A few weeks ago, that lots of the people who read this newsletter enjoy fast, easy weeknight recipes. In the spirit of not overthinking it: let’s keep that train rolling.
For this week’s installment, the recipes I picked came with a couple of self-imposed criteria. Aside from being fast and easy and weeknight-appropriate, they have to be somewhat warm and comforting (I know we don’t all live in the northeast, but it’s where I’m writing from, so hey), and they can also bear no resemblance to Super Bowl food (). So: regardless of what you did for (or during, or in complete antipathy towards) the big game, today’s newsletter is a hiatus from copious amounts of melted cheese, buffalo anything, and the commingling of ground beef and beans.
What could that possibly leave us with? Well, for starters, one of the great pasta dishes of all time: Linguine with Clams. This version uses only fresh clams, which have an unmatched flavor and briny punch (compared to the ones in the can). The more clams you use, the better the dish, but they’re not always cheap (yes, yes, clams cost clams). Even if you just use a dozen (as opposed to two or three or four dozen), you obviously won’t have a ton of meat, but the liquid that releases is still plenty to form a beautiful coating for the pasta (especially when mixed with olive oil and sizzled garlic).
I’m also giving you a red lentil dal spiked with ginger, garlic, mustard seeds, cloves, and plenty of deeply-browned onions. Red lentils are thin, and thus cook incredibly quickly, so this hearty bowl of—I say this with the utmost affection—mush comes together in a flash. Finally, there’s warm spinach salad with bacon and poached eggs. I know salads don’t normally qualify as “warm and comforting,” and feel free to fight me on this, but for me, this one fits the bill. The dressing is made right in the skillet with the bacon, which beautifully wilts and warms the greens. Combine that with an oozing egg yolk? Forget about it.
Have a wonderful week, and if you choose to spend it eating buffalo-chicken-chili-nachos, that’s fine, too.
You can make clam sauce with canned clams, but once you try it with fresh you may never go back; this dish is amazing.
This dal (made with quick-cooking red lentils) is about as simple as dal gets. A lump of butter stirred in at the end makes it nice and creamy, but to keep it vegan you can just use a little neutral oil instead (or leave it out entirely).
The salad for meat-eaters. You have some latitude here: poached eggs are classic, but any preparation where the yolk oozes a bit (like over-easy) will achieve your decadent dressing goals. Also feel free to replace some or all of the spinach with any bitter greens like dandelion, mustard or turnip greens, frisée, or watercress.
Talk To Me, Goose!
Questions, comments, brilliant suggestions? Just want to share the recipe for your grandma's potato salad, or your mom's meatloaf, or your uncle Drew's three-day 100-percent rye loaf (yes, please)? Don't hesitate to reach out anytime.