The Food Lab

Unraveling the mysteries of home cooking through science.

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Ragú Napoletano (Neapolitan-Style Italian Meat Sauce with Pork, Beef, and Sausage)

If you were to pick a president and el tigre numero uno of the ragù world, it'd be ragù Napoletano, a meaty stew with big chunks of beef, pork, and sausages simmered until fall-apart tender in a rich tomato sauce flavored with wine, onions, garlic, basil, and plenty of good Southern Italian olive oil. It's the precursor to Italian-American Sunday gravy: just add some meatballs, serve it with spaghetti, and you're there. It's also the perfect dish for a lazy Sunday with family or friends at home. More

Quick and Easy Skillet Tamale Pie With Brown Butter Cornbread Crust

Tamale pie is a dish that screams for an update. I mean, it's cornbread and chili all rolled into one! Just imagine how great it could be if we took the time to make a real, deeply flavored, meaty chili from scratch, eschewing the dump-and-stir approach and instead building up layers of spices and aromatics. Now imagine that chili topped with tender, moist, crisp-edged, buttery cornbread with those chili juices seeping up into it as it bakes in the oven. That's the kind of meal I'd love to come home to after a long day out in the cold. Wouldn't you? More

Lasagna Napoletana (Lasagna With Sausage, Smoked Cheese, and Meatballs)

We all know about lasagna Bolognese, the Northern Italian casserole made with fresh pasta layered with cheese sauce and a slow-cooked meat sauce enriched with cream. But what if I told you that there was another lasagna out there every bit as decadent, involved, rib-sticking, and delicious? I introduce to you Lasagna Napoletana, a lasagna that comes stuffed with an insanely meaty and savory red sauce, small tender-crisp meatballs, slices of sausage, and not one, not two, not even three, but four types of cheese. Are you ready to have your gut busted and your mind blown? Let's go. More

The Best Meatball Pizza

Growing up in New York, I'd never eaten a meatball pizza. Pizza is for eating out, meatballs are home cooking. It wasn't until I tasted the meatball pizza at Motorino and then at Best Pizza in Williamsburg that I discovered how great the idea is. It's two Italian-American favorites, all rolled into one spectacularly comforting dish. But like all mashups, there's a bit of finesse to getting it right. Here's how I make mine. More

30-Minute Pressure Cooker Pho Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup)

Pho bo—Vietnamese beef noodle soup—may be more popular in the states, but its cousin pho ga, made with chicken, is easier to make, and in my book, just as tasty. What if I told you that you could make a superb bowl of Vietnamese chicken noodle soup with rich, aromatic broth and fall-off-the-bone tender chicken, all in under half an hour? The pressure cooker comes to the rescue. More

Slow-Roasted Beef Tenderloin

Whole-roasted beef tenderloin is a once-a-year celebratory dish that can be fantastic if done properly. The problem is, its extra-lean meat dries out and overcooks very easily. Our slow-roasting reverse-sear method ensures perfectly medium-rare meat from edge to center with a nicely browned, flavorful crust. More

The Best Slow-Cooked Bolognese Sauce

When it comes to meat sauces, ragù Bolognese is the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. To arrive at this version, I started with Barbara Lynch's great recipe, adding a few tweaks here and there to enhance meatiness and texture (hello pancetta, gelatin, and fish sauce!), and employing a unique oven-based cooking technique that develops rich browned flavors all while maintaining the tender, silky texture that the best sauces have. This is the kind of sauce that will leave you and your loved ones weak in the knees. More

The Best Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

I grew up eating my mom's layered chicken enchilada casseroles made with canned sauce and tons of sour cream. While I've still got a soft spot in my heart for that dish, this version, with its smoky charred poblano salsa, tender braised chicken thighs, and moderate use of cream and cheese, is its more sophisticated, grown up cousin. More

Vegetables Wellington (The Ultimate Vegan Plant-Based Holiday Roast)

Coming up with a vegan holiday roast is a daunting task! It can't just take the place of the turkey or the prime rib nutritionally, it's got to cover all of those mental bases as well. Not only does it have to taste spectacular, but it's got to look stunning at the center of the table, with rich, deep flavors that scream fall and winter. What I ended up with was a vegan roast that is so pretty, so mouth-watering, so packed with flavor and texture that even the hardcore carnivores at the table will want to make room on their plate for a slice, perhaps even instead of that turkey. I call it Vegetables Wellington. More

Sous-Vide Turkey Breast With Crispy Skin

Sous-vide is a fantastic method for cooking holiday roasts. It delivers reliable moist and tender results, frees up your oven for other tasks, requires almost no supervision while cooking, and is very easy to hold hot and ready to serve until your guests are ready. That said, sous vide turkey comes with a few problems. We've solved the issues to give you a recipe that produces turkey cooked exactly how you like it, with deep roasty flavors and extra-crispy skin to boot. More

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