Crispy Cauliflower with Gochujang

2 lb/910g cauliflower, broken into bite-sized florets
2 Tbsp/30ml extra-virgin olive oil
fine sea salt
1/2 cup/120ml water
2 Tbsp/40g gochujang
2 Tbsp/30ml apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp/5ml light soy sauce
1/2 tsp packed light brown sugar
2 Tbsp/20g roasted salted peanuts
1 Tbsp chopped chives

Preheat the oven to 425F/220C.

Place the cauliflower florets on a baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil, and season with salt. Fold and toss to coat well and when I mean toss, be gentle, the worst part is losing cauliflower to the kitchen floor.

Place the baking sheet in the oven and roast the cauliflower till the florets turn golden brown and crispy, 20 to 30 minutes, stirring halfway through during roasting to evenly cook them. Remove the cauliflower from the oven and transfer to a serving bowl.

While the cauliflower roasts, place the water, gochujang, vinegar, ginger, soy sauce, and sugar in a small saucepan. Whisk till smooth, bring to a boil over medium heat, and remove from the stove. Taste and season with salt if needed (you probably won’t need to).

Pour the hot sauce over the roasted cauliflower.

Top the roasted cauliflower with the peanuts and chives. Serve warm.

Note: You can make very good crispy cauliflower in the oven keeping a few points in mind. The goal is to avoid over crowding, so the larger the baking sheet or roasting pan, the better. This will allow the hot air from the oven to circulate and do a better job crisping up those florets. Keep your florets, bite-size, if they’re too big or tiny, they will cook unevenly.

Roasted Dill Salmon

1 1/2 pounds skin-on, center-cut salmon fillet
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup fresh lime juice or Seville orange juice, plus additional wedges, for serving
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon dried dill or 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 large garlic clove, crushed
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/8 teaspoon ground saffron (optional)

Heat the oven to 425 degrees with the rack in the center position. Choose a baking sheet or baking dish that fits the salmon snugly (so the juices don’t disperse and burn) and line it with parchment paper. Place the salmon skin-side down on the baking sheet and season well with salt and pepper.

Combine the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl and spoon over the salmon. If you have time, flip the salmon and let marinate directly on the baking sheet, flesh-side down, for 15 minutes.

Roast the salmon skin-side down until cooked through to your liking, 9 to 12 minutes. Serve with extra lime or orange wedges, and drizzle the pan juices over the salmon and rice.

Tip
The marinade can be prepared 30 minutes in advance.

Miso-Butter Pasta With Butternut Squash

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons white miso
3 to 5 large garlic cloves, smashed
2 1/2-pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (see Tip)
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more as needed
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 pound mezze rigatoni or other short pasta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
1 lime, zested and juiced (2 teaspoons zest, 2 tablespoons juice)
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes (optional)

Heat the oven to 450 degrees. On a sheet pan, mash together the butter and miso. Add the garlic and squash, drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and toss to coat with the miso-butter mixture. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt and season with pepper. Cook until easily pierced with a fork and the raw taste is gone, 25 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, adjusting the heat to maintain a gentle boil, and cook until just shy of al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta water, then drain the noodles. If done before the squash, drizzle with olive oil to prevent the noodles from sticking together. Leave in the sink to drain.

When the squash is done, return the pasta to the pot over low heat. Scrape in squash, garlic and any liquid that accumulated, then add the Parmesan and 1/2 cup pasta water, stirring well until the noodles have a light sheen to them. If it appears dry, add more pasta water a tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency. Stir in the lime zest and juice, season to taste with salt, and top with pepper and red-pepper flakes, if using. Serve with extra cheese.

Miso-Maple Loaf Cake

4 ounces/113 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
1 3/4 cups/238 grams all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup/150 grams granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
Finely grated zest of 1 orange or tangerine
1/4 cup/70 grams white or yellow miso
1/4 cup/60 milliliters pure maple syrup
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup/80 milliliters buttermilk (well shaken before measuring)
1/4 cup/80 grams orange marmalade or apricot jam (optional)

Center a rack in the oven and heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8 1/2-inch loaf pan and dust with flour, or use baker’s spray.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl.

Put the sugar, salt and zest in the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl that you can use with a hand mixer. Reach in and rub the ingredients together until the sugar is moist and fragrant; it may even turn orange.

Add the butter, miso and maple syrup to the sugar. If using a stand mixer, attach the bowl and fit it with the paddle attachment.

Beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl and beater(s) as needed, until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

One by one, add the eggs, beating for a minute after each goes in.

Beat in the vanilla. The mixture might curdle, but this is a temporary condition.

Turn off the mixer, add the dry ingredients all at once and pulse to begin the blending, turning the mixer on and off in very short spurts on the lowest speed. Then, beat on low speed until the dry ingredients are almost incorporated.

With the mixer still on low, pour in the buttermilk and blend well. Scrape the batter into the pan, working it into the corners and smoothing the top.

Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, checking the loaf after 40 minutes and covering the top loosely with a foil or tented parchmentif it’s browning too fast. The loaf is properly baked when it pulls away from the sides of the pan and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

Transfer the pan to a rack and let the bread rest for 5 minutes, then run a table knife around the edges of the loaf and unmold onto the rack; turn it right side up.

If you’d like to glaze the loaf, stir the marmalade or jam with 1 tablespoon water and heat the mixture in the microwave or over low heat until it comes just to a boil. Using a pastry brush or a spoon, cover the top of the loaf with the glaze.

Allow the loaf to cool to room temperature before slicing.

Wrapped well, the cake will keep for about 4 days at room temperature. If it becomes stale — and maybe even if it doesn’t — toast it lightly before serving.

If you haven’t glazed the cake, you can wrap it airtight and freeze it for up to 2 months; defrost, still wrapped, at room temperature.

Note: Coarse-crumbed — admirably so — and sturdy, the cake is easy to slice, easy to serve at breakfast and easy to pick up and nibble in the afternoon. It’s as good with butter and jam as it is with a little cheese. And it keeps well: It’ll hold at room temperature for about 4 days.

Some readers found it not miso- or maple-intensive enough. They note that the darker the color the saltier and flavor-intense the miso. Red miso has an intense salty flavor, white miso is sweeter and less intense. Yellow sits somewhere in-between. Given that others have lamented that the miso and maple flavors are not pronounced enough in this cake, opt for yellow if you can find it. Similarly, maple syrup comes in four grades. The darkest syrup is the lowest grade, but it has much more flavor than the light grades. Some suggested using a miso-maple glaze as well, and replacing some of the sugar with miso sugar.

Cauliflower Piccata (With Variations)

1 cauliflower, cut into large 2-inch florets
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained (optional)
1 shallot, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup vegetable stock
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons capers, drained
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
Parsley, chopped, for garnish
1 lemon, sliced, for serving

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the cauliflower florets onto a sheet pan and drizzle with 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with kosher salt and black pepper, and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cauliflower is golden and tender. Remove from the oven, add the chickpeas, if using, and toss to combine.

Heat a medium skillet to medium-high. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the shallot, and sauté until soft and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer, stirring constantly to keep from scorching. Pour the stock into the pan and simmer until reduced by half, about 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, then stir in the butter, capers, lemon zest and juice. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and a few turns of black pepper.

To serve, place the cauliflower and chickpeas, if using, on serving plates. Top with the lemon caper sauce. Top with parsley and serve with lemon slices.

Note: Chickpeas make this a fuller vegetarian meal, but leave them out if you’d rather. Piccata dishes are often served with long pasta, which tangle with the tangy sauce, but this one is also great alongside rice or tender-crisp vegetables like blistered green beans. While you are at it, try this sauce with sweet butternut squash, charred broccoli, earthy roasted carrots, golden wedges of cabbage or crispy slices of tofu.

Baked Romanesco Cauliflower With Mozzarella and Olives

Salt and pepper
2 or 3 medium heads romanesco cauliflower (about 3 pounds)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for baking dish
1 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced
1 cup grated pecorino or Parmesan (about 2 ounces)
1 dozen soft black oil-cured olives, or another type of black olive, pitted
1 teaspoon roughly chopped capers
4 roughly chopped anchovy fillets
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste
Pinch of dried oregano

Put a large pot of well-salted water over high heat and bring to a boil. Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut cauliflower into quarters and trim away the core and any tough bits. Chop quarters into rough 2-inch cubes. Transfer to boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cool water.

Lightly oil an earthenware baking dish. Arrange blanched cauliflower in one layer. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Tear mozzarella slices and scatter over the top, then sprinkle with pecorino. Arrange olives here and there. In a small bowl, stir together capers, anchovy, garlic, red pepper and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Drizzle mixture evenly over the top.

Bake for about 30 minutes, until cheese has browned a bit and cauliflower is tender when pierced with a fork. Let rest 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with a good pinch of dried oregano.

Sicilian Cauliflower and Black Olive Gratin

1 generous head green or white cauliflower (2 to 2 1/2 pounds)
Salt
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
16 imported oil-cured black olives, pitted and cut in half
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino or Parmesan, or a combination

Break up the cauliflower into small florets while you bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water generously and drop in the cauliflower. Boil 5 minutes while you fill a bowl with ice and water. Transfer the cauliflower to the ice water, let sit for a couple of minutes, then drain and place on paper towels.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 2-quart baking dish or gratin dish. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about 3 minutes, and add a pinch of salt and the garlic. Cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds, until fragrant and translucent. Remove from the heat and stir in the olives.

Place the cauliflower in the baking dish and add the onion and olive mixture, the remaining olive oil, the parsley and half the cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir together well. Spread out in the dish and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the cheese is nicely browned. Serve hot or warm.

Tip
Advance preparation: The cauliflower can be cooked and refrigerated for up to three days. The dish can be prepared through Step 2 several hours before assembling the gratin. Hold on top of the stove or in the refrigerator.

Stewed Cauliflower With Red Onions and Tomatoes

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 medium-size red onions, halved and sliced across the grain
Salt to taste
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes
1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 bay leaf
1 sprig rosemary
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste dissolved in 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup red wine
8 kalamata olives, pitted and halved
1 to 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or balsamic vinegar (optional)

Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a heavy soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, and add the onions. Cook, stirring, until very tender, about eight minutes. Add a pinch of salt and the garlic, and stir for another minute or so until fragrant.

Stir in the tomatoes, with their liquid, and bring to a simmer.
Simmer about eight minutes until cooked down and fragrant, and add the cauliflower to the pot. Stir together, and add the bay leaf, rosemary, pepper, dissolved tomato paste and wine. Bring to a simmer, and add salt to taste.

Cover, reduce the heat and simmer 30 to 40 minutes until the cauliflower is very tender.

Stir in the olives and vinegar if using, and adjust salt and pepper. Remove from the heat, and stir in the remaining olive oil. Serve hot or warm.

Advance preparation: This will keep for about three days in the refrigerator.

Pasta With Prosciutto and Whole Garlic

1/3 cup olive oil or butter
10 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
1/2 cup prosciutto or other salted ham or slab bacon, cut into cubes or strips
6 plum tomatoes, or 1 1/2 cups drained canned tomatoes
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 pound cut pasta, such as ziti or penne
1 cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese,

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Combine the oil, garlic, and ham in a medium to large skillet over medium-low heat. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until the garlic becomes deep golden, nearly brown, all over, 10 to 15 minutes.

Core and chop the plum tomatoes (or crush the canned tomatoes) and add them, along with salt and pepper, to the skillet. Stir and simmer while you salt the boiling water and cook the pasta.

Drain the pasta when it is tender but firm, reserving a little of the cooking water and adding it to the sauce if it appears dry (quite likely if you used fresh tomatoes). Toss the pasta with the sauce and most of the basil, along with the cheese. Mince the remaining basil, garnish the pasta with it, and serve.

Tagliatelle With Prosciutto and Butter

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ounces prosciutto, torn into bite-size pieces
Kosher salt and black pepper
3/4 pound handmade fresh tagliatelle or store-bought tagliatelle or about 1/2 pound dried
1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for garnish, if desired

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat until frothy and golden, about 1 minute. Add half the prosciutto in one flat layer. Cook until crisp, 1 to 2 minutes, then transfer cooked prosciutto to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with remaining prosciutto, leaving it in the skillet, and remove skillet from heat.

Season the boiling water lightly with salt. When the salt dissolves, add the tagliatelle and cook until toothsome and slightly undercooked, 2 to 4 minutes or according to package instructions.

Just before your pasta is ready, return the skillet to the heat and warm over medium. Do not drain the pasta, but use a slotted pasta fork or tongs and transfer the cooked pasta directly to the skillet. Working quickly, add 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano and about 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water and swirl vigorously to emulsify, jostling the pan at the same time, and cook just until sauce is silky, about 1 minute.

Divide the pasta among shallow bowls, sprinkle with pepper and remaining prosciutto and serve immediately, along with more Parmigiano-Reggiano if desired.

Pasta With Tomatoes, Capers, Olives and Breadcrumbs

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, 2 sliced, 1 minced
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes, with juice
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup green or black olives, pitted and coarsely chopped 2 ounces
Salt
freshly ground pepper
3/4 pound spaghetti, preferably a good whole-wheat brand
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan (optional)

Begin heating a large pot of water for the pasta.

Meanwhile, combine 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the sliced garlic over medium-low heat in a medium saucepan or skillet. Cook, stirring often, until the garlic turns golden, about two minutes. Do not let it take on any more color than this. Remove the garlic slices with a slotted spoon and discard, then add the bread crumbs to the pan. Turn the heat to medium, and cook, stirring, until the bread crumbs are crisp. Remove from the heat, and set aside.

Return the pan to medium heat, and add the remaining olive oil, the red pepper flakes and the minced garlic. Cook for about 30 seconds until the garlic smells fragrant, and add the tomatoes, capers and olives. Bring to a simmer, and simmer until the tomatoes have cooked down and smell fragrant, 15 to 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

When the water comes to a boil, salt generously and add the spaghetti. Cook al dente, following the cooking recommendations on the package but checking about a minute before the suggested time. Drain, and toss with the tomato sauce. Sprinkle the bread crumbs and parsley on top, toss again briefly and serve, passing the Parmesan at the table.

Tip
Advance preparation: You can make the recipe through Step 2 several hours before cooking the pasta. The bread crumbs will keep for a couple of weeks in the freezer. Reheat and crisp in a dry pan over medium heat. The tomato sauce will keep for a few days in the refrigerator.

Provoleta (Argentine Grilled Provolone Cheese)

FOR THE CHIMICHURRI:
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
2 or 3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Large pinch of crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons cold water

FOR THE CHEESE:
8 ounces provolone cheese, sliced at least 1 inch thick
1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 baguette, sliced in 1/2-inch rounds, toasted, if desired

Make the chimichurri: In a small bowl, stir together the parsley, oregano, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper, crushed red pepper, vinegar and water. Thin with a little more water, if necessary, to make a pourable sauce. Set aside to let flavors meld. Sauce may be prepared up to 1 hour in advance.

Set a small cast-iron pan over medium-high heat (or over hot coals). When pan is hot, put in the cheese. Sprinkle with half the oregano and crushed red pepper.

Cook for about 2 minutes, until the bottom begins to brown. Carefully flip the cheese with a spatula and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more, until the second side is browned and the cheese is beginning to ooze. Transfer cheese to a plate and sprinkle with remaining oregano and crushed red pepper. Serve immediately, accompanied with bread and chimichurri. (Alternatively, finish the cheese by putting it under the broiler or in a hot oven.)

Cheesy Bread With Marinara

1 Italian loaf or rustic baguette
5 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound mozzarella, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and black pepper
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
2 large garlic cloves, grated or minced
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1 3/4 cups marinara sauce
1/2 teaspoon sherry vinegar (optional)
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Halve the loaf lengthwise almost all the way through, leaving it attached on one side. Open it, lay it flat and brush the insides with 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil. Tuck in the mozzarella, then sprinkle with salt and 1/4 teaspoon oregano. Close, then wrap tightly with foil. Place on a sheet pan, and bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, garlic, remaining 1/2 teaspoon oregano and red-pepper flakes over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour in the marinara sauce and adjust the heat to bring it to a gentle boil, then stir in the sherry vinegar, if using. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally, until the bread is ready, about 15 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer the sauce to a bowl or serve from the pan, and top with grated Parmesan. Slice the bread, or let everyone pull the pieces apart themselves. Keep wrapped until ready to eat.

Sheet-Pan Italian Sub Dinner

4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons dried oregano
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and patted dry
5 ounces salami (casing removed if there is one), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 red onion, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1 medium head radicchio (about 3/4 pound), quartered lengthwise
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
8 pepperoncini peppers
1/2 cup ricotta
Crusty bread, for serving

Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Coarsely chop the garlic, then add the dried oregano and 2 teaspoons salt on top of the garlic and chop together until it forms a paste. Transfer to a bowl, then stir in the vinegar and olive oil.

Pour half the dressing into a large bowl, then add the chickpeas, salami, red onion, radicchio, tomatoes and pepperoncini. Mix gently to coat in the dressing, trying not to break up the radicchio and red onions, then spread evenly on a baking sheet. Roast, tossing halfway through, until the red onions and chickpeas are golden, 15 to 20 minutes.

Season the ricotta with salt and pepper. Serve the roasted mixture with crusty bread, with a dollop of ricotta and extra vinaigrette, or assemble into sandwiches.

Sesame-Crusted Fish With Butter and Ginger Sauce

1 cup sesame seeds
4 skinless fillets like black sea bass or red snapper, 6 ounces each
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons neutral oil, like corn or canola
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Heat large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Put seeds on plate. Season fillets with salt and pepper and turn in seeds, patting to coat fillets as fully as possible with seeds. Add oil to skillet and when it shimmers add fillets.

Brown fish on 1 side for a couple of minutes, then brown on other side for a minute or two. Remove skillet from heat, transfer fish to plate (even if not done) and place plate in oven.

When skillet has cooled slightly, put over medium heat. Add butter, and when it melts add ginger. About 30 seconds later, add soy sauce and 1/4 cup water and stir to blend. Return fillets to skillet, along with accumulated juices.

Turn heat to medium and cook fillets for about 1 to 3 minutes until desired doneness, turning 3 or 4 times. (If the pan dries out, add 2 or 3 tablespoons water.) Fish should be done when a thin-bladed knife meets little resistance at fillet’s thickest point. Serve pan juices over fish.

Pasta with Cauliflower and Two Cheeses

Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 pound head cauliflower, halved and trimmed of leaves
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
1 medium garlic clove, smashed and peeled
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more to serve
8 ounces short, curly pasta, such as campanelle, cavatappi or fusilli
1 1/2 ounces pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated (½ cup), plus more to serve
1 1/2 ounces aged provolone cheese, finely grated (½ cup), plus more to serve

In a large pot, bring 4 quarts water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons salt and the cauliflower halves and cook for 5 minutes; begin timing from the moment the cauliflower is added to the pot. Using tongs, transfer the cauliflower to a cutting board; reserve the pot and the water. When the cauliflower is cool enough to handle, chop the florets and stems into pieces slightly smaller than the pasta, discarding the thick, tough core. You should have about 4 cups. Return the water to a boil.

In a nonstick 12-inch skillet over medium, cook the oil and garlic, stirring often, until the garlic is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and discard the garlic, then add the cauliflower, pepper flakes and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is well browned, 7 to 9 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Reserve about 2 1/2 cups cooking water, then drain. Add the pasta and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper to the skillet with the cauliflower, then stir in 1 cup of the reserved cooking water. Cook over medium-high, stirring often, until the pasta is al dente, 3 to 5 minutes. If the pan becomes dry before the pasta is done, add another 1/4 cup reserved cooking water and continue to cook.

When the pasta is al dente, with the skillet still over medium-high, stir in another 1/4 cup reserved cooking water. Sprinkle on the pecorino, then stir until the cheese is evenly distributed and melted. Sprinkle on the provolone, then stir until the pasta is glossy and lightly coated with melted cheese, then remove the pan from the heat. If the mixture looks sticky and dry, stir in additional cooking water a few tablespoons at a time until the proper consistency is reached. Taste and season with salt and black pepper. Serve drizzled with additional oil and additional cheese and pepper flakes.

Tip: Don’t forget to reserve some of the cooking water before you drain the pasta. You’ll need it for simmering the cauliflower and for creating the sauce. Also, don’t add the grated cheeses all at once. Sprinkling each one over the surface of the pasta and stirring before sprinkling on more prevents the cheese from clumping.

Air-Fryer Brussels Sprouts With Garlic, Balsamic and Soy

1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved through the stems (cut larger ones in quarters)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice, plus more for serving
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce

Heat air fryer to 400 degrees, if preheating is necessary.
Place brussels sprouts in the air fryer basket; drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and the salt. Fry for 15 minutes, shaking basket or stirring the sprouts halfway through.

Sprinkle sprouts with garlic. Continue to fry until the garlic is golden brown, another 2 to 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring balsamic vinegar to a simmer. Continue to simmer until thickened and starting to look syrupy, adjusting heat as necessary to prevent burning, 2 to 3 minutes. (Keep a close eye on it; it will go from reduced to burned very quickly.) Remove from heat and whisk in 2 tablespoons oil, the lime juice and the soy sauce.

Transfer brussels sprouts to a serving platter and drizzle with balsamic dressing. Squeeze more lime juice on top to taste.

Apple Cheddar Cheese Straws

1 large egg
1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons apple butter, divided
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (about 8 ounces), thawed
4 ounces sharp yellow cheddar cheese, grated (about 2/3 cup)
3 ounces sharp white cheddar, grated (about 1/2 cup)
Flaky salt

Heat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line 2 sheet pans with parchment.
Beat the egg with 2 teaspoons of apple butter and the salt.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the puff pastry to 1/4 inch (about 1/2-centimeter) thick, if necessary. Evenly spread the 1/2 cup of apple butter on the pastry, then evenly top with the grated cheese. Fold the pastry in half (starting at the short end if your pastry is a rectangle). Gently press it down to seal the layers. Brush both sides of the folded puff pastry with the egg wash. Position the rectangle so that one of the short ends is facing you. Cut crosswise into 12 sticks. Twist each one and evenly divide between the lined sheet pans. Sprinkle them with flaky salt.

Bake until deeply golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Cool for at least 10 minutes before serving—these are great warm or at room temperature.

Note: can substitute gouda for cheddar.

Sheet-Pan Shrimp Gratin

1/2 pound peeled, deveined shrimp, tails removed, shrimp cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium zucchini or yellow squash, thinly sliced crosswise into coins
3 1/2-ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, tough stems removed, caps thinly sliced
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
2 large garlic cloves, finely grated
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon herbes de Provence
Kosher salt (Diamond Crystal) and black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup shredded low-moisture mozzarella
1/4 cup finely grated Gruyère
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large bowl, toss together the shrimp, zucchini, mushrooms, shallot, garlic, paprika, red-pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon herbes de Provence, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and 1 tablespoon oil until well combined. Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch sheet pan or shallow baking dish in a single layer.

In the now-empty bowl, toss the panko with a pinch of salt, the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and 1/4 teaspoon herbes de Provence to combine. Evenly pour the cream over the shrimp mixture in the pan, covering all the nooks and crannies. Sprinkle the panko mixture over the shrimp, then top first with the mozzarella, followed by the Gruyère.

Bake until the cream is bubbling and the panko and cheese are light golden brown all over, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving with the fresh lemon wedges, which should be squeezed over the gratin just before serving.

Sausage and Peppers Pasta With Broccoli

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian pork sausage, casings removed
1 pound broccoli, cut into 1 1/2-inch florets (about 4 cups)
2 medium yellow bell peppers (12 ounces), cored, seeded and thinly sliced (about 2 1/2 cups)
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and pepper
1 pound rigatoni
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (2 ounces), plus more for serving
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from about 1/2 lemon)
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up the meat using a wooden spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes. Scrape the mixture into a medium bowl. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, the broccoli, peppers and garlic to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until they soften and begin to brown, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water and drain the pasta. Return the pasta and reserved cooking water to the pot over low heat. Add the broccoli mixture, cooked sausage and its accumulated juices, 1/2 cup Parmesan, the lemon juice and red-pepper flakes and stir vigorously until liquid is slightly thickened and saucy, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve the pasta with additional Parmesan for sprinkling on top.