Stephanie Stiavetti (@sstiavetti) writes The Culinary Life blog. Her first book, Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese, will be available October 22 from Little, Brown, and it’s superb, the best one I’ve seen, in fact, accept no imitations! I’m always game for a rant, especially first thing in Monday morning. Take it away, Steph! —M.R. You’ve heard Michael’s spiel on Americans being trained to believe they’re too stupid to cook. It’s an unfortunate reality that people in this country place a higher priority on time than they do nearly everything else, which greatly affects what we eat. Which affects our health. Which, in the end, affects EVERYTHING. When you eat poorly, guess what? You feel poorly too. You don’t have the energy to do the things you want to do: hitting the gym, playing ball with the kids, actually getting Read On »

Share

I was about 24 hours into my vegan experiment, planning to prepare pasta with asparagus and olive oil. In Ruhlman’s Twenty, I write about what a felicitous pairing scallops and asparagus are and make a sauce by pureeing the stems and mounting the puree with butter, serving the reheated tips as garnish. Finding myself with a good bunch of asparagus, I thought, “I’ll bet pureed asparagus makes an excellent sauce for pasta. But still it’s going to need a little oomph. Hmmm. Perhaps some freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Oops, not strictly vegan. But maybe just a few shaving, it’ll taste sooo much better.” I was hungry, and the dish needed a little extra something, which in so many instances is solved simply by adding an egg. Oh hell, why not mount a good deal of butter into Read On »

Share

  Michael just got back from an eventful James Beard Awards weekend in New York City, so today’s scheduled post has been delayed until tomorrow. So, I was looking back at the archives and I decided to rediscover his reflection on carbonara, his favorite pasta dish. Not only is carbonara a great pasta dish, but it is an essential staple dish. I like that Michael mentions using cured mangalista belly instead of common bacon—that addition elevates carbonara to a different level. (And Michael wanted me to remind people there’s still a chance to join a relatively intimate phone conversation today at noon Eastern time set up by Michael’s publisher for those who preorder Schmaltz by 11:55 today and email the receipt to littlebrown@hbgusa.com or to him directly at michael@ruhlman.com, to talk about schmaltz or cooking or to ask him Read On »

Share

Great ideas for making gnocchi from Mark Bittman and Mario Batali, via New York Times.

Share

  Making delicious agnolotti. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman. Saturday I was reminded of the efficiency of using ratios when I wanted to make a crepe and was so moved to post on the subject that I put up crappy photos of the actual crepe I ate while at my desk. Still with ratios on my mind, and given that my wife has abandoned me for NYC for a few days, I asked for some proper food photography using a ratio—here with pasta, so easy, so good, and the amazing, self-sealing ravioli, referred to at The French Laundry as agnolotti. In fact, agnolotti are three-tipped ravioli reminiscent of an Italian priest’s hat, but where Thomas learned about them, these here were referred to as agnolotti and so that was how Thomas would always refer to Read On »

Share