Category Archives: 9. Pasta, Rice, Grains

Penne au potiron et aux noix

This dish gives an interesting twist to pumpkin that may be of interest as the holidays approach. Yes, I’m thinking Thanksgiving. The combination of pasta and pumpkin is popular in both France and Italy, and the walnuts add depth. This … Continue reading

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Risotto de langouste

The lobster known as le homard — the one with alarming claws — is hugely expensive in Paris, and so is its kinder, gentler cousin, la langouste (no pinchers). But this winter frozen langouste tails began appearing at a reasonable … Continue reading

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Boulgour aux oignons rouges

A guest was coming to dinner, a friend from the literary world. I didn’t want to have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen while he was here, yet wanted to produce a satisfying, palate-pleasing meal. What to … Continue reading

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Pâtes aux moules et pecorino

It is surprising, in our globalized world, that we can still travel only a short distance and find ourselves in a whole new foodosphere. I recently had the pleasure of visiting Naples. The first night, at a joint straight out … Continue reading

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Risotto au potiron et au thym

A couple weeks ago, on a bright October day, I made this dish for a friend who was coming to dinner. I’d had pumpkin risotto at lunch that week at Merci, a café with creative cuisine across the street from … Continue reading

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Penne à l’arrabiata

We’ve been having a September heat wave. Maybe this explains why so many Paris bistros are featuring Italian dishes at the moment. Most popular seems to be the assiette italienne, typically melon, parma ham, tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. But pasta … Continue reading

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Gnocchi au four sauce tomate

What could be more satisfying on a cool autumn evening than gnocchi enveloped in a rustic homemade tomato sauce, topped with mozzarella and baked in the oven? For an everyday chef, the beauty of this dish lies also in the … Continue reading

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Paëlla poulet, chorizo, moules et gambas

Paella, the immensely popular rice dish from Spain, crossed the border long ago to become one of the favorite dishes of France. It is particularly prevalent in areas north of the Pyrenées, where I had the good fortune to spend … Continue reading

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Penne au safran, roquette et noix

Is it alchemy? Is it art? Each of the four main ingredients in this knock-out dish — saffron, arugula, walnuts and parmesan — has so much personality that one could easily imagine it knocking out the other three. And yet, … Continue reading

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Spaghettis à l’ail et huile d’olive

Did Marco Polo really introduce spaghetti to Italy when he returned from China in 1295? Apparently not. This ancient food — noodles, in one form or another — existed in China for millennia before the intrepid Italian adventurer arrived there, … Continue reading

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