Pasta chi Vruocculi Arriminati (Sicilian Pasta with Cauliflower, Raisins, and Pine Nuts)

1 whole cauliflower (roughly chopped into florets)
2 1/2 ounces pine nuts
3 ounces stale bread
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra to serve
1 onion, chopped
8 anchovy fillets
2 1/2 ounces raisins
1 teaspoon saffron strands
14 ounces linguine

Bring a large saucepan of generously salted water to boil. Add the cauliflower florets to the water and turn the heat down to a gentle simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until the cauliflower can easily be cut through with a butter knife.

While the cauliflower is cooking, toast the pine nuts in a medium-size frying pan for 2-3 minutes over medium heat, giving the pan an occasional shake, until they are golden brown. Set aside.

Tear the bread into chunks and blend in a food processor to make coarse crumbs. Using the same pan you cooked the pine nuts in, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and add the bread crumbs. Fry gently, shaking the pan occasionally, for 4-5 minutes until they turn crisp and golden, then take off the heat and set aside.

In a second, large frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat, add the onion and a generous pinch of salt. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until the onion becomes soft and translucent. Add the anchovies to the pan, and fry gently until they melt into the onions. Then add the raisins and the toasted pine nuts. Stir and turn the heat to a simmer.

Use a pestle and mortar to grind the saffron and a pinch of salt into a fine red powder. Scoop out a splash (roughly 1-2 tablespoons) of the cooking water into a small cup; add the powdered saffron and set to one side to infuse for a few minutes.

When the cauliflower is cooked, use a slotted spoon to scoop the florets out of the water and toss them into the pan with the onion mix. Save the cooking water. Pour the saffron-infused liquid over the cauliflower, and stir, breaking up any large pieces of cauliflower with a wooden spoon. Season with salt to taste.

Cook the pasta in the same water as the cauliflower (top it up with fresh water if needed) until al dente, as per the instructions on the packet.

When the pasta is cooked, scoop out half a cup of the cooking water and set aside. Drain the pasta and toss it into the pan with the sauce and the reserved cooking water, and stir together so the pasta is coated in sauce.

Spoon the pasta chi vruocculi arriminati onto a large serving dish, add a generous drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle the bread crumbs on top. Eat immediately.

Chile Oil Noodles

14 ounces dried udon noodles
1/4 cup chile oil with crunchy garlic
2 tablespoons pure sesame oil
2 teaspoons Sichuan chile oil, or to taste
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 cup finely sliced garlic chives or scallions, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons store-bought fried shallots, crumbled by hand (optional)
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro (see Note), plus a few sprigs for garnish

Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook noodles according to package instructions, stirring from time to time to prevent them from sticking. Drain well in a colander, then run noodles under cold water until cooled.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine all three oils with the soy sauce and 1/2 cup garlic chives.
Toss cooled noodles into the chile oil mixture. Gently fold in the crumbled fried shallots and chopped cilantro. Divide among four bowls, and top with more garlic chives and cilantro sprigs.

Nasi Goreng

For the Spice Paste:
2 small shallots (2 ounces; 55g), roughly chopped
3 medium cloves garlic
1 large fresh green chili, such as Fresno or Holland, stemmed and seeded, or 1 teaspoon sambal oelek, such as Huy Fong (see note)
1/2 teaspoon terasi (Indonesian shrimp paste), optional (see note)

For the Nasi Goreng:
4 cups cold cooked jasmine rice (21 ounces; 600g) or other medium- to long-grain rice (see note)
2 tablespoons (30ml) neutral oil, such as canola or sunflower oil
2 tablespoons (30ml) kecap manis (see note), plus more for drizzling
2 teaspoons (10ml) soy sauce
Kosher salt
Ground white pepper

To Serve:
2 fried eggs, cooked sunny-side up or over easy
Sliced cucumbers (optional)
Sliced tomatoes (optional)
Fried shallots (optional)

For the Spice Paste: Add half the shallots to a mortar and grind with the pestle until a coarse purée forms. Add remaining shallots, followed by garlic, chili, and terasi (if using), grinding with the pestle until each ingredient is mostly incorporated before adding the next. The final paste should resemble thick oatmeal in texture. Alternatively, combine all spice paste ingredients in a small food processor and process until they form a paste.

For the Nasi Goreng: If using day-old rice, transfer rice to a bowl and break rice up with your hands into individual grains.

Heat oil in a large wok or skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add spice paste and cook, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the wok or pan to prevent the paste from burning, until a pungent smell permeates your kitchen and the paste turns a few shades darker, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium at any time if the paste appears to be browning too quickly.

Add rice to the wok and stir to coat with the spice paste. Add kecap manis and soy sauce. Stir and cook until rice is evenly colored and hot throughout. Season with salt and white pepper.

Divide rice between two plates and top each plate of rice with a fried egg. Garnish with cucumber and tomato slices and shower with fried shallots, if you like. Serve immediately with kecap manis alongside for drizzling.

Garlic Fried Rice

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (75ml) canola oil or other neutral oil
8 garlic cloves, crushed and sliced thinly
4 cups cooked white rice (24 ounces; 700g), preferably long-grain, but any variety will do

In a small saucepan, heat oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until garlic softens, becomes very aromatic, and turns lightly golden, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Strain oil through a fine-mesh strainer directly into a wok; reserve cooked garlic and set aside.

Heat wok over high heat until oil is shimmering. Add rice, breaking up larger clumps with a spatula and tossing to coat with garlic-flavored oil. Cook, stirring and tossing frequently, until no clumps of rice remain and rice is warmed through, about 4 minutes. Add reserved garlic to rice and toss to combine.

Serve with chicken adobo.

Pork Fried Rice With Corn and Shishito Peppers

2 cups cooked white rice (12 ounces; 350g)
2 1/2 tablespoons (40ml) vegetable or canola oil, divided
6 ounces (170g) fresh corn kernels, cut from 1 to 2 ears of corn
2 scallions, sliced, whites and greens reserved separately (1 ounce; 30g)
12 shishito peppers, thinly sliced, or 1 green bell pepper, finely diced (about 6 ounces; 170g)
6 ounces (170g) leftover roast pork or ham, finely diced
1 teaspoon (5ml) soy sauce
1 teaspoon (5ml) toasted sesame oil
Kosher salt
Ground white pepper
1 large egg

If using day-old rice, transfer to a medium bowl and break rice up into individual grains with your hands before proceeding. Heat 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large wok over high heat until smoking. Add half of rice and cook, stirring and tossing, until rice is pale brown and toasted and has a lightly chewy texture, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Repeat with another 1/2 tablespoon oil and remaining rice.

2.
Return wok to heat and add 1/2 tablespoon oil. Add corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly charred on several surfaces, about 4 minutes. Transfer to bowl with rice and toss to combine.

If using day-old rice, transfer to a medium bowl and break rice up into individual grains with your hands before proceeding. Heat 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large wok over high heat until smoking. Add half of rice and cook, stirring and tossing, until rice is pale brown and toasted and has a lightly chewy texture, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Repeat with another 1/2 tablespoon oil and remaining rice.

Return wok to heat and add 1/2 tablespoon oil. Add corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly charred on several surfaces, about 4 minutes. Transfer to bowl with rice and toss to combine.

Return all rice and corn to wok and press it up the sides, leaving a space in the middle. Add 1/2 tablespoon oil to the space. Add scallion whites, peppers, and pork and cook, stirring gently, until lightly softened and fragrant, about 1 minute. Toss with rice to combine. Add soy sauce and sesame oil and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.

Push rice to the side of wok and add remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil. Break egg into oil and season with a little salt. Use a spatula to scramble egg, breaking it up into small bits. Toss egg and rice together.

Return all rice and corn to wok and press it up the sides, leaving a space in the middle. Add 1/2 tablespoon oil to the space. Add scallion whites, peppers, and pork and cook, stirring gently, until lightly softened and fragrant, about 1 minute. Toss with rice to combine. Add soy sauce and sesame oil and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.

Push rice to the side of wok and add remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil. Break egg into oil and season with a little salt. Use a spatula to scramble egg, breaking it up into small bits. Toss egg and rice together.

Add scallion greens and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Perfect Egg Fried Rice

3 tablespoons (45ml) vegetable or other neutral oil
3 large eggs, thoroughly beaten
1 1/2 to 2 cups (about 1 pound/450g) cooked rice (see note)
2 teaspoons (10ml) light soy sauce
3 scallions, thinly sliced crosswise

Preheat a wok over high heat until lightly smoking. Add 1 tablespoon oil and swirl to coat. If cooking on a powerful outdoor wok burner, reduce heat to minimum. If using a standard Western burner, keep heat on high throughout cooking. Add eggs to center of wok and cook, swirling wok until eggs are puffy and lightly browned on the bottom, about 10 seconds on a powerful burner or 30 seconds on a standard burner. Flip eggs and lightly brown on second side. Push eggs up to the side of the wok.

Add another tablespoon of oil to the wok and swirl to coat. Add rice to center of wok. Flip eggs on top of rice, then using a wok spatula, break the rice and eggs up, tossing and stirring as you break them. Stir-fry until rice starts to pop and jump on its own when you set the wok down, about 1 minute on a powerful burner or 2 to 3 minutes on a standard burner.

Add remaining tablespoon of oil around the rim of the wok, then add the soy sauce to the same spot. Stir-fry until rice and eggs are evenly coated in the soy sauce (the rice should be more or less broken up into distinct grains without any large clumps). Add scallions. Remove from heat and toss to combine. Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately.