Entries in dinner (6)


roasted cod provencal


Once tomatoes and basil are in season this is a wonderful way to serve simple roasted or grilled fish. I serve it often on weekends when we have a houseful of guests. If you prepare the tomatoes before you start cooking the fish the flavors have a little time to meld. Dice 3 tomatoes into 1/2 inch chunks. Chop basil leaves from 3 or 4 sprigs of basil and add to tomatoes. Remove pits from about 1/2 cup olives (nicoise or calamata are good choices), halve them, and add to tomatoes. Add 1 clove of garlic, minced, the juice of 1 lemon and a pinch of sea salt and set aside. Drizzle olive oil on 3 pounds of cod or striped bass on a sheet pan and roast in a 450° oven for about 10 minutes, or until fish is flaky and cooked through. It can also be grilled -- if you choose to grill, buy fish with the skin on and cook skin side down, with the lid on for about 10 minutes. Spoon tomato mixture over fish and serve. 



rigatoni with turkey and creamy tomato sauce


When we lived in Manhattan one of our favorite places to go for a casual dinner was Bar Pitti, where Adam often ordered Rigatoni Pitti. When I discovered turkey at our local farmer's market I remembered that dish and was inspired to recreate it. Turkey sausage adds a bit more flavor but I find the recipe works well with ground turkey too.


1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 pound turkey sausage or ground turkey

1 tablespoon freshly chopped sage (or 1 teaspoon dried)

2 26 ounce boxes strained tomatoes

1 half pint heavy cream

1 pound rigatoni

1 bag frozen peas

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.


Place a large pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. Add a generous amount of salt.


Heat olive oil in a large skillet and add onion. Saute until translucent. Add turkey and cook stirring, until lightly browned. Add sage and tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in heavy cream and cook until hot.


While sauce is simmering cook pasta, adding the peas 2 or 3 minutes before it is ready. Drain when pasta is al dente. Combine with sauce and serve.


spaghetti with sardines and breadcrumbs


Every year during spring break we take a vacation with my extended family...there are eleven of us in all: my sister, her husband and their two children, my mom and dad, and the five of us. We are just back from this years trip so the next few posts will be from our time away. I am the cook of the family, and although I get tons of help with shopping, table setting, and clean up, the majority of the cooking is done by me. When we arrived the week before Easter we were warned that the shops would all be closed from Good Friday through the Monday after Easter, and as a result I immediately started stockpiling food.  Things that could be stored in the pantry were especially appealing since refrigerator space was limited and 4 days is a long time for things to last. I was a little worried about trying something for the first time when a table of 10 were counting on me for dinner but all were quite happy with this dish! We ended up having it again towards the end of our trip - this time I used whole wheat spaghetti, which no one even noticed. Coarse breadcrumbs add texture to this dish so I recommend making your own from some stale bread: just tear bread into small pieces and then pulse in a food processor or blender until you have coarse crumbs. If you want to skip this step Panko breadcrumbs are a good alternative.





1 pound spaghetti

1/2 - 3/4 cups breadcrumbs 

olive oil

1 red onion, finely diced

4-5 cloves garlic, minced

2 tins sardines 

1 bunch parsley, finely chopped


Bring a large pot of salted water

to a boil.


In the meanwhile, toast breadcrumbs in a medium skillet until lightly browned. Transfer to a bowl and wipe skillet clean. Return pan to the stove and add a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to a skillet placed over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until transluscent. Add sardines and the oil they are packed in to the pan and break up with a wooden spoon. 


Once you have started sauteing the onions and garlic you can cook the spaghetti. When it is almost ready add the parsley to the sardine mixture. Drain the spaghetti when it is al dente, reserving a cup or two of the pasta water, and return the pasta to the pot. Add the sauce and toss to combine, adding some of the pasta water if the mixture seems too dry. Stir in breadcrumbs and drizzle with more extra virgin olive oil if desired. Season with freshly ground pepper to taste.


ham, not just for holidays


When I think of ham I imagine Easter dinner. Or, a giant buffet. Just a few months ago I discovered these very small ham roasts at our local farmer's market, and recently I found a tiny Niman Ranch ham at Whole Foods. Since the hams are fully cooked (as well as nitrate free and responsibly raised) all I had to do was heat it up and make some sides...which, to me, is the fun part of making dinner. When I set down the plates the kids were all so excited and there was a chorus of "Mmmm, I love this ham!" It will definitely be added to the list of things to keep on hand - the fact that there is a long refrigerator life is a bonus too.


lemony roasted salmon


This is probably my very easiest recipe and yet it is the one friends ask for over and over again. The tangy lemon zest is the perfect counterpoint to the richness of the salmon. I buy 1 fillet of wild salmon with the skin left on, about 5-6 ounces per person. Place it on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Grate the zest of a lemon over the fillet and sprinkle it with a generous amount of sea salt. (Occasionally I also add a little freshly chopped dill.) Roast it in a 450º oven for about 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillet. You can tell the fish is done when you press it gently with your finger and it flakes and is no longer springy. In warmer weather this also works really well on the grill. 


crispy flounder


Flounder is one of my kids favorite fish and this preparation is so simple. I dip the fillets in a lightly beaten egg, then dip it in panko breadcrumbs that I season with some salt. I use a mixture of butter and olive oil in the skillet - the butter adds a lot of flavor and the olive oil prevents it from getting too brown. It only takes a few minutes on each side so prepare the side dishes before starting the fish. Here I served it with a white bean salad and roasted asparagus.