi and nodi marini "sailor's knots" to pappardelle ribbons and the elegantly ruffled manfredi lunghi. Her favorite? The nodi marini, which she told USA Today reminds her of her nonne's cooking. "I can't resist this shape," she said, adding that the noodle pairs well with hearty meaty sauces. "Each time I eat it I'm flooded with nostalgia."

However, if quirky, hard-to-find pasta shapes aren't on the menu, then the cookbook author may just opt to stay in and make her own pasta at home.

How De Laurentiis makes her own lemon spaghetti

As Giada De Laurentiis has proven time and time again, there's an undeniable art to cooking pasta to perfection. You need the right amount of salt in the boiling water, and the correct cooking time to achieve an al dente texture — but that doesn't even scratch the surface of how to make a perfect sauce and pair it with the right noodles. Unless the chefs at Giada or Pronto by Giada are whipping up her meals, De Laurentiis prefers to be the artist of her own creations. It's not hard to see why — just one look at the popular chef's lemon spaghetti recipe is enough to make anyone's stomach yearn for a bite. 

For the creamiest and lemoniest of sauces, De Laurentiis whisks together oil, grated parmesan cheese, and fresh lemon juice, which she tosses with the cooked pasta. She also adds a secret ingredient: leftover pasta water, which enriches the sauce. She garnishes the dish with a bit of lemon zest and chopped basil for a meal that's as delicious-looking as it is easy to make. Of course, there's no shame in ordering whatever you like at a restaurant, but it's also easy to understand why Giada would much rather cook her own show-stopping meals at home.