Bucatini all’Amatriciana

1/2 pound of unsliced pancetta or prosciutto
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 1/2 pounds canned tomatoes, preferably imported Italian
1/2 teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound dried bucatini or perciatelli
1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino, romano or Parmesan cheese

Cut the pancetta or prosciutto into chunks less than one-half inch thick. Place in a saucepan with the olive oil and fry over low heat for 15 minutes, until all the fat has been rendered out and the meat is very crisp. Remove the meat from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the onion to the pan and saute over medium heat for five minutes.

Drain the tomatoes, finely chop them and add to the onion in the pan. Season with red-pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of cold water to a boil and add salt to taste. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 9 to 12 minutes, depending on the brand. Drain well.

Transfer the cooked sauce to a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and the reserved meat and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Remove the skillet from the heat, add the cheese and mix very well. Transfer the pasta to a warm platter and serve immediately.

Bucatini Cacio e Pepe with Cherry Tomatoes

1 pound bucatini, broken in half
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon very coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon very coarsely ground white pepper
1 cup coarsely chopped cherry tomatoes
1 3/4 cups freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese (6 ounces)
Salt

Cook the bucatini in a large pot of boiling, salted water until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the bucatini and return it to the pot. Add the olive oil, black and white pepper and the reserved pasta water. Add the cherry tomatoes and 1 1/2 cups of the cheese, season with salt and toss well. Transfer to a large, warmed pasta bowl and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Serve at once.

Cacio e Pepe with Butter and Broccoli Rabe

4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1 pound broccoli rabe, trimmed and chopped
1 pound dried spaghetti

Mash softened butter with cheese, black pepper, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Roll butter in parchment; freeze until firm.

Cook broccoli rabe in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a colander to drain. Add pasta to boiling water and cook until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water; drain pasta.

In a serving bowl, toss pasta with broccoli rabe. Using a box or hand grater, grate some compound butter over pasta and toss vigorously to coat. Season with salt and toss again. Serve immediately.

Classic Cacio e Pepe

3/4 pound linguine
1 cup grated pecorino cheese
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons coarsely ground smoked or regular peppercorns
Salt

In a pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 2/3 cup of the cooking water; return the pasta to the pot. Add the cheese, butter, pepper and cooking water and toss. Season with salt and serve.

Classic Fettuccine Alfredo

Salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 large egg yolk
1 pound fresh fettuccine
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Bring 6 quarts generously salted water to a boil.

While the water heats, melt the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; saute until fragrant and sizzling, about 2 minutes. Whisk the cream with the egg yolk in a bowl until blended; pour into the garlic butter. Reduce heat to medium-low; stir until hot but not boiling. Keep warm over low heat.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta, partially covered, until al dente. (The pasta will float when it’s done.) Drain in a colander, shaking out excess water, but reserve a little cooking water.

Pour hot pasta into the cream mixture and toss to coat (still over low heat). Add the cheese and keep tossing gently until cream is mostly absorbed. Season with salt and pepper. If sauce is absorbed too much, toss with a little pasta water. Serve in warm bowls.

Skillet-Baked Pasta with Sausage and Ricotta

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 pound bulk hot or mild Italian sausage (pork, chicken or turkey)
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, coarsely crushed
Pinch of red-pepper flakes, plus more for serving (optional)
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes with their juices
1 (14-ounce) can crushed or strained tomatoes
2 bay leaves
Kosher salt
12 ounces dried pasta, such as small shells, farfalle or other shaped pasta
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, torn into bite-size pieces
6 ounces whole-milk ricotta (about 3/4 cup)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup basil leaves
Black pepper, for serving

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Heat oil in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high. Crumble sausage into skillet, using a spoon to break it into small pieces. Cook until starting to brown, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in garlic, oregano, fennel seeds and red-pepper flakes (if using), and cook another 1 to 2 minutes.

Stir in whole tomatoes and their juice, using a spoon to break them up. Add crushed tomatoes, bay leaves and 2 teaspoons salt, and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes to thicken slightly.
Stir in pasta and 1 cup water and return to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 2 minutes, stirring frequently to make sure pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat, pluck out the bay leaves, and fold in about a third of the mozzarella.

Top pasta with remaining mozzarella and dollops of ricotta. Sprinkle with Parmesan, then transfer to oven. Bake until pasta is tender when poked with a fork, and cheese is bubbly and lightly golden, 18 to 22 minutes. (If you’d like a more deeply browned topping, run the pan under the broiler for 1 or 2 minutes.) Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving. Top with basil, plenty of black pepper, and more red-pepper flakes, if you like.

Skillet Lasagna Beef

For Meat Layer
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup Celery, diced
1/4 cup Red Onion. chopped, diced
1 pound Lean Ground Beef
1/2 cup Low Sugar Marinara Sauce
1/2 teaspoon Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

For Cheese Layer (mix all ingredients together in a bowl)
8 ounces ricotta cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
2 Eggs
1/2 teaspoon Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the celery, onion & ground beef and cook until meat is no longer pink.

Add the rest of the ingredients of the meat layer and let it cook on a gentle heat.

Meanwhile, mix up your cheese layer (saving half your mozzarella cheese) and spread it gently over the top of the meat mixture.

Cover the top with the remaining mozzarella cheese.

Cover the skillet and let it cook on medium low heat for 10-15 minutes until the cheese has warmed and has cooked through.

Place the pan under a hot broiler for 2-3 minutes to brown the top.

Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing (the lasagna will hold together better).

Notes: 4 servings
Calories: 320kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 19g | Sugar: 2g

Slow Cooker Pasta Fagioli

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound Italian sausage, casing removed
1 medium sweet onion, diced
4 cups chicken stock
1 (16-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

3/4 cup ditalini pasta
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add sausage and onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until sausage is browned, about 5-7 minutes, making sure to crumble the sausage as it cooks; drain excess fat.

Place sausage mixture into a 6-qt slow cooker. Stir in chicken stock, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, beans, carrots, celery, garlic, basil, oregano and thyme; season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high heat for 5-6 hours. Uncover and stir in pasta; cover and cook on high heat for an additional 30 minutes, or until tender.

Serve immediately with Parmesan, garnished with parsley, if desired.

Baked Ziti with Meatballs and Burrata

1 pound ziti pasta
3/4 pound ground beef
3/4 pound ground pork
1/3 cup Panko
2 large egg yolks
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup dry red wine
1 (32-ounce) jar marinara sauce
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
8 ounces burrata cheese, torn into large pieces

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9 x 13 baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions for al dente; drain well.

In a large bowl, combine ground beef, ground pork, Panko, egg yolks, garlic, basil and oregano; season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Using a wooden spoon or clean hands, stir until well combined. Roll the mixture into 1-to-1-1/4-inch meatballs, forming about 24 meatballs.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add meatballs, in batches, and cook until all sides are browned, about 2-3 minutes. Return meatballs to the skillet.

Stir in wine, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.

Stir in marinara sauce. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until flavors have blended, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in pasta, basil and parsley.

Spread pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish; top with burrata.

Place into oven and bake until bubbly, about 25-30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.

Serve immediately.

Note: can also use Trader Joe’s party size mini meatballs.

Spicy Rigatoni Vodka

3 tbsp salted butter
2 shallots minced (or substitute 1/2 sweet onion, minced)
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/2 shot vodka
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup grated parmesan divided
Kosher salt
1 lb. tubed pasta such as penne or rigatoni
1-2 TB Brooklyn Delhi Roasted Garlic Achaar
1-2 TB Brooklyn Delhi Tomato Achaar
torn basil for garnish

Add 1 lb of Rigatoni to salted water and cook pasta until it’s al dente. Strain and reserve two cups pasta water and set aside.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat then add shallots. Cook down for a few minutes, stirring often, until the shallot are soft and fragrant but not browned.

Next, add tomato paste to the pan and continue stirring until everything is incorporated and the tomato paste has darkened slightly; about 5 minutes.

Now add the vodka and stir vigorously for another 3 minutes until the pan has been completely deglazed and the sauce has come together.

Turn the heat to medium-low and add heavy cream and stir until incorporated. Let it simmer on low for 3 minutes then add in 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese and continue stirring until it’s melted. Mix in Brooklyn Delhi Roasted Garlic & Tomato Achaar to your spice preference starting with 1 TB of each.

Now add in the al dente pasta and toss it with the sauce. Then add 1/2 a cup of pasta water until the sauce becomes smooth and creamy! If it still looks dry, add more of the reserved pasta water, little by little, over medium-low heat until the sauce looks silky and smooth.

Add a few scoops of the pasta to each bowl and top with remaining parmesan cheese and basil for garnish.

Pasta with Corn and Coconut Milk

1 pound orecchiette (or your favorite pasta)
2 tablespoons coconut oil (unrefined)
2 large shallots, finely chopped (about 3/4 to 1 cup in total)
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper (or substitute cayenne or red chile flakes, to taste)
4 cups coarsely chopped greens, such as kale, Swiss chard, or mature spinach, stems and tough ribs removed (see author note for substituting baby greens)
2 cups to 2 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from about 3 ears of corn)
1/2 teaspoon curry powder (optional)
1 14-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
Finely grated zest + juice from 1 lime

Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook until al dente according to package directions.

In a large skillet, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic, thyme, Aleppo, and a big pinch of salt. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes, or until starting to soften.

Add the greens to the skillet, tossing to coat in the oil. Saute for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until nearly tender. Add the corn, a big pinch or two of salt, and the curry powder (if using) and saute for another 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the coconut milk and lime zest, and bring to a simmer. Maintain a gentle simmer for a few minutes, during which time the coconut milk should start to nicely thicken from the starches in the corn. (If the pasta isn’t ready, remove the skillet from the heat.)

Drain the pasta, and toss it with the creamed corn and greens. Add lime juice, starting with 1 teaspoon and adding more to taste. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Divide among plates. Serve warm.

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.

Sheet-Pan Feta with Broccolini and Tomatoes

1 bunch broccolini, ends trimmed, thick stalks split lengthwise, or broccoli, stalks trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved (about 2 cups)
1 small red onion, peeled, quartered and cut into 2-inch wedges
1 lemon, 1/2 cut into thin rounds and the remaining 1/2 left intact, for serving
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 (6- to 8-ounce) blocks feta, cut into 1-inch slices
Cooked orzo or farro, for serving
1/2 cup fresh basil or cilantro leaves and fine stems, roughly chopped (optional)

Heat the oven to 400 degrees with a rack set in the lower third. On a sheet pan, combine the broccolini, tomatoes, onion and lemon slices with the olive oil and toss. Add cumin and red-pepper flakes, season with salt and pepper, and toss again until evenly coated. Nestle the feta slices into the vegetables. (It’s OK if they break apart a little.)

Roast 15 to 20 minutes, stirring halfway through but leaving the feta in place, until the broccolini is charred at the tips, the stems are easily pierced with a fork and the tomato skins start to blister and break down.

Serve over orzo or farro. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with the remaining lemon half for squeezing. Top with fresh herbs, if using.

Penne with Roasted Eggplant, Chile, and Mint

1 and 1/2 pounds eggplant (about 4 medium), cut into 1-inch cubes
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more as needed
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, more as needed
1 very large ripe tomato, cored and diced (1 and 1/2 cups)
1/2 pound dried penne
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
3 anchovy fillets
Large pinch chile flakes
2 tablespoons drained capers
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup torn basil leaves
2 tablespoons torn mint leaves
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives

Heat oven to 400 degrees. On rimmed baking sheet, toss together eggplant, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spread into one layer. Roast, tossing occasionally, until the eggplant is golden brown, about 25 minutes.

Place tomato in large bowl and sprinkle lightly with salt.

Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook penne to al dente according to package instructions; drain well.

While pasta cooks, heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil. Stir in garlic, anchovies and chile flakes, and cook until golden and soft, about 3 minutes. Turn off heat and, using slotted spoon, transfer garlic to cutting board. Let garlic cool for a few minutes, then chop up and add back to the oil. Pour garlic-chile into bowl with tomatoes. Add eggplant and capers, and toss well.

Add pasta to bowl with eggplant and tomatoes. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste, and drizzle generously with oil. Toss in herbs and serve warm or at room temperature.

Pasta with Meat Sauce

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 pound Italian sausage, hot or mild or a mixture, cut into coins or crumbled
1 pound ground beef
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 stick cinnamon, if you have one
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (optional)
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, if you have them
2 teaspoons dried basil, if you have them
1 (28-ounce) can peeled whole or crushed tomatoes
1 big glug of red wine, if there is some to hand
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound dried pasta of your choice
1 handful fresh basil leaves, roughly torn, if you have them
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Set a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat and swirl into it the oil. When the oil shimmers, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to turn translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until it becomes fragrant, 30 seconds or so, then add the sausage and beef. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat has browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain off excess fat if you like, but I really never do.

Use a spoon to clear a space in the center of the pan and add the tomato paste, stirring to break it up. Then add the cinnamon, red pepper flakes, fennel seeds, and dried basil, if you’re using any of those. Stir to combine, then add the tomatoes, along with the wine. Add a spray of salt and a few grinds of black pepper.

Lower the heat under the pan and allow the mixture to simmer quietly for 30 minutes or more, then cook the pasta and toss it with the sauce. Garnish with the fresh basil and serve alongside the Parmesan. We made it.

Rendang-Seasoned Ground Beef over Pasta

Spice paste
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 medium yellow onion, peeled
5 shallots, peeled
2 dried red chiles
2 fresh red chiles, seeded
1 1-inch piece of ginger
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 stalks lemongrass, tough outer layers removed, roughly chopped

Sauce & Assembly
4 tablespoons neutral oil, such as vegetable or grapeseed
1 pound ground beef (preferably chuck and 20% fat)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 cup coconut milk
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened dried coconut, toasted and blended to a paste
1 turmeric or pandan leaf, thinly sliced (optional)
8 ounces dried rigatoni

Blend all the ingredients for the spice paste in a food processor or a blender until finely minced. If needed, add a tablespoon or two of water to help the mixture blend smoothly. (Alternatively, you can pound them in a mortar and pestle.)

Pour the oil into a pot, and place it over medium heat, and heat until oil starts to shimmer. Add in the spice paste and sauté gently for 6-8 minutes, or until the paste is thickened and starting to stick.

Season the ground beef evenly with 1/2 tsp salt, cumin, coriander, and fennel, then add to the pot. Combine well with the paste, and cook until beef is lightly browned and the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.

Add the coconut milk, 1?2 cup water, brown sugar and the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Give it a quick stir, then turn the heat down to low. Let the rendang simmer for at least an hour, until the coconut milk turns thick and caramelizes, and the beef becomes soft and tender (like in a bolognese). Make sure to stir the pot every 10-15 minutes so the rendang doesn’t catch and burn on the bottom.

When the rendang is almost done—the gravy should be thick, like the consistency of relish—add in the coconut paste and sliced turmeric leaf, if using, and let simmer for a final 10 minutes. If not using the rendang immediately, let cool to room temperature, then store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

If having the rendang that same day, bring 4 quarts of well-salted water (estimating 1 tablespoon per quart of water) to a boil. Cook the rigatoni until al dente, then drain, reserving a cup of the pasta water.

Add the rigatoni to the rendang, and stir vigorously to bring the two together, adding pasta water if needed. Divide between bowls and serve.

Pasta with ‘Nduja Sauce

1 tablespoon (15ml) extra-virgin olive oil
2 large shallots (about 3 ounces; 90g), thinly sliced
Kosher salt
One (24.5-ounce; 700g) bottle tomato passata (see note)
4 ounces (1/2 cup; 115g) ‘nduja (see note)
1 pound (450g) dried ziti, candele (broken into 3-inch pieces) or other short tubular pasta
2 ounces (60g) finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add shallots, season lightly with salt, and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until shallots are softened but not browned, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add passata, and make sure to use up all of the tomato in the bottle by adding 1/4 cup (60ml) water to the empty bottle, screwing on the lid, shaking the contents, and then adding tomato-water mixture to the skillet. Bring to simmer, season lightly with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally until sauce is slightly thickened, 12 to 15 minutes.

Add ‘nduja, and use wooden spoon to break up and stir into sauce. Cook, stirring constantly, until ‘nduja is fully emulsified and incorporated in sauce, about 1 minute.

Meanwhile, in a pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta until just softened on the exterior, but well shy of al dente, and still uncooked in the center (about 3 minutes less than the package directs). Using a spider skimmer, transfer pasta to sauce, along with 1/2 cup (120ml) pasta cooking water. Alternatively, drain pasta using a colander or fine-mesh strainer, making sure to reserve at least 1 cup (240ml) pasta cooking water.

Increase heat to high and cook, stirring and tossing rapidly, until pasta is al dente and sauce is thickened and coats noodles, about 2 minutes, adding more pasta cooking water in 1/4 cup (60ml) increments as needed. Remove from heat, add half of grated cheese, and stir rapidly to incorporate. Season with salt to taste. Serve immediately, passing remaining grated cheese at the table.

Baked Chicken Parmesan

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28-ounce) can of crushed or pureed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon pepper, divided, plus more as needed
2 large eggs
1 cup panko
3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan, plus 4 tablespoons
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved horizontally (like you’re slicing a layer cake into two layers), then pounded to 1/2-inch thick (so you have 4 roughly 5-ish-ounce cutlets total, 1/2-inch thick each)
2 tablespoons avocado oil (or other high-heat-friendly neutral oil)
1/2 cup grated low-moisture, whole-milk mozzarella

Make the sauce. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a pot set over medium heat, then add the onions. Cook until the onions are just becoming translucent, then add the garlic. Continue to sauté another 1 to 2 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant.

Add tomatoes, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and stir to combine. Cook over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, until it’s thickened and tastes rich and a little sweet. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, while the sauce is cooking down, get a large bowl, and two plates. In the large bowl, lightly beat the eggs until there are no big streaks of egg white visible.

On one of the plates, sprinkle the panko, 3 tablespoons Parmesan, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, and use a fork to mix thoroughly.

One at a time, take your chicken pieces and dredge them through the egg, letting any excess drip off back into the bowl. Once dredged in egg, press each side of the chicken firmly to the panko-Parmesan mixture to coat. Set aside on the second, clean plate.

Turn on your broiler. (If your broiler is on the inside-top of your actual oven, before you turn it on, move your highest oven shelf as close as possible to the broiler, and use this top shelf for the remainder of the steps). Place your largest cast iron skillet under your broiler. Let it heat up under there for 5 minutes. Use this time to mix together the mozzarella and remaining 4 tablespoons of Parmesan, and set that aside.

Using oven mitts (it’ll be very hot!), take out the skillet. Add the avocado oil and the four chicken pieces—spaced out, in a single layer—into the pan.

Place the pan under broiler. Broil for 3 to 4 minutes, until the tops of the cutlets are crispy and golden brown. (Peek after 3 minutes to avoid burning. If, after 4 minutes, the tops still aren’t getting golden, leave it for another minute or so.)

Remove the skillet from the broiler. Use a spatula to flip over the chicken, and top each piece with several spoonfuls of sauce, and a heavy sprinkling of mozzarella and Parmesan. Place back under broiler for another 2 minutes until cheese is bubbling and dotted with brown spots.

Remove from the broiler. Serve hot, preferably with big hunks of buttered bread.

Crispy Brussels Sprouts and Gnocchi

1 pound brussels sprouts
1 lemon
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1 (18-ounce) package shelf-stable or refrigerated potato gnocchi
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced into 6 pieces
1/2 teaspoon honey
Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving

Trim and halve the brussels sprouts. Using a vegetable peeler, peel thick strips of lemon zest, then coarsely chop. (You should have about 2 teaspoons chopped zest.)

In a large (preferably 12-inch) skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high. Add the brussels sprouts, season with ½ teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper, then arrange the brussels sprouts in an even layer, cut-side down. Scatter the lemon zest over the top and cook, undisturbed, until the brussels sprouts are well browned underneath, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the red-pepper flakes, stir and cook until the brussels sprouts are crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl.

In the same skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high. Break up any gnocchi that are stuck together, add them to the pan and cook, covered and undisturbed, until golden brown on one side, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the butter and honey, season with salt and a generous amount of black pepper, and cook, stirring, until the butter is golden, nutty smelling and foaming, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the brussels sprouts until warmed through. Serve with grated Parmesan.

Modern Pasta Alla Norma

Kosher salt
10 ounces mezzi rigatoni or rigatoni
1 1/2 pounds eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Black pepper
3 ounces prosciutto, roughly chopped into 1- to 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced into rings
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 fresno or serrano chile, seeded, if you like, and thinly sliced into rings
1 1/2 pounds Sun Gold, cherry or grape tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes and their juices
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, finely chopped
1 cup roughly chopped fresh herbs, such as basil and mint
Flaky salt, for serving (optional)

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. On a large rimmed sheet pan, toss the eggplant with ¼ cup olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Spread everything evenly in one layer and roast until golden, 25 to 30 minutes, flipping halfway through to ensure even browning.

While the eggplant roasts, make your sauce: In a deep, 12-inch skillet, heat the remaining olive oil over medium. Add the prosciutto and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to crisp and brown in spots, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from skillet and place on a paper towel-lined plate.

Add the shallot, garlic and chile to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until the shallot has softened and the garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook until they start to burst, pressing the tomatoes gently down with the back of a spatula or wooden spoon to help them along, 5 to 7 minutes. You want some of them to collapse and some to maintain their structure. Stir in the diced tomatoes with their juices and season with salt and pepper. Simmer while the eggplant finishes roasting, about 15 minutes more. If the sauce appears dry, add ¼ cup pasta water.

While you’re making the sauce, bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water, then drain pasta.

When the eggplant is done, add it to the tomato sauce and stir to combine. Add the pasta and toss until everything is well coated with sauce, adding more pasta water if needed. Stir in the mozzarella and toss until it begins to melt.

Serve in the skillet or in bowls and top each portion with crispy prosciutto and fresh herbs. Season with flaky salt, if using.