Butternut squash lasagna with sage, caramelized onions, and tofu ricotta

Hosting a Thanksgiving dinner, but for whatever reason—you’re a vegetarian, your guests are vegetarians, you don’t like turkey, or you don’t like weeks of turkey-themed leftovers—want to skip the bird?

Look no further. This lasagna capitalizes on big fall flavors: butternut squash, caramelized onions, and sage. It’s hearty: noodles and squash means enough starch that nobody walks away hungry. It’s beautiful: that burnt orange dotted with green baked sage leaves looks impressive and celebratory. Continue reading “Butternut squash lasagna with sage, caramelized onions, and tofu ricotta”


Five-hour, three-meat ragu

Most of my meals are vegetarian or vegan-ish. I have no problem with eating meat. But I usually cook for leftovers, and the idea of eating red meat every night for the rest of the week feels a bit…heavy. So most weeks, my my menu includes a big batches of a great soup and a hearty grain salad.

But them sometimes—sometimes I eat ragù. And oh my, it is about as far from a hearty grain salad as one can get. The way the braised meat practically melts over the pasta–the umami of the meat and cooked tomatoes–a glass of red wine on the side–it’s a visceral experience. Continue reading “Five-hour, three-meat ragu”

Squash blossom strozzapreti

In May, I had the very good fortune of traveling to Puglia with my mom and my fellow food-obsessed best friend. Puglia was sunwashed and arid, lined by a sea that changed from transparent to turquoise to deep azure. The buildings were cream and white and turned gold with the afternoon sun. Bougainvillea and jasmine ran unchecked up walls and dangled into walkways. Olive trees grew everywhere and wildflowers lined the roads. I wanted to float away in a dry rosé haze and never return.

Yet for all this impossible beauty, it was the food that got under my skin. Pugliesi eat well. Olives appear at lunch, aperitivi, and dinner. Olive oil is top notch and is drizzled over perfect summer tomatoes, crudités, and orechiette pasta, and mixed into the oh-so-addictive taralli crackers. Pugliesi invented burrata. Produce–squash blossoms, cherries, tomatoes, broccoli rabe–is cheap and plentiful. The wild boar secondi of northern Italy are replaced by fresh fish, octopus, squid, and urchins. The rosés, from negroamaro grapes, are bright and fresh. I could go on. Continue reading “Squash blossom strozzapreti”