Let's Warm Up With Comfort Food
Oh no, October 17th officially marks the last day of summer. We knew this time had to eventually show up as we now start to gear up for shorter days, longer nights, cooler temperatures, colorful leaves and jackets. Not only is the weather changing but the way we cook is changing too. The fall brings us fresh fall produce, like squash, sweet potatoes and apples so we can create warming, comfort food dishes like stews, potpies and mac and cheese. Here are a few of our favorite recipes to help get you through wintertime.
One-Pot Baked Pasta With Pasta Sausage And Broccoli Rabe
- Kosher salt
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed
- 6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon chopped sage, plus 10–12 whole leaves
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 12 ounces Fontina and/or aged cheddar, grated, divided (about 4½ cups)
- 1 pound ridged medium pasta shells, or large tube pasta, such as lumaconi or rigatoni
- 1 bunch of broccoli rabe, tough ends trimmed, stems cut into 2-inch pieces, leafy ends left long
Place racks in center and top third of oven; preheat to 325°. Heat a large pot of water over high. Add several tablespoons of salt and bring to a boil (this is for your pasta).
Meanwhile, heat a deep, large, ovenproof skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high. Add ¼ cup oil and swirl to coat. Add sausage and break into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Cook, undisturbed, until sausage is browned, about 4 minutes. Stir a couple of times and cook, undisturbed again, until sausage is fully cooked through, about 3 minutes longer. Add garlic, red pepper, and chopped sage and cook, stirring, until garlic is golden, about 2 minutes. Stir in half-and-half and simmer until sauce is thickened slightly, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Gradually add two-thirds of cheese, bit by bit, stirring constantly and letting cheese melt completely before adding more, until sauce is smooth and thick, about 3 minutes; season with salt.
Cook pasta in boiling salted water 2 minutes shy of package instructions (8–10 minutes depending on type). During the last 2 minutes, add broccoli rabe. Drain pasta and broccoli rabe in a colander and shake several times to remove excess water. Return to empty pasta pot, then add sausage mixture. Stir until pasta and broccoli rabe are coated in sauce, then transfer everything back to skillet. Cover tightly with foil and bake on center rack until pasta is tender and sauce is bubbling, 30–40 minutes. Let rest a few minutes while you heat broiler (alternately, increase oven temperature to 500°).
Remove foil and sprinkle top with remaining one-third of cheese. Toss sage leaves with remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a small bowl and arrange over pasta. Broil or bake in oven on top rack until cheese is browned and bubbling in spots, about 5 minutes (depending on strength of your broiler). Let cool a minute or two before serving.
Recipe by Claire Saffitz
Photograph by Photo by Alex Lau, styling by Sean Dooley
Lemony Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Breadcrumbs
Cooking the brussels in two stages for this recipe ensures that the cores will be tender and the outer leaves will still have bite.
- 2½ pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed
- 4 ounces slab bacon or pancetta (Italian bacon), coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for serving
- 1 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 small Fresno chile, seeds removed, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
Remove outer leaves from brussels sprouts; set aside. Halve sprouts; set aside. Pulse bacon in a food processor until finely ground. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-low. Cook bacon, stirring often, until browned around edges and fat is rendered, about 4 minutes. Add breadcrumbs and cook, stirring often, until brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer breadcrumb mixture to paper towels and let cool slightly. Toss in a medium bowl with chile, thyme, and lemon zest; set aside.
Increase heat to medium-high and heat 2 Tbsp. oil in same skillet. Add reserved halved brussels sprouts; season with salt. Cook, tossing occasionally, until deeply browned all over, 5–8 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover skillet, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Uncover skillet, add reserved leaves and 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, and toss to combine. Cover skillet and cook, tossing occasionally, until leaves are bright green and just wilted, 4–5 minutes. Uncover; add remaining 1 Tbsp. lemon juice and season with salt.
Transfer brussels sprouts to a platter, drizzle with more oil, and top with reserved breadcrumb mixture (reheat breadcrumb mixture if needed in a small skillet or in microwave).
Do Ahead: Breadcrumb mixture can be made 3 hours ahead; store uncovered at room temperature. Brussels sprouts (without leaves) can be cooked 2 hours ahead; store covered at room temperature. Reheat before adding leaves.
Recipe by Claire Saffitz
Photos by Alex Lau
BA’s Best Macaroni and Cheese
Don’t be alarmed if the sauce looks thin at first: It will continue to thicken as it bakes with the noodles. This recipe also easily doubles—because one can't have too much mac 'n' cheese. This is part of BA's Best, a collection of our essential recipes.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
¾ cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
¼ ounce Parmesan, finely grated (about ¼ cup)
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more
8 ounces cavatappi or other short curly pasta
2 ½ cups whole milk
½ small onion, grated
1 garlic clove, finely grated
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 ounces Fontina cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
4 ounces Gruyère, grated (about 1 cup)
4 ounces sharp white cheddar, grated (about 1 cup)
½ teaspoon English mustard powder (such as Colman’s)
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 350°. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add panko and cook, stirring, until crumbs are golden brown, 6–8 minutes (make sure to get them toasty brown; they won’t darken much during baking). Transfer to a small bowl and toss with Parmesan, thyme leaves, and ¼ tsp. salt.
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente (the noodles will continue to cook in the cheese sauce, so take them out a minute or two before you think they’re actually done). Drain pasta; let cool while you make the sauce.
Bring milk to a bare simmer in a small saucepan; keep warm. Melt remaining 2 Tbsp. butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until onions are fragrant and beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle flour over and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture starts to stick to bottom of saucepan, about 1 minute. Add warm milk in a few additions, whisking to combine after each addition.
Bring béchamel sauce to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring, until sauce is thickened and doesn’t feel grainy when a little bit is rubbed between your fingers, 6–8 minutes (cooking the flour thoroughly at this stage ensures a creamy sauce). Add Fontina, Gruyère, cheddar, mustard powder, cayenne, and ¾ tsp. salt and stir until cheeses are melted and sauce is smooth. Remove from heat and mix in pasta; transfer to a 2-qt. baking dish.
Bake 10 minutes. Top with Parmesan breadcrumbs and bake until sauce is bubbling around the edges, 8–10 minutes longer. Let cool in pan 15 minutes before serving.
Recipe by Dawn Perry
Photos by Alex Lau
Lemony Chicken and Rice Soup (Avgolemono)
It’ll take a couple of hours to make the homemade broth and cook a whole chicken (your house will smell amazing) for this soup recipe. If you’ve had a long day, use 2 quarts store-bought broth and shredded meat from a rotisserie chicken. Whatever method you choose, use the chicken breasts to make this amazing salad with crispy rice. Check out step-by-step photos here.
1 3-pound chicken
1 large carrot, cut into large pieces
1 large leek, white and pale-green parts only, halved
½ medium onion
2 large eggs
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
⅔ cup long-grain white rice (preferably Carolina)
Freshly ground black pepper and olive oil (for serving)
Real Talk: This soup is incredible due to its velvety, luxurious texture. Everyone you serve it to will be impressed. BUT you need to fully reduce the broth to 2 quarts, which should only take a half an hour; you can’t even get through an entire episode of Game of Thrones in that time. So have patience, grasshopper! And you’ll also get to brag to said guests that you learned how to temper eggs (cooking them without scrambling) thanks to this recipe.
Bring chicken, carrot, leek, onion, and 4 quarts water to a simmer in a large pot; cook until chicken is cooked through, 45–60 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate; discard carrot, leek, and onion. Let chicken sit until cool enough to handle.
Continue to cook broth over medium-high heat until reduced to about 2 quarts, about 30 minutes. Season with salt.
Meanwhile, shred meat from thighs and legs; set aside (reserve breasts for another use).
Whisk eggs and lemon juice in a medium bowl until foamy and no streaks remain. Whisking constantly, add 1 cup hot chicken broth, a couple teaspoons at a time at first (don’t pour too much hot broth too quickly or you’ll end up with scrambled eggs), then increasing to a steady stream, until fully incorporated.
Meanwhile, reduce heat to medium and add rice to broth, stirring vigorously so rice doesn’t stick to bottom of pot; cook 5 minutes. Add reserved chicken and continue to cook until chicken is heated through and rice is tender, about 5 minutes more.
Whisking vigorously, slowly drizzle in tempered egg mixture, a couple teaspoons at a time at first, then increasing to a steady stream, until fully incorporated (it will cook instantly).
Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until soup is slightly thickened and velvety and luxurious-looking, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt. Let sit 10 minutes to thicken up slightly.
Divide soup among bowls; season with pepper and drizzle with oil.
Do Ahead: Soup can be made 3 days ahead; cover and chill.
Recipe by Rick Martinez
Photograph by Alex Lau
Brown Butter–Pecan Granola
Makes about 5 cups
What every other granola wishes it could be—toasty and nutty, with pieces that break into crunchy clusters instead of crumbs.
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
¼ cup (packed) dark brown sugar
¼ cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup pecans
2 cups old-fashioned oats
½ cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup sweetened dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 275°. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring often, until butter foams, then browns (do not let burn), 5–8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in brown sugar, honey, and vanilla. Set aside.
Pulse pecans in a food processor until almost a powder (you should have only a few larger pieces remaining). Combine pecans, oats, pumpkin seeds, coconut, orange zest, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl; drizzle in reserved butter mixture and toss to combine.
Spread out granola on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and bake, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, 40–50 minutes (mixture will still look wet but will dry as it cools). Let granola cool on baking sheet, then break into clusters. Mix in cranberries.
Do Ahead: Granola can be made 1 week ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
Recipe by Cassandra Shupp Of Topping Rose House, Bridgehampton, NY, Photos by Matt Duckor
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