Pasta Al Pomodoro
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 28 ounce can peeled tomatoes, puréed in a food processor
- Kosher salt
- 3 large fresh basil sprigs
- 12 ounces bucatini or spaghetti
- 2 tablespoons cubed unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan or Pecorino
Heat extra-virgin olive oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-low heat. Add minced onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about 12 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 2-4 minutes. Add crushed red pepper flakes; cook for 1 minute more. Increase heat to medium, add puréed tomatoes and season lightly with kosher salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens slightly and the flavors meld, about 20 minutes. Remove pan from heat, stir in basil sprigs, and set aside.
Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a 5-quart pot. Season with salt; add spaghetti or bucatini and cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water.
Discard basil and heat skillet over high heat. Stir in reserved pasta water to loosen sauce; bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stirring, until sauce coats pasta and pasta is al dente, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat; add butter and cheese; toss until cheese melts. Transfer to warm bowls; serve with more cheese, if desired.
Linguine with herb broth and clams
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled, smashed
- 2 medium tomatoes, cored, chopped
- 3 cups dry white wine
- 1 cup (or more) water
- 3 pounds Manila clams or small littleneck clams, scrubbed
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
- 2 pinches of dried crushed red pepper
- 8 ounces linguine
Melt butter with olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir 1 minute. Add tomatoes and cook until beginning to soften, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Add white wine and 1 cup water and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes to blend flavors. DO AHEAD: Broth can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly, then cover and refrigerate.
Bring broth to boil. Add clams, cover, and cook until clams open, 3 to 5 minutes (discard any clams that do not open). Transfer clams to large bowl; tent with foil to keep warm.
Stir basil, parsley, oregano, and crushed red pepper into broth in pot. Add linguine. Boil until pasta is almost tender but still very firm to bite, stirring often and adding water by tablespoonfuls if too dry. Return clams with any accumulated juices to pot. Cover and simmer until clams are heated through and pasta is tender but still firm to bite, about 3 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Transfer linguine and clam mixture to large shallow platter and serve
Capellini with Shrimp and Creamy Tomato Sauce
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound peeled large shrimp
- 3 large garlic cloves, forced through a garlic press
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 cup sweet (red) vermouth
- 1 (14- to 15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 pound capellini
Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then cook shrimp and garlic with oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, turning once, until golden, about 2 minutes total. Stir in vermouth and tomatoes, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of skillet. Add cream and briskly simmer until sauce has thickened slightly, about 1 minute. Stir in lemon juice.
Meanwhile, cook capellini in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (3 tablespoons salt for 6 quarts water) until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta-cooking water, then drain pasta.
Serve immediately, topped with shrimp and sauce. Thin with some of reserved water if necessary.
Butternut Squash and Hazelnut Lasagne
For squash filling
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 4 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
- 1 cup hazelnuts (4 oz), toasted , loose skins rubbed off with a kitchen towel, and coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 5 cups milk
- 1 bay leaf (not California)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
For assembling lasagne
- 1/2 lb fresh mozzarella, coarsely grated (2 cups)
- 1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (3 oz)
- 12 (7- by 3 1/2-inch) sheets no-boil lasagne (1/2 lb)
Cook onion in butter in a deep 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 10 minutes. Add squash, garlic, salt, and white pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until squash is just tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in parsley, sage, and nuts. Cool filling.
Make sauce while squash cooks:
Cook garlic in butter in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring, 1 minute. Whisk in flour and cook roux, whisking, 3 minutes. Add milk in a stream, whisking. Add bay leaf and bring to a boil, whisking constantly, then reduce heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, 10 minutes. Whisk in salt and white pepper and remove from heat. Discard bay leaf. (Cover surface of sauce with wax paper if not using immediately.)
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Toss cheeses together. Spread 1/2 cup sauce in a buttered 13- by 9- by 2-inch glass baking dish (or other shallow 3-quart baking dish) and cover with 3 pasta sheets, leaving spaces between sheets. Spread with 2/3 cup sauce and one third of filling, then sprinkle with a heaping 1/2 cup cheese. Repeat layering 2 more times, beginning with pasta sheets and ending with cheese. Top with remaining 3 pasta sheets, remaining sauce, and remaining cheese.
Tightly cover baking dish with buttered foil and bake lasagne in middle of oven 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake until golden and bubbling, 10 to 15 minutes more. Let lasagne stand 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
Tagliatelle with Shredded Beets, Sour Cream, and Parsley
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 cups (packed) coarsely grated peeled uncooked beets (about 3 large)
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 12 ounces tagliatelle or fettuccine
- 1 8-ounce container sour cream
- 6 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
Melt butter with oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; stir until pale golden, about 1 minute. Add beets and cayenne; reduce heat to medium-low and sauté just until beets are tender, about 12 minutes. Stir in lemon juice.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally.
Drain pasta and return to pot. Stir in sour cream and 4 tablespoons parsley, then beet mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer pasta to bowl. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons parsley and serve.
Rigatoni with Spicy Calabrese-Style Pork Ragù
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- 1 carrot, peeled, cut into 1″ pieces
- 1 celery stalk, cut into 1″ pieces
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves
- 1/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley, divided
- 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 pound hot or sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
- 1 pound ground pork
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 pound mezzi rigatoni or penne rigate
- 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan or Grana Padano plus more
Pulse onion, carrot, celery, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, and 1/4 cup parsley in a food processor until finely chopped; transfer to a small bowl and set aside. Purée tomatoes with juices in processor; set aside.
Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat; add sausage and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until browned, about 4 minutes. Add ground pork, season with salt and pepper, and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until no longer pink. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate.
Increase heat to medium-high. Add reserved vegetable mixture to drippings in pot, season with salt, and cook, stirring often, until golden, 8-10 minutes.
Stir tomato paste and 1 cup water in a small bowl; add to pot. Cook, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until liquid has almost evaporated, 6-8 minutes.
Add reserved meat and tomato purée and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, adding more water as needed to keep meat nearly submerged, until meat is tender, about 4 hours. Season with salt. DO AHEAD: Ragù can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool. Cover and chill, or freeze for up to 2 months. Reheat before continuing.
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving 2 cups pasta cooking liquid.
Add pasta and 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid to sauce; stir to coat. Stir in 3/4 cup Parmesan and remaining 1/4 cup parsley. Increase heat to medium and continue stirring, adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta. Divide among bowls; top with more Parmesan.
Sausage and Mushroom Penne Gratin
- 1 pound dried penne
- 1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 pound packaged sliced mushrooms
- 1 garlic clove, forced through a garlic press
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 8 ounces shredded whole-milk mozzarella, divided
Cook penne in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (2 tablespoons salt for 6 quarts water) until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta-cooking water, then drain pasta and transfer to a flameproof 3-quart baking dish.
Meanwhile, cook sausage in 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat, stirring occasionally and breaking up any large pieces, until no longer pink. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl, leaving fat in skillet.
Add remaining tablespoon oil to skillet along with mushrooms and garlic, then cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are golden, about 3 minutes.
Return sausage to skillet along with cream, reserved 1/2 cup cooking water, a rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and boil over high heat, stirring once or twice, until thickened, about 4 minutes. Pour over pasta, then stir in Parmigiano-Reggiano, 1/2 cup mozzarella, and salt to taste. Spread evenly in baking dish and top with remaining mozzarella.
Broil 3 to 4 inches from heat until golden brown in spots, about 5 minutes.
Linguine with Clam Sauce
- 1 pound linguine
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 18 littleneck or chowder clams
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian, flat leafed parsley
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta, following the package instructions, until al dente.
2. Meanwhile, warm 1/2 cup of the olive oil in a high-sided saucepan set over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and allow it to cook away slightly, about 1 minute. Add the clams and their juice, and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the broth froths to a level of 1 to 2 inches. Remove from the heat. Stir in the parsley. Drain the pasta and toss in a serving bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Distribute evenly among six dinner plates. Top with equal portions of the sauce, and serve immediately.
Baked Penne with Farmhouse Cheddar and Leeks
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
- 5 cups chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only; about 5 large)
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 3 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 pound extra-sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (about 4 cups packed)
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- 2 large eggs
- 1 pound penne pasta
Lightly butter 15x10x2-inch baking dish. Melt 1/4 cup butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks; stir to coat. Cover saucepan and cook until leeks are tender, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes (do not brown). Uncover saucepan; add flour. Stir 2 minutes. Add milk; bring to simmer, stirring often. Add cheese, mustard, and pepper sauce. Stir until cheese melts. Remove from heat. Season cheese sauce to taste with salt.
Whisk eggs in medium bowl. Gradually whisk in 1 cup cheese sauce. Stir egg mixture into cheese sauce in saucepan.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Return to pot.
Stir cheese sauce into pasta in pot. Transfer to prepared baking dish. do ahead Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake pasta until cheese sauce is bubbling around edges and some ends of pasta are golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.
Let stand 15 minutes. Serve hot.
Unlike classic mac and cheese, which is thickened by a roux (a flour and butter mixture), this one uses eggs to make a rich, gooey custard. But be careful when adding the hot cheese sauce to the eggs; you’ll need to whisk the sauce in slowly so that the eggs don’t curdle.
Fettuccine with Brown Butter and Sage
- 1 8.8-ounce package dried egg fettuccine
- 4 1/2 tablespoons butter
- 20 fresh sage leaves, stemmed
- 4 1/2 tablespoons frozen veal stock, thawed, or 2 tablespoons beef broth and 2 1/2 tablespoons low-salt chicken broth
- 5 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving
Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.
Meanwhile, melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium-low heat. Add sage leaves and cook until edges curl and butter is dark amber (do not burn), stirring and turning leaves occasionally, about 6 minutes. Transfer sage to paper towels. Add veal stock to brown butter.
Add pasta and 5 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese to brown butter mixture in skillet; toss to coat, adding reserved cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls if dry. Season with salt and pepper. Divide among bowls. Garnish with fried sage leaves, passing cheese alongside.
In this recipe, the brown butter isn’t strained, but it is in the shortbread and the ice cream. Why? In some recipes, the milk solids are strained out of the brown butter to ensure a smooth texture. In others, the brown butter is strained because it will be cooked with other ingredients and the milk solids might burn.
Scrambled Egg Pasta Breakfast
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 8 slices thick bacon, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cups al-dente cooked pasta
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a small bowl, beat together the eggs and cheese; set aside.
2. In a large skillet, fry the bacon and onion together until the meat is browned and crispy and the onion has begun to caramelize.
3. Add the pasta (if using cold day-old pasta, cook until it’s just warmed through, about 1 minute).
4. Pour the egg-and-cheese mixture into the skillet and reduce heat to low. Stir continuously until the pasta is coated with the eggs and they have begun to solidify.
5. Season with the salt and pepper, then serve immediately, with extra grated Parmesan on the side.
1 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped (scant 4 cups)
8 ounces crimini (baby bella) mushrooms
1 very large red onion, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar
1 4 1/2- to 4 3/4-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces, excess fat trimmed
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, divided
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
1 cup low-salt chicken broth
1/3 cup thinly sliced basil, divided
2 tablespoons drained capers, divided
12 ounces gemelli or penne, freshly cooked
Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine plum tomatoes, mushrooms, and onion in large bowl. Add 3 tablespoons oil and vinegar; toss to blend. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Spread vegetable mixture in single layer on large rimmed baking sheet. Roast until onion slices are golden brown and all vegetables are tender, stirring frequently, about 50 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon rosemary. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large deep ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and sauté until golden brown, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to bowl. Add wine to skillet and boil until wine is reduced by half, scraping up browned bits, about 1 minute. Stir in canned tomatoes with juice, then broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 10 minutes to blend flavors. Return chicken to sauce in skillet. Place skillet in oven and roast uncovered until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear when pierced with knife, about 25 minutes. Remove skillet from oven. Stir in roasted vegetables, remaining 1/2 tablespoon rosemary, half of basil, and half of capers. Simmer over medium heat until vegetables are heated through. Season with salt and pepper.
Place pasta in large shallow bowl. Top with chicken and sauce. Sprinkle remaining basil and capers over.
- 1 16-ounce package large shell pasta or elbow pasta
- 1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 16-ounce package frozen petite peas (do not thaw)
- 2 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot.
Meanwhile, bring cream to simmer in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add peas and simmer just until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 2 1/4 cups cheese and stir until melted and sauce thickens slightly, about 1 minute. Stir in mint and 1/4 cup parsley. Pour sauce over pasta and toss to coat, adding pasta cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls if dry. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl. Sprinkle with remaining parsley. Serve, passing additional Parmesan alongside.
Multi-Grain Pasta with Butternut Squash, Ground Lamb, and Kasseri
- 4 8-ounce packages fresh peeled cubed butternut squash (5 to 6 cups)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 8 ounces ground lamb
- 2 1/2 cups chopped onions
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes with added puree (from 28-ounce can)
- 2 cups low-salt chicken broth
- 8 ounces multi-grain penne pasta (such as barilla)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
- 1/2 cup grated kasseri cheese, divided
- Ingredient info:Look for kasseri, a firm white cheese made from sheep’s milk, at supermarkets and Greek markets.
Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss squash with 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in large bowl. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Transfer squash to large rimmed baking sheet. Roast until tender and brown around edges, using metal spatula to turn occasionally, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add lamb and onions; sauté until lamb browns and onions soften, 7 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and next 3 ingredients; stir 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, then broth and bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits. Reduce heat; simmer until mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Stir in squash. Season with salt and pepper.
Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot. Add lamb mixture, half of cilantro, and half of cheese; toss. Add reserved cooking liquid by 1/3 cupfuls to moisten. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer pasta to bowl. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro and cheese.
Pasta with Sausage and Red Grapes
- 6 ounces mild Italian sausage, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon salt (preferably kosher), divided
- 2 cups seedless red grapes
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
- 10 ounces whole-wheat orecchiette (or other short-cut pasta, such as farfalle or penne)
- 2 tablespoon grated Parmesan
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (or 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil)
Set a large pot of water to boil. In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium heat, stirring and breaking up, until well browned, about 15 minutes. Transfer sausage to a paper towel. Add oil to skillet; return to medium heat. Cook onion and garlic with 1/4 teaspoon salt, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add grapes, broth and pepper flakes; increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until grapes soften or burst and liquid thickens, about 10 minutes. Return sausage to skillet and stir; turn off heat. When water boils, add remaining 1 tablespoon salt and pasta; cook as directed on package. Drain pasta, add to skillet, and turn on heat to high. Cook, stirring, until sausage is hot and pasta is coated with sauce, 30 to 60 seconds. Divide pasta among 4 bowls; sprinkle each with Parmesan and parsley before serving.
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 pounds ground lamb
- 1 (28-ounces) can whole tomatoes in juice
- 1 (15-ounces) can whole tomatoes in juice
- 4 thyme sprigs
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 7 cups whole milk
- 3/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or kefalotyri cheese (2 ounces)
- 5 large egg yolks
- 2 pounds ziti
- 1 3/4 cups coarse fresh bread crumbs (from 4 slices firm white sandwich bread)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or kefalotyri cheese
Make meat sauce:
Cook onions in oil in over medium heat, stirring frequently, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Increase heat to high, stir in lamb and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up any lumps with a fork, until meat starts to brown, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, drain both cans of tomatoes, reserving juice, and chop. Pour off excess fat from skillet, then stir in tomatoes with their juice, thyme, spices, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Simmer over low heat, partially covered, until some liquid has evaporated but sauce is still moist, about 40 minutes. Discard thyme.
Make béchamel while meat sauce simmers:
Melt butter in a heavy medium pot over medium heat. Whisk in flour, then cook roux, whisking frequently, until pale golden, about 6 minutes. Meanwhile, heat milk in a heavy medium saucepan until just about to boil. Add milk to roux in a stream, whisking constantly until very smooth. Bring sauce to a boil over medium heat, whisking, then cook, whisking, 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in nutmeg, cheese, and 1 tablespoon salt.
Lightly beat yolks in a bowl. Gradually whisk in 2 cups béchamel, then whisk yolk mixture into remaining béchamel in saucepan. Cover with a round of buttered wax paper (buttered side down).
Cook pasta and assemble pastitsio:
Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle. Cook ziti in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (3 tablespoons salt for 6 quarts water) until al dente. Drain pasta, then transfer to a large bowl and stir in 1 cup béchamel.
Arrange one third of pasta lengthwise in 1 layer in a large (17-by 11-inch) baking pan (about 2 inches deep).
Add half of meat sauce (about 3 cups) to baking pan, spreading evenly over pasta.
Make another layer of pasta and top with remaining meat sauce, then arrange remaining pasta on top. Spread remaining béchamel (about 6 cups) evenly over top layer of pasta.Stir together bread crumbs and cheese and sprinkle evenly over top of pastitsio. Bake until crumbs are golden brown and sauce is bubbling, about 45 minutes.
Linguine with Pesto Trapanese
- 3/4 cup slivered almonds
- 1 large handful fresh basil leaves
- 1 to 2 large garlic cloves
- Several sprinkles of sea salt
- 6 ripe plum tomatoes
- Handful of grated Pecorino (about 1/2 cup)
- A generous splash of olive oil (about 1/3 cup)
- 1 pound linguine
Sauté the almonds in a little olive oil until tan.
Put basil, garlic, and salt in food processor and chop. Put aside.
Put in almonds and pulse until size of orzo.
Put tomatoes, almonds, basil garlic, cheese, and olive oil back in food processor and whir briefly. Add some fresh-ground coarse pepper.
Boil linguine. If you are Sicilian, become hysterical at the prospect of overcooked pasta. Break open a strand every 60 seconds, and when there is one tiny white speck at the center, drain instantly. Save a cupful of pasta water.
Put pasta in with pesto and mix quickly. Add a little pasta water if necessary. Serve lukewarm or at room temperature.
Linguine ai Frutti di Mare
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- Red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 12 Manila or littleneck clams
- 10 ounces linguine
- 3/4 cup tomato sauce
- 12 black mussels
- 8 shrimp, shelled (tail intact) and deveined
- 4 sea scallops, quartered
- 5 ounces calamari, cut into thin rings
- 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
Boil water in a large pot. Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Cook garlic until it sizzles. Add red pepper flakes to taste; cook 1 minute. Add wine and clams; cover. Raise heat to medium-high; cook 5 minutes. Add linguine to boiling water. Cook until al dente. Uncover sauté pan; simmer 1 minute more. Add tomato sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Add rest of seafood. Cook, stirring, until clams and mussels open, about 3 minutes. Toss with linguine. Add parsley; toss. Divide among 4 bowls.
Artichoke and Mushroom Lasagna
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
- 1 pound mushrooms, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 8-ounce packages frozen artichoke hearts, thawed, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup dry vermouth
- 4 1/2 tablespoons butter
- 4 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 4 1/2 cups whole milk
- 2 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 7 1/2 ounces)
- Ground nutmeg
- 1 9-ounce package oven-ready (no-boil) lasagna noodles
- 1 pound whole-milk mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and garlic; sauté until mushrooms release juices and begin to brown, about 7 minutes. Add artichokes and vermouth. Cook until liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
For béchamel sauce:
Melt butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour; stir 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until sauce thickens and lightly coats spoon, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Stir in 1 1/2 cups Parmesan. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and ground nutmeg.
Spread 2/3 cup béchamel sauce over bottom of 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Top with enough noodles to cover bottom of dish. Spread 1/4 of artichoke mixture over. Spoon 2/3 cup béchamel sauce over. Top béchamel with 1/4 of mozzarella.
Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons Parmesan. Top with enough noodles to cover. Repeat layering 3 more times, finishing with a layer of noodles, then remaining béchamel. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover with foil and refrigerate.)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake lasagna covered with foil 1 hour (or 1 hour 15 minutes if chilled). Remove foil. Increase temperature to 450°F. Bake lasagna until golden on top, about 10 minutes longer.
Crab Linguine with Basil, Lemon & Chile
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- zest and juice of 1 1/2 lemons
- 4 red chilies (bird’s eye), finely chopped
- 3/4 lb fresh linguine
- 9oz white crab meat
- large handful fresh basil leaves, torn
- crushed sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Add the olive oil, lemon zest, and chopped chiles to a small pan and place over low heat until they begin to sizzle. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the linguine and cook according to the package instructions (about 7 minutes). Drain well, rinse with boiling water, and set aside.
Add the chilli and lemon oil to the pan that the linguine was cooked in. Add the lemon juice and cook over medium heat until sizzling. Return the linguine to the pan and add the crab meat. Toss gently for 1 to 2 minutes to warm the crab through.
Fold in the basil and season with crushed sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Spoon into warmed serving bowls.
Pasta and Chicken Gratin
For chicken and stock
- 2 (3 1/2- to 4-lb) chickens
- 10 cups cold water
- 1 celery rib, quartered
- 1 carrot, quartered
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- 1 large garlic clove, smashed
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
For cheese sauce and casserole
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter plus additional for greasing gratin dishes
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 cup crème fraîche (8 oz)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 lb Gruyère, coarsely grated (6 cups)
- 1 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated with a rasp (1 1/4 cups)
- 1 lb penne rigate or other short tubular pasta
- 6 cups fine fresh bread crumbs (from 14 slices firm white sandwich bread)
- Special equipment: 2 (2 1/2- to 3-qt) shallow gratin dishes (13 by 9 inches)
Poach chicken and make stock:
Cut backbones, wing tips, and second joints of wings from chickens, then cut each chicken into quarters. Put backbones, wing tips, second joints, and giblets (except livers) in a 6- to 8-quart pot with water, celery, carrot, onion, garlic, thyme, salt, and peppercorns and bring to a boil. Add chicken quarters and return liquid to a boil, skimming off any foam, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 40 minutes.
Transfer chicken quarters with tongs to a shallow baking pan. When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove meat from skin and bones, transferring meat to a cutting board and returning skin and bones to pot. Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces and reserve in a large bowl. Boil stock 40 minutes, then pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, discarding solids. Let stand 5 minutes, then skim off fat and set aside 4 cups stock for making sauce. (Reserve remaining stock for another use.)
Make sauce, cook pasta, and assemble casserole:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425°F. Butter gratin dishes.
Heat butter (1 stick) in a 4-quart heavy pot over moderate heat until foam subsides, then add garlic and cook, whisking, 1 minute. Add flour and cook, whisking, 1 minute. Add milk and reserved stock (4 cups) in a slow stream, whisking, then bring to a boil, whisking. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in crème fraîche, salt, pepper, cayenne, 2 cups Gruyère, and 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano.
While sauce simmers, cook pasta in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water , uncovered, until not quite al dente, 8 to 10 minutes (pasta should still be firm), then drain in a colander. Return pasta to pot, then add chicken and sauce, tossing to coat. Divide pasta mixture between gratin dishes.
Toss bread crumbs with remaining 4 cups Gruyère and 3/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, then sprinkle evenly over pasta mixture. Bake gratins until crumbs are golden brown and sauce is bubbling, 20 to 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
cooks’ notes:If using rotisserie chickens, pull meat from bones and reserve, then make stock by cooking skin and bones with celery, carrot, onion, garlic, thyme, salt, peppercorns, and 8 cups water 40 minutes total before straining.
Chicken can be poached and stock can be made 1 day ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, then chilled separately, covered.
Bread crumbs can be made 1 day ahead and kept in a sealed plastic bag at room temperature.
Cheeses can be grated 1 day ahead and chilled separately in sealed plastic bags.
Fettuccine with Brussels and Pinenuts
- 3/4 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed
- 1/2 pound dried egg fettuccine
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts
- Accompaniment: grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Slice Brussels sprouts in a food processor fitted with slicing disk.
Cook fettuccine in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (3 tablespoons salt for 6 quarts water) until al dente.
Meanwhile, heat butter and oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat until foam subsides, then cook pine nuts, stirring, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add Brussels sprouts, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, then sauté over medium-high heat until tender and lightly browned, about 4 minutes.
Reserve 1/2 cup pasta-cooking water, then drain pasta and add to skillet, tossing with enough reserved water to moisten.
Fettuccine con Carciofi
Fettuccine with Artichokes, Parsley, and Parmesan
1 lemon, halved
3 large artichokes
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled
6 tablespoons dry white wine
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
12 ounces fettuccine
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces), divided
Fill large bowl with cold water. Squeeze juice from lemon halves into water; add lemon halves. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, cut off stem from artichoke. Using small knife, peel stem, then slice into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Drop stem slices into lemon water. Pull off leaves from artichoke and discard. Using spoon, scoop out choke. Thinly slice artichoke bottom. Drop artichoke slices into lemon water. Repeat with remaining artichokes.
Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Drain artichoke pieces; add to skillet. Sauté until artichokes are soft and beginning to turn golden, about 20 minutes. Add wine; reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 3 minutes. Stir in 1 1/2 tablespoons parsley; simmer 1 minute. Discard garlic. Season sauce with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.
Return pasta to pot; add artichoke sauce and half of cheese and toss to blend, adding some of reserved pasta cooking liquid if dry. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and 1 1/2 tablespoons parsley and serve.
Penne with Tomato Pesto and Smoked Mozzarella
- 1/4 cup almonds
- 2 cups loosely packed fresh parsley
- 12 sun-dried tomato halves
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 pound smoked mozzarella, diced
- 1/2 pound whole-wheat penne
In a small pan over medium heat, toast almonds until golden brown, 5 minutes. In a food processor, pulse almonds, parsley, tomatoes, garlic and oil until slightly chunky. Pour into a bowl; season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add mozzarella; toss to combine. Cook pasta as directed on package; drain and toss immediately with pesto.
Pasta with Pistachio Pesto
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted, shelled roasted natural pistachios
- 1 cup chopped tomato
- 2 cloves garlic
- a handful of fresh mint leaves
- a handful of Parmesan, freshly grated
- a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- a pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (or more)
- 1 pound freshly cooked pasta
Pulse 1 1/2 cups unsalted, shelled roasted natural pistachios, 1 cup chopped tomato, 2 garlic cloves, a handful of fresh mint leaves, a handful of grated Parmesan, a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper in a food processor until a coarse purée forms. Transfer to a bowl; stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil (or more) to form a thick, chunky sauce. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Toss 1 cup pesto with 1 pound freshly cooked pasta, adding pasta cooking liquid by the tablespoonful to form a glossy sauce. Chill remaining pesto to spread on sandwiches.
Orrechiette with Caramelized Onions, Sugar Snap Peas, and Ricotta Cheese
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cups (packed) chopped onions
- 1 8-ounce package trimmed sugar snap peas, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 8-ounce package orecchiette (little ear-shaped pasta) or pasta shells
- 1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions. Sauté until onions are pale golden, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; sauté onions until tender and deep golden, about 15 minutes longer. Transfer 3/4 cup sautéed onions to small bowl. Add peas to onions in skillet. Sauté until peas are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat.
Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid.
Add pasta and 1/2 cup cooking liquid to onion mixture; stir over medium-high heat 30 seconds. Mix in ricotta, basil, and lemon peel, adding more cooking liquid to moisten as needed. Season with salt and pepper.
Campanelle with Tomatoes and Feta
- 8 ounces campanelle (trumpet-shaped pasta) or fusilli (spiral-shaped pasta)
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 6 green onions, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pint whole cherry tomatoes
- 1 pint whole grape tomatoes
- 5 cups (loosely packed) arugula
- 1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese (about 7 ounces)
Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Add green onions, garlic, and all tomatoes; sauté until tomatoes begin to soften and collapse, about 7 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Drain pasta. Return to pot. Add tomato mixture, arugula, and remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil; toss until arugula begins to wilt. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer pasta to plates. Sprinkle with feta cheese and serve.
Four-Cheese Pasta with Cauliflower
- 1 1/4 cups skim milk
- 2 tablespoons light cream cheese
- 1 1/2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
- 3/4 cup shredded cheddar
- 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 4 cups cooked whole-wheat spiral pasta
- 2 cups chopped cauliflower (about 1/2 a medium head), steamed
In a medium saucepan, combine milk, cream cheese, flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne, if desired. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until mixture comes to a slow boil, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove pan from heat; stir in remaining cheeses and mustard until cheese melts. In a bowl, toss pasta with cauliflower; pour cheese mixture over top; stir. Divide pasta evenly among 7 bowls; serve immediately.
The odd one out
The key to making this dish is to have all the ingredients prepared before you begin sautéing the onions.
- 8 large eggs
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
- 3 large fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
- 3 large fresh sage leaves, minced
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup thinly sliced onion
- 1/3 cup whole-milk ricotta
Preheat oven to 400°F. Whisk first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl; set aside. Heat oil in a medium ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; saute until soft, about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in egg mixture. Spoon dollops of ricotta evenly over.
Cook until frittata begins to set, about 2 minutes. Place in oven; bake until just set, 7-9 minutes. Slide the frittata onto a platter. Cut into wedges; serve hot or at room temperature.