I have a habit of tossing huge pinches of red pepper flakes into all pasta dishes that cross my stove, so I was immediately drawn to the Bucatini Fra Diavolo in the new Franny's cookbook. Andrew Feinberg, Francine Stephens, and Melissa Clark's recipe takes this classically spicy tomato sauce and freshens it up with close to a full cup of fresh herbs.
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This easy to make stovetop lasagna incorporates lean chicken and skim milk cheese, but it's every bit as hearty as the classic.
A thick, hearty orzo risotto, more foolproof than the rice variety, full of sweet Italian sausage, peas, and Parmesan.
Fresh tagliatelle gets tossed with a Provençal pistou full of garlic, basil, and those red, ripe sun-dried tomatoes.
The classic Italian salad of tomato, mozzarella, and basil gets a hearty lift with the addition of pasta and chicken.
[Photograph: Blake Royer] Note: You can cook your own artichoke hearts or use frozen or canned artichoke hearts. Adapted from Epicurious. About the author: Blake Royer is a food writer, photographer, and filmmaker based in Chicago; he has been writing...
[Photograph: Blake Royer] Adapted from New York Times....
In a twist on Pasta Alla Norma, penne is topped with eggplant, mozzarella, basil, and a light tomato sauce.
The key to this recipe is getting as much flavor and color on the cauliflower as possible without overcooking it (this is a general rule for me regarding cauliflower anyway). Since this is a vegetarian version of puttanesca—it doesn't have the nutty base of anchovies melted into olive oil—the cauliflower plays the replacement role. At the beginning, high heat is your friend. Once that flavor is built into the dish, the rest is easy and comes together in no time.
For this pasta dish, I purée roasted garlic, basil, and a touch of chili with the eggplant, and toss it over trumpets of campanelle pasta, studded with toasted pine nuts and laced with strings of fresh basil. Since eggplant is in season in the late summer, along with basil, now is the time when this dish is cheapest and best. Don't waste another second!
In this recipe I found on an old Smitten Kitchen post adapted from Michael Chiarello, strands of zucchini are steamed briefly over the pasta pot until they are still a bit crunchy, then tossed with sautéed garlic, red chile flakes, and basil, and bound with a simple sauce of Parmesan and pasta cooking water. Early summer eating at its best.
The thick pistou clogs the twists of the corkscrew pasta and gushes as you bite into it. And as a final oh-my-gosh, I add creamy fresh goat cheese, a big springtime ingredient, that melts its tanginess into ribbons that fleck the hot pasta.
Black truffle pasta: I love the gluttony of it. It feels extravagant, but it neither breaks the bank nor your back. And, with any luck, it is a preview of the riches to come in the new year.
This pasta is based on a creamy saffron mussel soup I learned at cooking school in Paris. It was salty from the briny liqueur the mussels leach out into the pot, luscious and sweet from the cream, and heady and intoxicating from the scent of the saffron. This is my version, done on the cheap, built to fill you up.
My goal with this recipe for Pasta alla Norma was simple: to convince my wife that eggplant could be delicious. Since I hear complaints of "greasy" and "bitter" and "slimy" on a regular basis, I decided to ease her into the eggplant world with this recipe in which eggplant plays more of a complementary role. I pulled it from a feature in this month's issue of Runner's World with Joe Bastianich, famed restaurateur partner of Mario Batali, son of Lidia, and current judge on Masterchef. The eggplant melts into the sauce and gives the dish some meatiness without meat.
This recipe came out of an old school book off the shelf at my wife's parents' house called California Cookbook, a collection of recipes from the Los Angeles Times. I loved the simple headnote: "A Times staffer had this dish at El Toula in Milan and immediately acquired the recipe." It cooks the squash gently in butter until it begins to soften but is still crisp, then showers it with minced rosemary and cranks up the heat. The woodsy herb gives it a depth you wouldn't expect, but the dish remains light and simple. It comes together in the time it takes the pasta to boil.
Red pistou is made from tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and basil, usually in that order. Delicious, sharp, pungent, intensely summery, let's just say it stays with you—on your mind and on your breath. This homemade version pairs the pistou with pasta, and a tumble of crunchy, salty, herbes de Provence-spiked breadcrumbs and a studding of seared shrimp.
Rather than using bitterness as a way to balance the dish (like in the classic recipe for sausage and broccoli rabe) this recipe adds sweetness in the form of sun-dried tomatoes and acidity with a shot of lemon juice. Three or four cloves of garlic are also sliced and gently cooked in the fat from the sausage, a simple step that adds another dimension of flavor.
The following recipe is from the June 23 edition of our weekly recipe newsletter. To receive this newsletter in your inbox, sign up here! There are certain dishes that an eager home cook can pull off and then there are...