Despite the so-so reputation that Pasta all a Vongole might hold—an Italian standby of tough, overcooked clams and gray "dishwater" sauce turned cloudy from the simmering clam shells—when done right, it has the potential to be remarkable. Many pasta dishes are this way, requiring attention to detail that's rewarded with great flavor.
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Did you know that August is National Brownies at Brunch Month? Don't waste time asking follow-up questions like why this month-long holiday exists. Instead, bake up a batch of brunch-friendly Mimosa Brownies.
When eating at Frank Falcinelli and Frank Castronovo's Frankies Spuntino, not ordering the meatballs is really a crime. They are by far the best meatballs I've ever had in a restaurant, and possibly my life. Perfectly textured, not at all dense but not falling-apart crumbly, with just the right amount of egg, bread crumbs, garlic, and cheese throughout. But what really makes these meatballs special is the addition of raisins and pine nuts.
Magic Cookie Bars are, as their name might imply, no ordinary treat. Starting with layer upon layer of unrelentingly rich layers of buttery graham cracker crumbs, toasted coconut, chocolate and butterscotch chips, and nuts, they get even better from a rich smothering in sweetened condensed milk. With all that awesome, some might argue that a small serving is best. But I disagree, and to prove it, I've created it in a deliciously thick pie form.
The cake's virtue is its simplicity: it's sort of like cornbread, only made with semolina. What really makes it shine, though, is that it's topped while still hot with a sweet glaze which oozes into every little nook and cranny of the porous cake. Finished off with a sprinkling of almonds on top, it makes the perfect complement to a strong Turkish coffee.
Similar in approach to the Red Hook, another Brooklyn-themed Manhattan variation, the Slope--named for the borough's Park Slope neighborhood--utilizes an extra-bitter style of vermouth called Punt e Mes, then tempers the bitterness with the stone-fruit sweetness of apricot liqueur. The result is potent, balanced and memorable; an excellent cocktail for a mid-autumn evening.
Photo courtesy of Adam Fields If you love meat and you love sandwiches, then it doesn't get better than a sandwich made by a butcher. Makes sense, right? I mean, if a guy can take apart an animal, he...