Antonia Lofaso's 'Busy Moms' Recipes

Summer is the perfect time to get together with your family and enjoy a nice home-cooked meal. But sometimes, that's not so easy for busy moms and dads.

Antonia Lofaso – author of "The Busy Mom's Cookbook" and "Top Chef" alum – visited Access Hollywood Live to share some great time-saving and inexpensive family, with some Italian flair!

Pasta Fagiole

(Serves 4)

  • 1 cup 1 inch dice fennel
  • 1 cup 1 inch dice baby carrots
  • 1 cup 1 inch dice carrots
  • 1 cup 1 inch dice white onion
  • 1 cup 1 inch dice turnips
  • 2 cups veggie stock
  • 3T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt/pepper
  • 1 cup arugula seasoned with a bit of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and salt for garnish
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 t chopped fresh thyme
  • 2t chopped fresh italian parsley
  • 2 cups cooked orzo
  • 2 cups cooked cranberry beans
  • 1/2t chili flake
  • 1/2t chopped garlic
  • 4 poached eggs
  • 2T vinegar white (for poached eggs)
  • 3 T basil oil
  • 4 2 inch pieces toasted italian bread

In a 6 quart stew pot heat 3T Extra Virgin Olive Oil on medium heat add all the 1 inch cubed vegetables and allow to cook for about 10 minutes. Add chopped garlic and chili flake and cook for an additional 1 minute. Add vegetable stock and tomato sauce and simmer for an additional 6 minutes. Add beans and orzo and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Finish with chopped thyme and parsley. Put in bowl top with bread and poached egg. Drizzle with basil oil and garnish with arugula

Fig & strawberry straciatella crostini

(Serves 4)

  • 4 four-inch pieces of ciabatta. Grilled and seasoned with salt and Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 8 ripe mission figs cit into 6ths and seasoned with salt and Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 16 farmers market strawberries cut into quarters and seasoned with salt and Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1.5 cups straciatella seasoned with salt and Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1t picked oregano

To assemble lay the crostini on a wood board top with the cheese and then the fruit. Finish with the 25 year old balsamic

Peach Polenta Cake

  • 2 large peaches
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbl vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbl butter (just shy of 1 cup)
  • 1 cup sugar (superfine if possible)
  • 2 cups almond meal/flour, fine ground
  • 3/4 cup polenta cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbl lemon zest
  • 3 eggs

Pit/slice peaches, toss with sugar and vanilla to macerate. Preheat oven to 325 convection. Non-stick spray a 9x9 square pan and line with parchment. Non-stick spray the parchment and pour/spread macerated peaches in bottom of pan.

In kitchen aid with whisk, cream butter until soft then add superfine sugar and cream until fluffy.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients and lemon zest.
Add eggs one at a time with 1/3 of dry mixture, alternating until everything is incorporated. Remember to scrape sides/bottom of bowl to make sure everything is mixed.

Pour cake batter over peaches in prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes, rotate, and bake another 10 minutes. Should be lightly browned and not soggy in the middle. Let rest at least 30 minutes. Run a knife or toothpick along edges to loosen, then flip onto a cutting/serving surface.

(Antonia Lofaso's "The Busy Mom's Cookbook" is in stores now. And you can catch her on "Top Chef Duels," which premieres August 6 on Bravo.)

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