Baked ziti

It’s Election Day, which means if you have a pulse, you’re probably nervous/exhausted/fearful/insert any other stressed out adjective here. Let’s face it: The world is a Dumpster Fire, and we could all use a little extra comfort. Enter: Baked Ziti. All too often, this dish does not get the care and respect it’s due. Gloppy…… Continue reading Baked ziti

Rethinking zucchini : Lombrichelli with zucchini and guanciale

I told my friend, Sarah, I was working on a post about my favorite summer pasta dish with squash. “Send it my way,” she said. “Squash is always so drab.” It can be true, particularly with certain varieties of zucchini, whose unusually high water content render them almost flavorless. Water-logged vegetables like zucchini and radishes…… Continue reading Rethinking zucchini : Lombrichelli with zucchini and guanciale

Notebook pasta

I was flipping through old notebooks and found this recipe scribbled down in smudged black ink. There’s no date on the journal entry. Boil a 4 qt pot of pasta water. Salt generously. Thinly slice 3 cloves of garlic. In a skillet, gently heat 2T XVO. Add garlic. Watch it dance. After a min or…… Continue reading Notebook pasta

In search of the perfect dough : Egg pasta dough

Sept 2014, Rome: Ross places a large metal bowl on the old scale. It lands with a clatter. He hurriedly scoops piles of soft double-zero flour into the bowl. A plume of flour dust rises from the edges of the bowl as he watches the red arm on the scale gradually tick upward. His pupils…… Continue reading In search of the perfect dough : Egg pasta dough

A Cook’s diary of a pandemic : Marcella Hazan’s tomato sauce

Sun 3/15 My sister’s birthday party. She’s a nurse. A bunch of others nurses and docs show up. No one seems too concerned. One doctor says: “I’m sick of hearing about this. The flu symptoms are worse.” While we’re eating cake, an alert pops up on my phone – Gov. Pritzker has ordered all restaurants…… Continue reading A Cook’s diary of a pandemic : Marcella Hazan’s tomato sauce

Slow work : Mushroom ragu

It’s the Slow Work that I find most enticing. Not quick fixes or last-minute meals, but the long slogs, the upward hauls, the one-step-forward-two-steps-back, the tales of suffering and redemption. Slow Work is time-consuming, often enervating, sometimes boring. The rewards are not immediate. It takes faith and discipline to stick to the plan, regardless of…… Continue reading Slow work : Mushroom ragu

A simple pasta : Cacio e pepe

Elizabeth worked as an editor for a publication at the Vatican. Her husband was a sports correspondent for the AP. They lived in a tiny apartment in Monteverde Vecchio, an upper class enclave of mostly Roman residents beset by the ritzier international Gianicolo neighborhood, which was home to various members of the diplomatic corps in…… Continue reading A simple pasta : Cacio e pepe

A point of contention : Ragu alla bolognese

Ragù is one of those staples of Italian cooking that can easily incite spirited debate. Ragù in Naples bears little resemblance to ragù in Bologna. It’s a sauce that varies greatly region to region, although all Italians seem to agree that pasta should always be involved in the equation. A couple points of contention: White…… Continue reading A point of contention : Ragu alla bolognese

A hearty herb : Gemelli with roasted cauliflower and rosemary

Rosemary reminds me of a favorite pair of blue jeans, or that one ex-boyfriend from high school who was always so nice to you, even after you broke his heart. It’s an herb I’ve grown to view in cooking as stable, hearty and reliable. It also does well withstanding the beating that most ingredients take…… Continue reading A hearty herb : Gemelli with roasted cauliflower and rosemary