This is a variation of one of my favorite quick dishes that also uses store-bought gnocchi as a shortcut. It is less spicy which pleased my husband. 😉 The cheesiness of this version definitely made it a crowd-pleaser.
The recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Ali Slagle. It was the perfect dinner to make and serve after making cupcakes all afternoon with my daughter. Fast and fabulous.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
2 (12- to 18-ounce) packages shelf-stable or refrigerated potato gnocchi (I used Trader Joe’s)
1/4 cup (4 T) unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
8 to 10 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more, to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups (2 pints) small tomatoes, such as cherry, grape or Sungold
4 to 6 T thinly sliced (chiffonade) or torn basil leaves, plus more for serving
8 to 9 ounces (8 slices) fresh mozzarella, cut or torn into 1/2-inch pieces
Heat the broiler with a rack about 6 inches from the heat source.
In a large (12-inch) skillet on the stovetop, heat enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan (about 1 tablespoon) over medium-high. (I used a 12-inch cast iron skillet.)
Add half the gnocchi to the pan, breaking up any that are stuck together. Cover with a lid or baking sheet and cook, undisturbed, until golden brown on one side, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl.
Repeat with the remaining gnocchi and olive oil.
Add the butter to the skillet and cook over medium-high, stirring often, until golden-brown and toasty, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the garlic, red-pepper flakes, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and a few grinds of pepper, reducing the heat slightly if necessary to avoid scorching.
Add the tomatoes and 3 tablespoons water and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the tomatoes have softened and the liquid has slightly thickened, 4 to 6 minutes. Smash the tomatoes as they burst to help them along.
Add the seared gnocchi and basil, stir to coat, then shake into an even layer.
Top with the mozzarella and drizzle lightly with olive oil.
Broil until the cheese is melted and browned in spots, 2 to 4 minutes. (I set my oven to 500 degrees Broil+Max.)
Top with more basil, red-pepper flakes, and black pepper as desired.
Inspired by pizza she loved on a tropical vacation many years ago, my daughter has been eating corn on her pizza for nearly 10 years. Apparently she is ahead of her time! We were so happy to see that Bon Appétit realized that this delicious pizza topping was worthy of their publication. 🙂
I loved that this pizza recipe used creamed corn instead of tomato sauce- it brought our usual “corn pizza” to the next level. It was also a sheet pan “Grandma” pie which is a family favorite. Lastly, it can be made with fresh or frozen corn. Perfect.
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Kay Chun. I used a homemade sourdough pizza crust instead of store-bought. I also used fresh mozzarella, frozen white corn, Campari tomatoes, and more garlic. I modified the method and baked the sheet pan on a pizza stone positioned on the lowest oven rack. Great.
Yield: One Grandma Pie (half-sheet pan)
For the Pizza Dough:
1 cup (241g) sourdough starter, unfed/discard
1/2 cup (113g) warm water (plus 2 tsp water- if using whole wheat flour)
1 1/4 cups (150g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups (141g) white whole wheat flour (can substitute and additional 1 1/4 cups/150g all-purpose flour)
1 tsp Diamond Crystal or 1/2 tsp Morton kosher salt
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups fresh corn (from about 2 medium ears) or thawed frozen corn, divided
2 T extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 oz sliced pepperoni (more or less, as desired)
8 to 9 oz Campari tomatoes (sliced 1/4-inch thick) or cherry tomatoes (halved, about 1 1/3 cups)
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese
fresh basil (or oregano) leaves, sliced, for serving
To Make the Dough:
Stir any liquid on top of your refrigerated starter back into it before measuring 1 cup (241g) into a large mixing bowl. Note: This is a good opportunity to feed the remainder of your starter, if necessary.
Add the warm water, flours, salt, and yeast. Mix to combine, then knead for about 7 minutes in a mixer with the dough hook, until the dough wraps itself around the hook and cleans the side of the bowl.
Place the dough in a greased container, cover and let rise until almost doubled in bulk. Depending on the vitality of your starter, this will take between 2 and 4 hours. For a faster rise, place the dough in a warm spot, or double the yeast. (I placed my dough in a warming drawer and it doubled in about 2 hours.)
Towards the end of the rise time, preheat your oven to 500°F. (I heat a baking stone positioned on the lowest rack of the oven.)
Oil an 18″ x 13″ half-sheet pan or coat with cooking oil spray.
Place the dough in the pan and press it out to the edges, again giving it a 15-minute rest before continuing if it starts to snap back. After this rest, gently press the dough toward the edges of the pans. (If it starts to shrink back, cover and let rest for 15 minutes before continuing.)
Cover the pan and let the dough rise until it’s as thick as you like. (It will rise quite a bit in 30 minutes. I just let it rest while preparing the sauce and toppings.)
While the dough is rising, make the sauce.
To Make the Sauce, Toppings, & Bake the Pizza:
If using Campari tomatoes, slice and season with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Let sit to remove excess moisture.
Process the Parmesan, ricotta, cream, garlic, salt, pepper, 3/4 cup corn, and 2 T oil in a food processor until mostly smooth (mixture will still have some texture). (I used a mini-food processor.)
Scrape creamed corn into a small bowl; stir in 1/4 cup corn.
Spread creamed corn over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border.
Top with pepperoni, then tomatoes and remaining 1/2 cup corn.
Tear the fresh mozzarella and distribute the pieces evenly over the crust.
Bake until crust is golden underneath and cooked through and the cheese is lightly browned, about 18 to 20 minutes.
Top with a drizzle of oil and sliced basil (or oregano) leaves.
Note: The creamed corn mixture can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill.
I first heard about this spectacularly easy viral pasta dish from Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen. I think I was the last to know… My daughter has seen countless people make it on TikTok, of course. 😉 She was absolutely thrilled to make it with me!
The original recipe is called “Uunifetapasta,” created by the Finnish blogger Jenni Häyrinen. The foundation of the dish is a block of feta placed in the center of a baking dish surrounded by seasoned tomatoes. After being baked, the cheese and burst tomatoes are combined to create a creamy and delicious sauce to serve over pasta. Deb Perelman incorporated chickpeas in her version- nice.
This version from the Washington Post, contributed by Aaron Hutcherson, recommended using Greek sheep’s milk feta to maximize the creaminess. I used an enameled cast iron baking pan, modified the proportions and incorporated za’atar to the seasoning on the tomatoes prior to baking. It was super creamy and tasty- and as simple and easy to prepare as expected.
Yield: Serves 6
3 pints (750 to 800 g) grape or cherry tomatoes
5 large garlic cloves, halved lengthwise
8 T (1/2 cup) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 block (10.5 oz) Greek feta cheese
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
za’atar, to taste, optional
17 to 18 oz medium-length dried pasta, such as campanile, rigatoni, or rotini (I used Gigli)
fresh basil leaves, for serving
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees, preferably on convection roast.
In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, combine the tomatoes, garlic and 6 tablespoons of the olive oil. (I used an enameled cast iron baking pan.)
Sprinkle the tomatoes with some salt and toss to coat. Sprinkle with za’atar, if using.
Place the feta cheese in the center of the tomatoes and garlic, top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and sprinkle the entire dish with red pepper flakes and a little black pepper.
Bake for about 40 minutes, until the garlic has softened and the tomatoes have burst their skins.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta.
Remove the baking dish from the oven and stir the feta and tomatoes with a wooden spoon until evenly combined. Taste and adjust seasoning, as necessary.
Mix the sauce with pasta, adding the reserved pasta water as needed if it looks a little dry. (I incorporated quite a bit of pasta water.)
This summery version of shrimp scampi is an amazing upgrade of this classic dish. Best of all, it is prepared in one pan. 🙂
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Ali Slagle; I modified the proportions. I served it over pasta, but it could also be served with crusty bread. Delicious.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
1pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used 21 to 25 shrimp per pound)
Kosher salt and black pepper
2tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1pint cherry or grape tomatoes
2 (or more)cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (from 4 to 5 ears)
7 large garlic cloves, minced (I used my special CSA hard neck garlic)
1/2teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1/4cup dry white wine
2tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon), plus wedges for serving (optional)
5tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 5 pieces
3tablespoons chopped parsley or chives, or torn basil leaves
12 to 16 oz linguini fini, spaghetti or bucatini, for serving, if desired
crusty bread, for serving, if desired
If serving over pasta, prepare per the package directions while the rest of the dish is being prepared.
Pat the shrimp very dry and season with salt and pepper.
In a large (12-inch) skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high. Add the shrimp and cook until pink and lightly golden in spots, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the shrimp to a plate.
Add the tomatoes to the skillet, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring just once or twice, until they start to blister in spots, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the corn, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring just once or twice, until the tomatoes burst and the corn is golden in spots, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the garlic and red-pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until you smell garlic, about 1 minute.
Reduce heat to medium, and add the wine and lemon juice, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until nearly evaporated, then add the butter and stir until melted.
Add the shrimp and its juices and stir until warmed through. (If the sauce breaks and looks greasy, add 1 or 2 teaspoons of water and stir until emulsified.)
Remove from heat, add the herbs, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve with extra lemon for squeezing over, if you like.
Serve over pasta or with crusty bread, if desired.
I was already in love with farro but this dish made me love it even more. This is another wonderful meal from one of my favorite chefs, Sara Moulton. Yes, I saw her prepare it on her PBS show, Sara’s Weeknight Meals. 🙂
This recipe was adapted from Sara mouton.com. I modified the proportions and used Trader Joe’s farro. I also used 25 count large shrimp but would use true jumbo shrimp next time to make sure they are perfectly tender in the finished dish. Fast and Fabulous!
Yield: Serves 4
For the Farro:
1 1/2 cups farro (I used Trader Joe’s 10 minute farro)
3 cups chicken stock
For the Dish:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 pound peeled, and deveined jumbo shrimp
1 yellow onion, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 large garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 to 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
10 ounces baby spinach, torn kale, or torn mustard greens
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups cooked farro
1 tsp dry oregano or 1 T chopped fresh oregano
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup chicken stock
Make the farro according to the package directions. Reserve 2 cups of the prepared farro to incorporate into the dish, keeping the rest for another use.
Preheat the oven to 400 F, preferably on convection.
Heat 1 ½ tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet with a heatproof handle over high heat. (I used an enameled cast iron pan.)
Add the shrimp, season with salt and pepper, and cook, undisturbed, until the shrimp turns golden 1 minute. Turn them over and cook them until they are barely golden, about 1 minute more (they should not be cooked through). (If using smaller shrimp, decrease the cooking time to 30 seconds per side.)
Transfer the shrimp with tongs to a colander set over a bowl.
Add another tablespoon of the oil to the skillet, reduce the heat to medium low and add the onion along with a hefty pinch of salt.
Cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until it is golden, about 10 minutes.
Add the garlic, the tomatoes and the red pepper flakes and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to the colander with the shrimp.
Increase the heat to high, add the remaining 1 ½ tablespoons oil and half the greens and cook, stirring until they start to wilt. Add the remaining greens, and continue cooking until all the greens are wilted.
Add salt and pepper to taste and transfer the greens to the colander that the shrimp are in and shake it to get as much cooking liquid from the colander into the bowl as possible.
Add the wine and the reserved cooking liquid from the colander to the skillet and boil until the mixture is reduced to a few tablespoons.
Add 2 cups of cooked farro, the oregano, half the feta and the stock to the skillet and bring the stock to a boil.
Stir in all the ingredients in the colander and push the shrimp down slightly into the farro.
Top the shrimp with the remaining crumbled feta and transfer the pan to the oven. Bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Serve right away.
Why have I never thought of making a BLT taco before? Genius.
This quick and delicious weeknight dinner recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I cooked the bacon at a lower temperature, increasing the cooking time. I think that this method isn’t as messy. 🙂 I added avocado slices, used corn-flour hybrid tortillas, a Serrano instead of jalapeño chile, increased the lime juice, and used chipotle Tabasco in the mayonnaise. I also warmed the tortillas with steam in the microwave.
Yield: Serves 4
1pound thick-cut bacon, about 10 slices
1pint (2 cups) grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered (mixed colors are pretty here)
1small Serrano or jalapeño chile, seeded or not, finely chopped
2-3T cilantro, chopped
1 T fresh lime juice, plus more to taste
Kosher salt, to taste
1 ½teaspoons Cholula or other hot sauce, or to taste, plus more for serving (I used Chipotle Tabasco)
8(6-inch) corn or flour tortillas (I used corn-flour hybrid tortillas)
Romaine lettuce leaves, sliced into bite-size pieces
1avocado, sliced into eighths
refried beans and rice, for serving, optional
Heat oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection. Lay bacon in an even layer in 2 9-13″ glass pyrex dishes or on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake until browned and crisp, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer to paper towel-lined plates and let cool. (Keep rendered fat for another use.)
While bacon is cooking, toss together tomatoes, chopped chile, cilantro, lime juice and a large pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Taste and add more lime juice and salt, if needed.
In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise and hot sauce.
Place tortillas in a tortilla warmer or medium bowl. Top with a damp paper towel and seal with a lid or plastic wrap. Microwave for 1 minute to warm. (Alternatively, the tortillas can be warmed on the stove top: Lay a clean kitchen towel in a medium bowl. Using the open flame from a stovetop gas burner (or in a skillet placed on an electric burner), warm and lightly char tortillas, 30 seconds to 1 minute per side. Transfer warmed tortillas to a towel-lined bowl, and cover with towel to keep warm while you finish remaining tortillas.)
Serve, letting people make their own tacos by layering bacon, salsa, lettuce, spicy mayonnaise and avocado, on tortillas. Top with more hot sauce, if desired.
My kids are back in school! I can get back to sharing dishes that we enjoyed this summer (and probably last spring as well). I have quite a few to share. 🙂
This is a fabulous, restaurant-indulgent, late summer pasta dish. The real beauty of it is that it could be made in any season to bring back the taste of summer. It was also quick and easy to prepare- the best combination. The cheese adds creaminess to the finished dish but can easily be omitted for a vegan version.
This recipe was adapted from Bringing it Home: Favorite Recipes from a Life of Adventurous Eating by Gail Simmons with Mindy Fox. I used grape instead of cherry tomatoes, bucatini instead of spaghettini, and modified the proportions. I am definitely going to make this dish year round. Great.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
1 pound bucatini, spaghettini, spaghetti, or angel hair pasta
1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for serving
1 small red onion or 1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced, about 1 cup
4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 pounds (about 3 pints) grape or cherry tomatoes
1 1/2 cups loosely packed torn basil leaves, plus more for garnish
2-4 T finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
3/4 cup (6 oz) fresh whole-milk ricotta cheese
freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving
coarsely ground black pepper
Cook the pasta in a large pot of well-salted boiling water until al dente. (Simmons recommends 2 T of kosher or fine sea salt in 4 quarts of water.)
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a 12- or 14-inch skillet or wide, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add the onion, garlic, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes.
Add the red pepper flakes, then stir in the tomatoes and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until most of the tomatoes have burst, 6 to 8 minutes.
Reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid, drain the pasta.
Add the pasta, along with the reserved pasta cooking water, to the pan with the sauce. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the pasta is coated, about 30 seconds, then stir in the basil and parsley.
Divide the pasta among serving plates. Dollop with the ricotta and sprinkle with Parmesan and black pepper to taste. Drizzle with olive oil, if desired, and serve immediately.