This is about as springtime as it gets. Fresh garden peas, served with light-as-air gnocchi made with pea puree, tied together with a little butter and cheese. Just a lovely light supper.
When life gives you arugula — a wild version grows like a weed in my yard — you make arugula pesto. A peppery, bracing pesto that matches really well with homemade pasta.
I’ve been making pasta, mostly at home, but sometimes in restaurants, for more than 25 years. Over that time I’ve read a great many books on making pasta, and some of the best are very recent. Here are the best – the ones you will want to own if you want to make pasta at home.
This is an Italian classic, sugo d’anatra, or duck ragu. It’s a meaty pasta sauce that uses slow-cooked duck legs or wings for the meat, and is damn good with any pasta or polenta, but especially good with pumpkin-ricotta gnocchi.
As excited I was about roasting a seriously good chicken the other day, I might have been even more stoked for the leftovers, which became this Tuscan classic: tortellini en brodo, little dumplings filled with leftover chicken and cheese, served in a clear chicken broth.
Nothing is wasted in classical Italian cuisine, including the giblets of birds. This is a venerable variant of the traditional Bolognese sauce made with the hearts, livers and gizzards of ducks or chickens. A great use for giblets — and an easy one to serve the skeptical.
Stroganoff is a great example of what the Italians call brutti ma buoni, “ugly but good.” It ain’t the prettiest dish out there, but it’s pure comfort food joy. I make mine with venison backstrap, and it’s damn good.
This is a classic Italian recipe they use with pigeons, but it will work with squab, doves or even teal, too. Roasted birds, chopped fine and stuffed into an egg pasta, served with juniper butter with rosemary.