Pastas And Grains

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Farinata (Italian Chickpea Pancake)

The first time I tried farinata, the baked chickpea pancake from Italy, it was dry as particleboard. The second and third times were just as bad. Only after I'd dismissed it as an inexplicably terrible product of the Italian kitchen did I finally taste the real thing, and then I understood why people loved it so much. Savory, custardy, and simple in the best possible way, it's also dead easy to make at home. Here's how. More

Testaroli (Tuscan Pancake Pasta) With Pesto

Do you like dipping your bread into olive oil or using it to mop up the sauce on your plate? If so, then you need to know about testaroli, the Tuscan dish of crêpe-like pancakes that are treated like pasta and tossed with pesto sauce. Here's how to make them at home. More

Singapore Noodles

It's not entirely clear where Singapore noodles—the stir-fried curried rice noodles with shrimp, pork, and vegetables—come from, though it's unlikely Singapore is the source. Regardless, they're a stir-fry classic, and are easy to make at home. Here's what you need to know, from how to choose the right rice noodles to how to make the stir-fry work on a home burner. More

Smooth and Creamy Polenta

There are a lot of rules people say you need to follow to make polenta, like using a wooden spoon, stirring in only one direction, adding the polenta to boiling water, and stirring constantly. Forget those. What's really important is using the right ratio of liquid to cornmeal and cooking the polenta long enough for the cornmeal to properly hydrate and cook. More

Basic Mexican Tamale Dough

This master dough recipe for Mexican tamales starts with either fresh masa (the nixtamalized corn dough used to make tamales and tortillas) from a tortilleria or masa harina (nixtamailzed corn flour that's reconstituted with water or stock). Then lard, baking powder, and chicken stock are beaten into it to create a light, tender, and flavorful tamale that can be stuffed with your favorite filling, like green chili and pork, rajas and queso, or red chili with chicken. More

Ricotta Gnocchi With Asparagus and Prosciutto

Fresh ricotta gnocchi may be the fastest fresh-pasta recipe I know. With a little practice, I've gotten it down to under ten minutes (8 minutes 53 seconds, to be precise). But the great part about this recipe is that it serves as a suitable base for a huge variety of sauces and flavors. For instance, last week a friend of mine brought over some delicious first-of-the-season fresh asparagus which we combined with prosciutto and an easy cream sauce to make a delicious impromptu (and fast!) meal on the spot. More

Squid Ink Fresh Pasta

Aromatic squid ink is used to color this classic fresh egg pasta and give it a silky black hue. But while it may smell strong, the resulting noodles are relatively neutral in flavor. It's traditional to pair them with seafood, but they'll taste good with any sauce or added ingredients that play well with a subtle hint of brininess. More

Buddha's Delight (Lo Hon Jai): Chinese Vegetarian Stir-Fry

Tired of the same old vegetarian stir fry? Buddha's Delight is just what you need. A celebratory mixture of multiple vegetables and protein sources (wheat gluten, bean-curd skin, bean-curd puffs, and more), noodles, and a flavorful sauce infused with mushrooms, it's a reminder that vegetarian stir-fries don't have to be the same old ho-hum dish every time. More

Ricotta and Black Pepper Gnudi With Sage and Brown Butter

Normally I'm all about innovation and deep digging and hardcore testing here at The Food Lab. But this time I'm starting with a dish so iconic, so incredible, so damn-near-flawless in its original form that the best I can possibly hope to do is tweak it just a bit to suit my very particular personal tastes. I'm talking about the ricotta gnudi at The Spotted Pig, April Bloomfield's West Village gastropub. Thin, thin pasta surrounds a core of creamy, explosive sheep's milk ricotta all served in a brown butter and sage sauce. And the good news is that my favorite dish isn't even that hard to make. More

Chinese Sticky Rice Wrapped in Lotus Leaf (Lo Mai Gai)

Lo mai gai, the dim sum classic of steamed lotus leaves stuffed with sticky rice and all sorts of delicious goodies, are irresistible from the moment you unwrap one fresh from the steamer and a chorus of aromas hits your nose. The biggest task is gathering all the ingredients, like the lotus leaves and glutinous rice, as well as Chinese sausage, cured pork belly, and salted egg yolks. Once you've got them rounded up, though, it's a relatively easy and extremely delicious at-home dish. More

Light and Tender Potato Gnocchi With Sage-Butter Sauce

We're not going to lie: Potato gnocchi can be a little tricky and require some practice to get right. But if you know a few basic rules, it's really not that hard to make ones that are light and tender, not leaden and gummy. This recipe walks you through those steps, starting with choosing a gnocchi-friendly potato and cooking it the right way; then we leave it up to you whether to add egg yolk or not (yolks make a dough that's easier to work with, but also firmer); and finally we add just enough flour to make a cohesive dough while being careful not to overwork it to the point of gumminess. The result are lovely little gnocchi in a sage-butter sauce that will prove that good gnocchi aren't out of reach. More

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