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I Love This Tomato-y Pasta

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I Love This Tomato-y Pasta

Hi and welcome to Five Weeknight Dishes — where, to my sincere shock, we have just crossed 500,000 subscribers! You guys! I am verklempt. Thank you so much for reading my musings and recipe recommendations. The next big milestone is a cool million — so if you like the newsletter, please forward it to friends, who can sign up here.

On to this week. I have a folder in my NYT Cooking recipe box with dishes I’ve unearthed from the archives that I want to try. One is the penne below, which Amanda Hesser (former Times food writer, co-founder of Food52, living legend) wrote about nearly 20 years ago, and which I’ve been meaning to cook for at least five. I finally did, and it is a classic. If you know of any other gems hiding in plain sight, let me know. I’m dearemily@nytimes.com.

Big news: NYT Cooking has launched an Android app! It’s currently available for phones (not tablets), and you can download it here. (And if you are an iPhone user but don’t have our iOS app, you can download that here.) Lastly, my colleague Kim Severson will be in conversation with Rachael Ray at a Times event at the New School here in New York. Kim is wonderful and hilarious, and you’ll want to bask in her charm in person. Use the code FOOD at checkout for $10 off the ticket price.

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Here are five dishes for the week:

1. Penne With Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

O.K., this recipe is amazing. I made it this week and have eaten it hot, room temp and cold, and it is shockingly good every which way, rich and juicy with brassy cherry tomato flavor. I doubled the recipe to get four main-course servings, but I did not fully double the oil (I used 1/2 cup); the bread crumbs shouldn’t be canned (skip them if you don’t have homemade or something like it kicking around); and the tomatoes took a few minutes longer in the oven to reach my desired level of burstness.

View this recipe.

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2. Sheet-Pan Shrimp Scampi

Melissa Clark wrote a great story this week about what kinds of shrimp you should buy and eat (and, the corollary, which ones you shouldn’t), and she wrote this mouthwatering recipe to go with it. One commenter suggested adding more garlic, and I say do it, live your life. Serve with a baguette and steamed broccoli.

View this recipe.

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3. Thai-Inspired Coconut Chicken Breasts With Vegetables

This recipe avoids the pitfalls of other boneless chicken breast dishes — dryness, toughness, general sadness — by cooking the chicken in a gentle, gingery coconut milk bath. This is a little more prep than we usually go in for on a weeknight, but, if you’re fast, you can do it while the chicken cooks in Step 1, and then your vegetables and protein are both covered: You only need to make a pot of rice to serve. It’s worth it. Increase the amount of green beans if you like.

View this recipe.

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4. Tostones (Fried Green Plantains)

Fried potatoes are great, but they are not fried green plantains, which may be the most delicious fried starch you can make rapidly at home. Part of this deliciousness is derived from twice-frying: first in chunks, then smashed. Tostones are outrageously good alongside chicken, beef, pork or seafood, but to keep this fast after work I personally would eat with rice, garlicky beans and a fried egg on top.

View this recipe.

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5. Chickpeas With Baby Spinach

This very simple vegetarian recipe caught my eye because of its 881 five-star ratings. Think of it as a new staple, one to work into the rotation: You could eat it over pasta, farro, rice, toast, couscous, I could go on. I would use ground cumin rather than toasting and grinding seeds — use a little more than a teaspoon.

View this recipe.

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