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Massimo Botturra’s meat tortellini from Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef, finished in sage and brown butter.

Can I take a moment and say how smitten I am with the newest episodes of Master of None? We’re slowly making our way through the season–just one new one a week–and as such I feel like we’re SO behind because the various pop culture blogs I follow have already moved on to a bunch of other shows, like The Handmaid’s Tale and GLOW. (Both are really good, and I’ll be writing about the former in this space relatively soon.) Such is the internet in the age of Peak TV, but I still prefer savoring each episode on its own especially since it’s not clear if we’ll see another season of the show, much less one anytime soon. And given the ambition Aziz Ansari and his team had with this season, I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to be incessantly asked when the next batch of episodes would be coming because so many people burned through the current set so quickly. Read More

Chargrilled mushroom salad

As I’ve learned to love and appreciate a good salad over time, I’ve been trying to add more of them to our rotation, saving the more complicated ones for the weekend, or for days when I’m craving something simple and light during one of my sabor de soledad sessions. There’s one recipe from Alton Brown’s new cookbook that’s been an early favorite, but given that strawberries feature heavily in it, I’ve been waiting for them to come into their peak season before writing about it. This recipe, on the other hand, is relatively season-agnostic* and what I like about it is that in the winter it helps you think of warmer days and in the summer the grilled mushrooms add substance without weighing the dish down on a hot day. Read More

Strascinati con pomodoro e basilico

I’ve decided that I’m going to master making pasta completely by hand. This thought first came about a few weeks ago when I was trying and (mostly) succeeding in making a Puglian dough out of water and semolina flour, but was cemented when we finally sat down to watch the season two premiere of Master of None. Earlier that evening I had been feeling rather vulnerable and grouchy but thought that a solid workout and some soothing yoga had calmed my nerves. Then Aziz Ansari has to go and make a big, soaring love letter to classic Italian cinema and show this sequence:

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Casarecce with bell pepper sauce

Casarecce with bell pepper sauce

One thing I’ve been dying to do once the tomatoes started coming in and really taste good was to walk over to the big Baltimore Farmer’s Market on a Sunday morning and get some heirlooms or other interesting-looking ones to take home. Unfortunately, either to us traveling or Michael going to the gym late, that didn’t happen until one of the last Sundays when tomatoes would be good, and even then we were walking in there at 11:57 when the market technically ended at noon. Thankfully I was still able to get some tomatoes along with some Kirby cucumbers and four fantastic orange peppers before all of the vendors were gone, and I was able to get a good deal on the peppers to boot: 2 for a buck. Read More

Char-broiled oysters in the style of Drago's.

Char-broiled oysters in the style of Drago’s.

The first time we went to New Orleans I wasn’t expecting to encounter so many oyster houses when we were there. I don’t know why I didn’t think to anticipate this, but as our cab drove us to the Hotel Monteleone and we passed by a few I knew that our first meal would be oyster-centric, if not completely oyster-based. Between that trip and our subsequent trip last October to NOLA we’ve covered some good territory on the oyster front, so I wanted to share some of our experiences on where to score excellent mollusks. Read More

Spaghetti with Sausage, Sage, and Butter Sauce

I’ve written about fifty drafts of this post, not wanting to commit to one lest something happen, but I guess it’s finally time to let the cat out of the bag since I already did so on Instagram: we’re officially homeowners.

As people who have rented our entire adult lives, this is momentous less for the buying of the house itself and more for the decision to intentionally stay in one place for a while. We didn’t necessarily intend to buy so soon, but a combination of factors led to this decision. Read More

Cacio e pepe

Michael was in the UK for most of this past week, and so for the first time in a while I had a few days to myself to make whatever I wanted. Obviously, the first thing I did was buy a boatload of cheeses.

The next thing I did after running some errands on Sunday was to sequester myself in the kitchen to do all kinds of things: make a nice fancy brunch was first on the list and then I did some much-needed meal prep for the week. My friend D at The Kitchen Witch recently posted an intriguing recipe for a warm tomato vinaigrette, and I had bookmarked it thinking it would go really well with chicken thighs. I slow-roasted the tomatoes and whipped up a batch fairly easily, tripling the recipe she provided to use up all of the tomato passata that you make, and boy howdy is it tasty. I even made enough for Michael to have some for lunch when he got home from the airport because I’m nice like that. Read More

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