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Monday, September 26, 2022

Playing Around with a Traditional Roman Pasta

A simple dish made with guanciale, Pecorino Romano cheese, and black pepper, pasta alla gricia is considered to be one of the greatest Roman pasta dishes ever created. However, if you don’t have any guanciale on hand (or don’t have a few days to devote to preparing your own), you might make salami pasta alla gricia instead (see the previous section for the recipe). There is something really satisfying about the way the fat from the sausage is rendered and used to coat the noodles. It packs quite the powerful punch.

I enjoy putting salami in spaghetti sauces. Also, a recipe is not necessarily necessary in order to do so. Take for instance this recipe for a puttanesca-like dish that doesn’t need a recipe: Simply cut up a large handful of salami, add a good amount of minced garlic, and red-pepper flakes to a skillet, and sweat the mixture over medium heat. When the garlic is just ready to turn brown, add a can of tomatoes to the pan, and using a spoon, break them up into smaller pieces. Then, let the mixture bubble while turning it every so often. After around ten minutes, when the tomatoes have broken down and everything is saucy, add a handful of black olives that have been pitted along with a couple of teaspoons of capers that have been drained. While the pasta is cooking, bring the sauce to a low simmer, then drain the spaghetti and toss it with the sauce.

Another option is this tofu and asparagus dish, which is flavoured with black pepper. It’s a quick stir-fry that only requires one skillet, and it blends colourful spring veggies with cubes of tofu in a sauce that’s thick, peppery, and spicy, and it’s laced with the fragrant flavours of garlic and ginger. It goes very well with rice.

If you are dining with children or are simply in the mood to act like a kid, you may want to give this homemade version of fish sticks with peas a try. The fish is seasoned at each step of the cooking process, predominantly with turmeric, onion, and garlic powders, while the peas are combined with lemon zest and mint for an updated and surprisingly opulent twist on a traditional dish from your elementary school days.

You might try this recipe for yo po mian, also known as “oil sprinkled noodles,” which is a staple dish in the Shaanxi Province, which is located in the central northwest of China. I enjoy it best with a good quantity of garlic, and I prefer to use a combination of low-sodium soy sauce and dark soy sauce for a taste that is sweeter and more caramelised.

But ordering shrimp with spicy sauce in the middle of the week is not an inappropriate choice. A plate of Italian sandwiches topped with sausage and peppers would not qualify either. Chicken and cabbage salad dressed with a vinaigrette made with miso and sesame seeds? Yes, yes, despite the fact that this salad including white beans, avocados, and garlic oil is already rather enticing.

In addition to New York Times Cooking, you may find more information on what to prepare for dinner on a Wednesday in the middle of May on our TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube pages, as well as here on New York Times Cooking. (If you’re looking for a great recipe for Vietnamese iced coffee, check out this one.) It is correct that a subscription is required in order to have access to them. Our work is made possible thanks to the support we get from subscriptions. If you haven’t already done so, I hope you’ll give today some thought before deciding whether or not to become a subscriber. Thanks.

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In other news, the other day I published a post in which I discussed the lovely sugar snap peas that Simon Andrews had prepared in order to be photographed by David Malosh. However, they turned out to be snow peas. No surprise mine didn’t look as nice!

Now, this has absolutely nothing to do with cornish game hens or raspberries, but I’ve been really enjoying Manuel Garcia-portrayal Rulfo’s as Mickey Haller in “The Lincoln Lawyer,” which is streaming on Netflix.

Even though it was published in 1963, “The General of the Dead Army” by Ismail Kadare, an Albanian author, was recommended to me by a friend of mine named Manny. I want to repay their generosity in this way.

In a recent article for New York magazine, Jason Diamond poses the intriguing hypothesis that Long Island may be home to some of the city’s finest bagels.

At long last, Jon Pareles and the illustrious pop-music crew at The Times have compiled a new “Playlist” that has new songs from artists such as My Chemical Romance, Kendrick Lamar, Julia Jacklin, and many more. While you’re preparing the meal, give them a listen. I won’t be here till Friday.

Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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