Baked pasta (cheater lasagna)

22 January 2016
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It’s not sexy food, but done right, baked pasta is cheesy, meaty, tomatoey contentment. A good baked pasta communicates caring – soothing tastebuds, filling tummies, and showing love with warmth and abundance. It’s just what I want to be eating on a cold winter’s night, and everyone loves it just as much for lunch the […]

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Zucchini carbonara

22 August 2015
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I’m back – whoa. I don’t think I’ve taken a month off from here in five years, and I didn’t intend to now. I don’t ever feel the need to escape from here – this is my escape – but we took the kids to Europe for the first time that they’ll remember, and I […]

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Tuscan wild boar sauce (no boar required)

26 February 2015
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I couldn’t tell you what Renaissance masterpieces I marveled at or which churches I visited during the two times I’ve been to the red-roofed dream of a city that is Florence. All I know for certain is that on both trips I lingered rapturously over fresh, wide pappardelle ribbons with wild boar sauce, rich with […]

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Zha jiang mian (noodles with meat sauce)

12 September 2014
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If the title of this post does nothing for you, stop for a minute and listen. The sounds you hear are squeals of excitement and moans of hunger from all the people for whom the three words zha jiang mian evoke yearning memories of their favorite comfort food, a deeply flavorful noodle bowl from childhood. […]

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Orecchiette with sausage, fennel and tomato

24 October 2013
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Sausages are old-school convenience food – pre-seasoned, prepackaged in casing, often even precooked – which makes them an excellent ingredient for an easy weeknight dinner. This recipe takes the sausage out of its casing for a quick cook with tomato, white wine and fresh fall fennel. A versatile vegetable with a celery-like feel and a […]

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Pasta with butternut squash, sausage and sage

26 October 2012
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A lovely butternut squash, at once elegantly elongated and voluptuously curvy, kept me company in my kitchen for a couple of weeks as I wondered what to cook with it. Fresh produce items generally demand immediate attention, wilting petulantly to show their impatience, but butternut squash waits serenely, saving its soft golden sweetness for when […]

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Creamy stovetop macaroni and cheese

6 April 2012
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It’s not hard to make a cheesy macaroni and cheese, but making a creamy one is trickier. Cooks Illustrated ended my disappointing series of dry baked macaroni efforts when it published years ago a blessedly simple recipe for super-creamy macaroni and cheese made in minutes on the stovetop. Boxed macaroni and cheese is convenient, but […]

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Spaghetti all’amatriciana

18 December 2011
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Funny that it took me 20 years of cooking pasta to make spaghetti all’amatriciana, in which a small amount of cured meat – guanciale if you’re in central Italy, pancetta or bacon for the rest of us – adds deep sweet-saltiness to an easy onion and tomato sauce. Simple and flavorful, amatriciana has found an […]

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Orzo with zucchini, lemon, mint and feta

25 May 2011
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Bright flyers from my kids’ backpacks keep reminding me that summer is almost here. But I wasn’t feeling it until one of my favorite summer dishes floated back into my consciousness this week: orzo salad loaded with well-roasted vegetables and feta cheese, dressed with bright lemon juice. I live on this dish in the summertime, […]

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Pasta salad with tuna, celery and olives

18 April 2011
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This fresh, easy pasta salad has been a lunchtime favorite of mine for years. My lifelong friend Edie dropped off an enormous bowl of it after I had a baby, and I enjoyed it for days and immediately set about making more. Combining crisp bits of celery and onion with earthy flakes of tuna and […]

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