Two recipes Giada de Laurentiis has shared on the Today Show are her mezzi rigatoni with butternut squash and spicy sausage and her flat iron steak with piquillo pepper pesto. These recipes each use five simple ingredients.
To make mezzi rigatoni with butternut squash and spicy sausage, boil a large pot salted water. Add one pound of mezzi rigatoni pasta and cook for eight to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve one-half cup of the pasta water. In a large skillet, heat two tablespoons of oil. Add one pound of broken spicy Italian sausage and cook. Add one pound of diced butternut squash and stir. Add 1 1/2 cup water and one-fourth teaspoon of salt. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add cooked pasta and three-fourths cup of Parmesan. Stir and thin with pasta water as needed until pasta is lightly coated. Stir in two cups of chopped baby arugula and three tablespoons of olive oil. Cook until the arugula is wilted and serve.
To make the steak with piquillo pepper pesto, place nine ounces of roasted piquillo peppers, one-half cup macadamia nuts, one-fourth teaspoon of salt and two tablespoons of olive oil in a food processor. Puree until it is smooth. Heat a skillet and season the steak evenly. Add one tablespoon of olive oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Add steak to pan. Cook for three to four minutes on one side and flip to cook for three to four minutes on the other side. Remove the steak from the pan and allow it to rest for 10 minutes. Serve with the piquillo pepper pesto.