I believe there are two types of pasta sauce people: those who gravitate toward tomato-based sauces, and those who fiend for butter and dairy. You may spike your sauce with something special, be it some chili flakes in arrabiata, olives in puttanesca, or pancetta in carbonara, but if you are a serious carb-loader, I'm pretty sure that you'll fall into one of the two camps. As surely as I am left-handed, I belong to Team Dairy. This affiliation can often be inconvenent in light of my lactose intolerance, but as easy as it was to give up ice cream, it has been impossible to say goodbye to cheese. Some nights when I am eating alone, I will boil up some spaghetti, sizzle a few fresh sage leaves in butter and olive oil, and toss it all together with Parmesan. If I'm feeling particularly daring, I'll fry up an egg to give my pasta a happy little party hat. But I've been looking for a new recipe to turn that quick weeknight staple into an elegant meal for two.
Recently, I uncovered this gem on Food52, a recipe site with a collection of truly amazing user-submitted, editor-curated recipes. Not only does this one contain the holy trinity of butter, cheese, and yolky eggs, it's topped with a lemony rosemary-breadcrumb crunch and a sprinkle of capers to make you pucker. I've upped Rhonda's recipe to feed four (or, in this household, two), but it's also easy enough to make on my nights alone! For the recipe, read on.
Recently, I got to pretend to be a member of the ladies-who-lunch set with a partner in crime. Jess and I tried out Cotogna over a late lunch and cocktails, and in between the kale sformato, halibut tartare, and sea urchin-and-cauliflower pizza, we had a delicious plate of braised rabbit pappardelle. The plump chunks of rabbit just melted in your mouth and contrasted nicely with the just-chewiness of the fresh pasta. YUM.
It reminded me of a recipe I found via Epicurious for duck ragù, so with a quick trip to Molly Stone, dinner was underway. It's actually remarkably simple; it just takes a while because you have to let the duck breast render some of that amazing fat in to the pan and then simmer all of the ingredients together to infuse it throughout. The recipe calls for a heavy skillet, but I like to use my Le Creuset 5 qt. Dutch oven to retain all the moisture and flavor. For the recipe, read on.
Today I was in Hillsborough for lunch with a friend and her two kids, so by the time I made it back to the City and finished running errands, I knew I would need to come up with something fast and simple for dinner. I had absolutely no plan when I walked into Molly Stone's, but they had a heaping mound of good-looking lemons on display, so I grabbed a few and let that choice guide the rest of the meal. Pasta tends to be my dish of choice for quick and easy, so after picking out my favorite spaghettini, I asked for a half-pound of large shrimp at the meat counter, found a bag of frozen artichoke hearts (one of those conveniences like pre-made frozen gyoza that I heartily support), and trotted home to start cooking. For the recipe, read more.
In preparation for last night's dinner of our new favorite pasta, I asked Dave to stop by the grocery store on his way home to pick up prosciutto and cherry tomatoes. Unfortunately (or fortunately?), Molly Stone's ran out of the 4-oz. packs of deli meat and pint-sized containers of tomatoes, so we ended up with a pound and two pounds, respectively! So to make sure that it didn't go to waste, I whipped up another pasta using some of the leftovers. Now if I can just figure out what to do with the other 8 oz. of prosciutto...
For the recipe, keep reading.
In the world of pasta, there are wonderful, long-simmered, meaty or tomato-y sauces and creamy, silky roux-based sauces. But sometimes I just want a quick, comforting bowl of pasta without the work. And my fail-proof recipes always seem to involve cheese, butter, eggs, and cured meat. With that combination, how can you possibly go wrong?
Read on for the recipe.