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.
As I've espoused before, I do love a good doughnut. I mean, how can you say no to fried dough? But at-home creations can be awfully messy, and I tire of wiping oil spatter off everything within a 6 foot radius of my stove. So I picked up a doughnut pan at Sur La Table, imagining the possibilities of circular delights fresh from the oven. I found a delectable recipe for vanilla-sugar mochi doughnuts as well as one for lemon honey creme mochi, but with a pantry bare on specialty ingredients (save mochiko — of course I have a few boxes of that lying around!), I set to work on a lemon mochi doughnut that could be made from basic pantry staples. 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.
If I have all day to spend in the kitchen, I will while away the hours creating some slow-cooked Asian or Mexican concoction: a niu rou mian stew or slow boiled-then-fried carnitas. But for quick dinners at home, my never-fail meal is pasta. A linguine con vongole can be whipped up in under an hour from prep to plate, and even a carbonara is quick if you fry the pancetta while cooking the pasta.
Tonight we tried a new recipe: spaghettini with sweet dungeness crab meat, salty prosciutto and tangy lemon. It was perfect with a rustic sourdough and arugula salad on the side. Read on for the full recipe.