Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Potatoes and Carrots

1 small to medium cauliflower

Marinade:
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp thyme
1.5 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp ground sage
2.5 tbsp soy sauce, divided (use tamari if gluten-free), or coconut aminos
1 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
1.5 tsp coriander (or a mix of coriander and cumin)
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp cardamom
additional optional flavor add ins: 1/4 tsp ground cloves, 1/4 tsp celery seed, 1/4 tsp rosemary
sides, optional
6 to 8 small potatoes (sliced into halves)
18 to 10 small carrots
1/3 tsp salt
1/3 tsp black pepper
1 tsp oil

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 C).

Mix 2 tbsp soy sauce and the rest of the marinade ingredients together. Add 2-3 tbsp of water or chikn flavored broth and mix to combine the garlic and salt well.

Using a thin knife, make some small cuts on the top and the bottom of the cauliflower. Pour half of the marinade inside the overturned cauliflower and move it around to coat the indies well. Brush the cauliflower lightly and let it sit upside down to marinate for at least an hour (marination time is optional, but helps add more flavor).

Once the cauliflower has marinated for an hour, and brush more marinade on the cauliflower and place in a greased baking dish or cast iron skillet.

Mix the potatoes, carrots, salt, pepper and oil in a bowl and place on either side of the cauliflower. (You can bake these separately and add later to the serving dish with the cauliflower before serving)

Cover with foil or another baking dish to cover just about the cauliflower dish. It is not necessary to seal the dish completely. Roast at 425 degrees F for 30 -35 minutes(longer for larger head). Add 1-2 tbsp water and the 1/2 tbsp soy sauce to the remaining marinade. Uncover and baste liberally again.

There should be some moisture that leaks from the veggies and marinade into the pan because of covering and baking. If not, then drizzle a few tbsp water or broth around the cauliflower so the side veggies/marinade dont get scorched. Continue to bake uncovered for 20 to 30 mins. Use a knife to check if the cauliflower is cooked all the way through.

Remove when done and baste with any remaining marinade. Garnish with fresh herbs.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Balsamic Glaze and Parmesan

1 medium head cauliflower (about 2 pounds)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic glaze
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Remove leaves from cauliflower. Slice the bottom of the core off so that it will sit evenly on the baking sheet. Drizzle 1 tablespoon oil all over the cauliflower. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast, core-side up, for 45 minutes.

Stir the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and balsamic glaze together in a small bowl. Remove the cauliflower from the oven. Using a fork, gently separate the florets and drizzle the oil-and-vinegar mixture over and into the cauliflower. Roast, core-side down, for 15 more minutes.

Remove the cauliflower from the oven. Combine Parmesan and thyme; pat all over the surface and into the crevices of the cauliflower. Return to the oven and roast, core-side down, until tender and browned, about 15 minutes more. Before serving, drizzle the cauliflower with any excess vinaigrette that has accumulated on the baking sheet.

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.

Isan Beef Salad

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 stalk lemongrass, tough outer leaves removed, bottom four inches only, sliced as thinly as possible into rounds
Kosher salt
2 flat iron, flank, skirt, or hanger steaks, about 12 ounces total (see note)
Ground white or black pepper
3 medium cloves garlic
2 teaspoons Thai red pepper flakes (more or less to taste, see note)
1 small green thai chili or 1/2 small Serrano chili, finely chopped
1 tablespoon brown sugar (more or less to taste)
1 tablespoon fish sauce (more or less to taste)
1 tablespoon juice from 1 lime (more or less to taste)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
1 cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves

Combine vegetable oil and lemongrass in a small skillet and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until lemongrass is golden brown and crisp, about 6 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer set in a small saucepan. Transfer crisp lemongrass to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt. Set aside.

Season steak generously with salt and pepper. Transfer 2 teaspoons of reserved lemongrass oil to a large cast iron or stainless steel skillet (reserve remaining lemongrass oil for another use or discard, see note). Heat over high heat until lightly smoking. Cook steak, turning frequently, until well browned and an instant read thermometer inserted into the center registers 125°F for medium, 3 to 8 minutes total depending on thickness. Transfer steak to a cutting board, set aside, and proceed to step 4.

Alternatively, to finish on a grill: Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Alternatively, set half the burners on a gas grill to the highest heat setting, cover, and preheat for 10 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Season steak generously with salt and pepper. Place steak directly on hot side of grill and cook, turning frequently, until well browned and an instant read thermometer inserted into the center registers 125°F for medium, 3 to 8 minutes total depending on thickness. Transfer steak to a cutting board and set aside.

Combine garlic, pepper flakes, and Thai chilies in a mortar and pestle and pound into a fine paste (see note). Add sugar, fish sauce, and lime juice, and pound until the sugar is dissolved. Taste dressing and add more sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, or pepper flakes to taste. It should be strongly spicy, sweet, salty, and acidic.

Thinly slice steak against the grain and transfer to a large bowl along with any juices that have accumulated on the cutting board. Add fried lemongrass, tomatoes, onion, mint, basil, and dressing. Toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Thai Beef Salad (Yam Neua)

1 large shallot, sliced into very thin rings (about 1/3 cup)
3 tablespoons lime juice from 2 limes
4 teaspoons packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 1/2 pounds skirt steak, trimmed and cut into 2 to 3 pieces
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups (about 7 ounces) red or yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, plus cilantro sprigs for garnish (optional)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint

In a large bowl, combine the shallots and lime juice and let sit for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a small bowl, combine 2 teaspoons of sugar, the salt, and white pepper. Pat the steak dry with paper towels, then rub all over with the sugar-salt mixture.

Prepare a grill for very high heat. For a charcoal grill, spread a full chimney of hot coals evenly over half of the grill bed. For a gas grill, set all burners to an even, high flame. Heat the grill until hot, about 5 minutes, then clean and oil the cooking grate. Grill the steak (directly over the coals, if using a charcoal grill) until charred all over and cooked to desired doneness, 2 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare (depending on the thickness of the steak). Transfer the steak to a carving board and let rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the fish sauce, pepper flakes, and remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar to the shallot-lime juice mixture and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Thinly slice the steak against the grain, then transfer to the bowl along with any accumulated juices. Add the tomatoes, cilantro, and mint and fold to combine. Transfer to a platter, garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired, and serve.

Beef and Tomato Salad

1/4 cup very finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup Champagne vinegar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Kosher salt
Pepper
1 1/2 pounds cherry and medium-size heirloom tomatoes—cherry tomatoes halved, heirloom tomatoes cut into chunks
1 pound leftover grilled steak, cut into strips
2 medium avocados—peeled, pitted and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup snipped dill
1/3 cup tarragon leaves

In a large bowl, whisk the red onion with the Champagne vinegar and let stand for 10 minutes. Whisk in the olive oil and Dijon mustard and season with salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes, beef and avocados and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper and toss again. Fold in the dill and tarragon and serve right away.

Grilled Flank Steak with Worcestershire Butter

THE STEAK:
1 1/2 pounds flank steak
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 thyme sprigs
3 garlic cloves, finely grated or mashed to a paste
1 jalapeño, minced
2 tablespoons minced chives, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar or dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus more as needed
3 ripe plum tomatoes
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
Handful of torn fresh basil, plus more for serving

FOR THE WORCESTERSHIRE BUTTER:
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), softened
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon minced chives
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 garlic clove, grated or mashed to a paste
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Season steak all over with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. In a bowl or resealable bag, combine thyme, garlic, jalapeño, chives, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and lemon juice. Add meat and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

Prepare the Worcestershire butter: In a bowl, mash together the butter, thyme, chives, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper.

Spoon the butter onto a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap, form into a log and wrap well. Chill for at least 2 hours before using.

Light the grill or heat the broiler, arranging the rack about 4 inches from the heat source. Grill tomatoes, or broil them on a rimmed baking pan, turning them, until charred on all sides, about 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board to cool.

Brush off any pieces of marinade clinging to the steak, pat steak dry and coat it lightly with oil. Grill or broil steak until it reaches desired doneness, 3 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare (125 degrees).

Transfer steak to a cutting board. Slice butter into coins and place them on the steak to melt slightly. Let steak rest for 5 minutes while you prepare the tomatoes.

Roughly chop tomatoes and place in a bowl with scallions, basil, a pinch of salt and pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Toss well, adding more salt or lemon juice, or both, to taste.

Slice the steak thinly, across the grain, and serve with the charred tomato mixture spooned on top. Garnish with more chives and torn basil, if you like.

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.

Korean Sizzling Beef

1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons dry white wine
2 large garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
One 2 1/2-pound beef flank steak, cut across the grain into twenty 1/4-inch-thick slices
16 scallions
Vegetable oil, for rubbing
Salt

Steamed rice, for serving

In a large, shallow dish, combine the soy sauce with the sugar, white wine, chopped garlic, toasted sesame oil and crushed red pepper, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the sliced flank steak and coat thoroughly in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate the steak for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Light a grill or heat a griddle. Rub the scallions all over with vegetable oil and grill them over high heat, turning once, until the scallions are just softened, about 2 minutes. Season with salt.

Working in batches, grill the steak over high heat until the slices are richly browned and medium-rare, about 30 seconds per side. Transfer the steak to a serving platter and serve with the grilled scallions and steamed rice.

Grilled Vegetables with Agrodolce and Burrata

FOR THE AGRODOLCE SAUCE:
1/4 cup chopped raisins, preferably golden, or dried apricots
2/3 cup white wine vinegar or cider vinegar (or a combination)
2 tablespoons honey, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon fish sauce or colatura (optional)
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
Pinch of fine sea salt

FOR THE VEGETABLES (USE ANY OR ALL):
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 3 bell peppers, quartered, stems and seeds removed
1 to 2 zucchini or summer squash, sliced diagonally 1/2-inch thick
1 small eggplant, sliced diagonally 1/2-inch thick
2 to 4 ears yellow corn, shucked
8 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and halved or quartered
1 bunch thick asparagus, ends snapped
8 ounces cherry tomatoes, preferably still on the vine

FOR SERVING:
2 small burrata or fresh mozzarella balls, or 2 cups fresh ricotta
Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Basil or mint leaves, for serving
Crusty bread slices

Make the sauce: Put raisins or apricots in a small heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, honey, fish sauce or colatura (if using), red-pepper flakes and salt. Bring to a boil, then let simmer until the mixture reduces slightly, about 3 minutes. Immediately pour over the raisins and let cool. Taste and stir in a little more honey if the sauce is too harsh. (Sauce can be made up to 1 week ahead and stored in the refrigerator.)

Prepare the vegetables: Oil the grill grate and light the grill. Have a serving platter at the ready.

Grill the peppers, zucchini, eggplant and corn directly on the grate, in batches if necessary, and turning them as needed. Move them around the grate so they cook evenly. Cook until they are lightly charred, watching them carefully, 5 to 12 minutes, depending on the vegetable.

To grill the mushrooms and asparagus, place them in a grilling basket if you have one, or put directly on the grill. (Arrange the asparagus perpendicular to the grates so they don’t fall through.) Grill, turning as needed, until charred all over, 6 to 10 minutes. Grill the cherry tomatoes, using the vine as a handle if possible, for 1 to 2 minutes, until they start to burst and char slightly. Transfer all the vegetables as they cook directly to the serving platter.

Add the cheese to the platter next to the vegetables. Immediately drizzle everything with some of the sauce, stirring it up to get the raisins, and with olive oil. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and pepper and scatter the herbs generously on top. Serve the extra sauce and the bread alongside for making crostini with some of the vegetables and more of the tangy sauce.

Tip:
To make this using a broiler, spread the vegetables on a rimmed sheet pan, drizzle with oil and broil until browned on top, then flip and broil until browned on the other side. The timing will depend on the vegetable, so stick with one kind per baking pan. You’ll need to do this in batches. You can also use a grill pan.

Thai Grilled Pork Skewers (Moo Ping)

2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, trimmed of surface fat
6 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh cilantro stems
1/3 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons peanut oil
Ground white pepper
1/3 cup coconut milk
Chili-lime sauce (jaew), to serve

Place the pork on a large plate and freeze until the meat is firm and partially frozen, 1 to 1 1/2 hrs. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together the garlic, cilantro, sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, oil and 1/2 teaspoon white pepper.

Using a sharp chef’s knife, slice the partially frozen pork into pieces about ? inch thick. The slices will be irregularly shaped; cut them into strips 1 to 1¼ inches wide (it’s fine if the strips are not uniform). Add the pork to the marinade and mix with your hands until evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 12 hours.

Thread the pork onto ten 10- to 12-inch metal skewers, evenly dividing the meat and scrunching it together and packing it quite tightly. If some pieces are too wide, too wispy or awkwardly shaped, fold the meat or tuck in the edges as you skewer. Place on a rimmed baking sheet or in a large baking dish, cover and refrigerate while you prepare the grill.

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill. For a charcoal grill, ignite a large chimney of coals, let burn until lightly ashed over, then distribute the coals evenly over one side of the grill bed; open the bottom grill vents. Heat the grill, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes, then clean and oil the grate. For a gas grill, turn all burners to high and heat, covered, for 15 minutes, then clean and oil the grate.

Place the skewers on the hot side of the grill (if using charcoal) and cook until lightly charred, about 3 minutes. Using tongs, flip the skewers, then brush with some of the coconut milk. Cook until the second sides are lightly charred, about another 3 minutes. Flip the skewers again and continue to cook, occasionally brushing with coconut milk and turning every couple of minutes, until deeply charred on both sides, about another 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a platter and serve with the sauce.

Tip: Don’t thread the meat loosely on the skewers. The pieces should be scrunched together somewhat tightly. This helps guard against overcooking. If you’re using a charcoal grill, don’t push the meat all the way to the bottom of the skewers; the protruding handle end of the skewers may prevent you from being able to position the meat directly over the coals.

Malaysian Beef Satay

16-20 bamboo skewers, soaked in water
2 lbs beef, sirloin, cut into 1/4-inch thick, 3/4-1-inch cubes
1 small cucumber, cut into small pieces
1 red onion, cut into quarters
Malaysian rice cakes, optional, cut into bite size pieces

Marinade:
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons coriander powder
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
10 shallots, peeled, cut and halved
3 cloves garlic, peeled
4 stalks lemongrass, white part only, cut into 1-inch length
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons oil
1-2 tablespoon water

Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce:
5 tablespoons oil
3/4 tablespoon seedless tamarind pulp, soaked in 3 1/2 tablespoons water
3/4 cup roasted peanuts, skins removed and coarsely blended
3/4 cup water
Sugar, to taste
Salt, to taste

Spice Paste:
1 tablespoon oil
5-6 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 tablespoons coriander powder
3/4 teaspoon cumin powder
3 stalks lemongrass, white part only, cut into 1-inch length
3/4- inch galangal, sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled
3 shallots, peeled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
salt and sugar to taste

Blend all the ingredients in Marinade into a smooth paste. Heat up some oil in a wok, stir-fry the Marinade until fragrant and the oil slightly separates from it. Transfer out and set aside.

Marinate the beef pieces with the Marinade overnight. Keep in the refrigerator.

Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce:

Extract the juice from the tamarind pulp, discard the pulps. Blend the Spice Paste ingredients into a smooth paste. Add some water if needed.

Heat up the oil in a pan, stir-fry the spice paste until fragrant, turn the heat to medium-high and continue cooking until the oil slightly separates.

Add in the tamarind juice, peanuts, water, stir well and bring it to a quick boil. Cover the pan, turn the heat to low and simmer for another 5-10 minutes. Add sugar and salt sugar to taste. Dish out and set aside.

Making and Cooking Beef Satay:

Make the satay skewers with 3-4 pieces of the marinated beef threaded onto each bamboo skewer. Repeat until you use up all the meat. Grill the satay over a charcoal grill or outdoor gas grill until both sides are slightly charred and the meat is cooked through.

Pork Schnitzel with Warm Potato Salad

1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1/4 cup canola oil, plus more for frying
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound small fingerling potatoes
3 garlic cloves
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs beaten with
2 tablespoons of water
2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
Four 4-ounce boneless pork chops, butterflied and pounded 1/3 inch thick, or eight 2-ounce pork cutlets, lightly pounded
1 cup flat-leaf parsley, patted thoroughly dry

In a medium bowl, whisk the vinegar with the sugar, thyme and 1/4 cup of the oil and season with salt and pepper.

Put the potatoes and garlic in a pot and cover with water; season with salt and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until the potatoes are tender, 10 minutes. Drain and thinly slice the potatoes; add to the dressing and toss. Discard the garlic.

Put the flour, eggs and panko in 3 separate shallow bowls. Season the pork with salt and pepper and dip in the flour. Dip the cutlets in the egg and then in the panko, pressing to help the crumbs adhere.

In a large skillet, heat 1/2 inch of oil until shimmering. Add the cutlets in a single layer and cook over high heat, turning once, until golden and crispy, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Add the parsley to the skillet and cook, stirring, until crisp, about 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the parsley to a paper towel–lined plate and sprinkle with salt. Serve the pork with the potato salad. Garnish with the parsley.

Herbed White Bean Stew with Sausage

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, sliced 3/4-inch thick
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 medium carrots, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 pound dried great Northern beans, rinsed and picked through
2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
2 thyme sprigs
1 large rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, plus more for serving
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste

Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high. Add the sausage and brown until cooked through, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel.

Add the tomato paste and cumin to the pot. Cook, stirring, until dark golden, about 2 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the beans, 8 cups water, salt, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low and simmer gently until the beans are tender, about 2 hours, adding more water if needed to make sure the beans remain submerged.

When beans are tender, return the sausage to the pot. Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning. Ladle into warm bowls and serve drizzled with more vinegar and olive oil.

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.

Steamed Mussels With ‘Nduja

For the Mussels:
1 tablespoon (15ml) extra-virgin olive oil
2 large shallots (3 ounces; 85g), thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves (10g), thinly sliced
Kosher salt
2 ounces (1/4 cup; 60g) ‘nduja (see note)
1 cup (240ml) dry white wine
2 pounds (900g) mussels, scrubbed and debearded (see note)
1/4 cup (15g) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 tablespoon (15ml) lemon juice and 1 teaspoon (2g) finely grated zest from one lemon

For Serving:
1 loaf rustic sourdough bread, thickly sliced, drizzled with olive oil, and broiled until heavily toasted

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add shallots and garlic, season lightly with salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not brown, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add ‘nduja and, using a wooden spoon, break it into pieces and stir vigorously to combine with shallots and garlic. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until fat from ‘nduja separates and shallots and garlic are stained red and fully coated with ‘nduja, 3 to 5 minutes longer. Add wine, increase heat to high and bring to a boil.

Add mussels, stir, cover, and cook, shaking pan constantly and peeking every 30 seconds to stir. Cook just until all the mussels are open, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and using tongs, quickly transfer mussels to a warmed heatproof serving bowl. Cover mussels with saucepan lid to keep warm. Add parsley, lemon juice, and zest to saucepan and stir to combine. Taste the liquid, and adjust seasoning with salt if needed.

For Serving: Remove lid from the serving bowl, and pour contents of saucepan over mussels. Serve immediately, passing toasted bread at the table along with a large empty bowl for collecting spent mussel shells.

Sopa de Ajo (Basque Garlic Soup)

4 ounces high-quality baguette
1/2 cup olive oil, divided
1 garlic head (about 12 cloves), peeled and finely chopped
1 heaping tablespoon Pimentón de la Vera (smoked Spanish paprika)
8 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
3 large eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 450°F. Place baguette on a baking sheet, and toast in preheated oven until very browned and almost burnt, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool. Break or slice bread into 2-inch pieces.

Heat 7 tablespoons oil in a large pot over medium-high. Add bread pieces, and reduce heat to medium. Cook, turning often to allow bread to toast and soak up oil, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Remove bread, and set aside. Wipe pot clean.

Add garlic and remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pot. Cook over medium-high, stirring constantly, until garlic is golden brown, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in paprika. Add broth and salt; bring to a boil.

Add bread to pot. Reduce heat to medium-low, and maintain a simmer. Add vinegar. Cook, stirring occasionally to break up bread, until flavors meld, about 25 minutes. Taste and add more salt, if needed.

When ready to serve, bring soup to a simmer over medium-high. Stirring constantly, slowly pour beaten eggs into hot soup. If any large pieces of bread remain, cut with kitchen scissors, or break apart with a spoon. Serve hot.

Notes: Soup can be prepared through step 4 up to 2 days in advance. Bring to a simmer, and add beaten eggs just before serving.

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.

Baked Shells with Cauliflower and Taleggio

Salt
1 medium head of cauliflower (1 3/4 pounds), cut into 1-inch florets
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced 2 teaspoons minced rosemary
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (6 ounces)
1/2 pound Taleggio cheese—rind discarded, cheese cubed
1 pound large shells, such as conchiglioni
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 450°. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and fill a large bowl with cold water. Boil the cauliflower until tender, 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cauliflower to the cold water and let cool slightly. Drain and pat dry; keep the cooking water hot.

In a large, deep skillet, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the onion, garlic and rosemary, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the cauliflower and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until browned in spots, about 8 minutes. Add the wine and boil until evaporated. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the cream, 1 cup of the Parmigiano and the Taleggio.

Return the water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook until al dente. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Scrape the cauliflower and cheese sauce into the pasta and toss well. Spread half of the pasta into a 3-quart baking dish and top with 2 tablespoons of the bread crumbs. Top with the remaining pasta, 2 tablespoons of bread crumbs and 1/2 cup of Parmigiano.

Bake the pasta for about 20 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the top is golden and crisp. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Make Ahead: The unbaked assembled pasta dish can be refrigerated overnight. Return the pasta to room temperature before baking.

Sheet Pan Sausage with Grapes an Onions

1 large Spanish onion, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups seedless red grapes (1 1/4 pounds), destemmed
1 teaspoon fennel, coriander, cumin or caraway seeds, lightly crushed
1 pound any sausages, poked all over with a fork
1/2 cup parsley, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped chives
2 teaspoons rice vinegar or sherry vinegar, plus more to taste

Heat oven to 450 degrees. On a large (13-by-18-inch) rimmed baking sheet, toss together onion slices, 2 tablespoons oil, salt and pepper, and spread in an even layer. Roast for 8 to 12 minutes, until the onions turn translucent and the thinnest pieces take on a pale gold color at the edges.

After 10 minutes, add grapes, seeds and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to pan with onions, and toss well. Spread in an even layer and nestle sausage into the mixture.

Roast until sausage has browned, 25 to 30 minutes, flipping sausage and tossing grapes and onions halfway through.

Transfer sausages to a platter or to individual plates. Add parsley and chives to pan with grapes and onions and gently toss (this warms up and wilts the herbs). Use a slotted spoon to transfer grapes and onions to plates with the sausages.

Add vinegar to rimmed baking sheet and scrape up any browned bits on the tray. Drizzle pan juices over the grapes and sausages, taste, and sprinkle more salt or vinegar on top, if desired.

Note:

You can use any kind of sausages in this cozy, autumnal dish, filled with roasted sweet grapes and vinegar-spiked onions. Spicy Italian sausages made from pork, chicken or turkey, fresh chorizo or merguez, will give the dish a kick, while milder sausages like chicken and apple, bratwurst or Weisswurst make for a gentler meal. Serve this on a bed of polenta or mashed potatoes, or with some crusty bread to sop up the vinegary, sausage-rich pan juices, and a green salad on the side. If you want to halve this recipe, reduce the oven temperature to 425 degrees; otherwise the smaller amount of food in the pan might get too brown.