For many years my husband and I traveled to Provence during the summer to spend several weeks in the south of France. We were enchanted by the landscapes– fields of purple lavender, groves of old, snarled olive trees, and exquisite beaches bordering the Mediterranean. It was, however, the simple, yet vibrant food that inspired us to return.
Although we ate in a handful of Michelin starred restaurants, I liked the unpretentious, out-of- the-way bistros and cafés best. One of our favorites was La Merenda, a tiny place in the center of Nice, where there was no phone, and you could only reserve in person. Their signature dish was “pâtes au pistou,” prepared with house made spinach fettuccine tossed with pistou, Provence’s version of pesto. Over the years, I have tried to recreate the dish, but without much success.
Recently, I found several on-line articles in which the current owner, Continue reading
My good friend and fellow author, Carla Snyder, has the answer for empty nesters who are bored with their everyday fare and in search of new ideas for weeknight meals. Worry no more! In her new book, One Pan, Two Plates:Vegetarian Suppers, Carla has assembled a collection of irresistible main courses crafted to serve just two! As I thumbed through the book, I found myself turning down page after page. Should I make the Mushrooms with Polenta and Taleggio? Or, what about that Moroccan Chickpea Stew, or those Latkes with Rutabaga, Rapini, and Parmesan? So many tempting possibilities!
In the end I chose Bow Ties with Brussels Sprouts, Gorgonzola, and Hazelnuts, and wasn’t disappointed, and nor was my husband. He raved about his bowl of pasta with verdant pops of color from Brussels sprouts and plenty of crunch provided by toasted hazelnuts. But, it was the simple Gorgonzola sauce that won him over—a prefect foil for the bow ties and the Brussels sprouts. This dish took only half an hour from start to finish, but looked and tasted as if much more time was required.
If you’re cooking for more than two, you can easily double this recipe so that it feeds four. I like it so much I’m thinking of increasing the recipe and serving it to company! Continue reading
Lately, I’ve become weary of the food police, a term coined by Julia Child for those focused on the questionable health benefits of her beloved butter and cream. Today it seems like the “food police” are everywhere. Newspapers and magazines, online features (especially those that list the top 10 worst ingredients you can consume!), national radio and TV broadcasts–all routinely offer up some new food that is verboten. “Keep fat to a minimum, give up evil carbs, lower your salt, only eat meat occasionally.” I listen, and dutifully adjust my recipes to follow the guidelines. Every so often, though, I throw caution out (much to my husband’s delight) to prepare, guilt-free, an indulgence like Rigatoni with Parmesan Cream, Prosciutto, and Arugula.
Here is a dish that I first tasted in a small neighborhood bistro in Paris. From my first bite I was smitten, not only by the delicious combination of tastes and textures, but also by the creation’s sheer simplicity. Rigatoni, cooked al dente, were tossed in a smooth-as-silk sauce that had been prepared with equal amounts of milk, crème fraîche, and grated Parmesan along with a hint of fresh nutmeg. The pasta, garnished with a small mound of arugula dressed in lemon juice and a sprinkle of julienned Serrano ham, was served in shallow bowls. Continue reading
This recipe is a perennial favorite of students. Back in the 1990s it appeared on a winter cover of Bon Appétit and then later in my book, American Favorites. This dish has plenty going for it—you can make it ahead, it’s and all-in-one main course, and it’s inexpensive.