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Make Giada's Rigatoni with Vegetable Bolognese

Elena North-Kelly

December 08, 2015

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Emmy Award–winning chef Giada De Laurentiis is known for many things: her celebrated Food Network shows, elegant California-inflected Italian cooking, and contagious smile, among them. Now with an eponymous Las Vegas restaurant under her belt, the petite powerhouse’s brand continues to grow ever more fierce—and New York City diners were treated to an evening of Sin City decadence when the celebrity chef brought her iconic fare to the Beard House at the end of last month. 

The evening was a culinary slam-dunk from start to finish, but there was one dish in particular that we can't stop thinking about: her rigatoni with vegetable Bolognese. Pasta fanatics across the globe revere the classic Bolognese, traditionally made with beef and pork, for its hearty and satisfying charm. While Giada's version is entirely vegetarian, die-hard carnviores would be surprised to find that diners truly didn't miss the meat—between the robustness from the red wine, earthiness from the trio of wild mushrooms, and richness from a one-two punch of Italian cheeses, this dish was a study in the versatility of vegetarian fare. "I had to fight long and hard to have this dish on my restaurant menu, but it’s now become one of the most popular," Giada explains. "I know there are skeptics out there, but the depth of flavor is unique, and it also shows a wide range of flavor profiles that we have in Italy that go beyond just what people traditionally think of as 'Italian' food." We're sold.

Want to give this dish a whirl at home? Get the recipe.

View all upcoming Beard House event menus and book your seat at jamesbeard.org/events.

To learn about Giada's favorite recipes, biggest on-screen disasters, how she overcame her greatest personal and professional hurdles, and more​, read our interview with her.

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Elena North-Kelly is senior editor at the James Beard Foundation. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.