Beef and cheddar pasta bake.

So, if you’re looking for recipes that will jump-start your healthy eating habits in the new year … well, this is not that recipe. There’s nothing especially virtuous about this Beef and Cheddar Pasta Bake, dietarily speaking—its virtues are purely sensuous: cheesy, comforting goodness. If you recall that recurring menu item from your elementary school cafeteria days, you might think of this as a sort of upgraded version of Johnny Marzetti. I’ve adapted an old Pierre Franey recipe from the 1990s from the New York Times Cooking app—and it’s pretty much what you’re craving on these bitterly cold nights. Add a brightly dressed green salad and a glass of wine, and you’re good to go. Get the recipe on writes4food.com! Continue reading

Couscous salad with apples and feta.

I made up this recipe after we had a similar salad at a delightful little bar/cafe in Lucca, Tuscany. Couscous is the ideal base for any kind of salad—and this one has a lovely range of flavors and textures: crisp, sweet apple, salty Feta, briny olive, crunchy almonds. It’s kinda perfect, actually. Get the recipe for Couscous Salad with Apple and Feta over on writes4food.com! Continue reading

Black pepper taralli (or, the best cocktail snack ever).

black pepper taralli

When Rob and I traveled to Italy recently, I was obsessed—obsessed!—with taralli, those most perfect of cocktail nibbles. Cute and round and packed with flavors of olive oil, pepper and salt, these little, round, shortbread-like crackers are perfect with an aperitivo. They’re hard to find in the U.S., so I was delighted to find an easy recipe to make them at home. Get it at writes4food.com! Continue reading

All-vegetable ‘Bolognese’ pasta sauce.

hearty vegetable bolognese recipe | writes4food.com

This vegetable-centric Bolognese pasta sauce is just what I’m craving right now: full of seasonal vegetables (mushrooms, bell pepper, onion, butternut squash), yet not too heavy. It’s just right for fall. Make a big batch this weekend, and stash leftovers in the freezer for frosty winter dinners. Get the recipe on writes4food.com! Continue reading

Sweet-spicy red bell pepper jam.

sweet and spicy red pepper jam recipe | writes4food.com

What to do with the crop of red bell peppers from the garden or farmers’ market? Make jam, of course! Sweet and a bit spicy (you can up the spice level to suit your taste), this is the perfect accompaniment to a salty cheese like Manchego. Inspired by a dish we had on vacation earlier this year. Get the recipe on writes4food.com! Continue reading

Caprese salad with homemade ricotta.

If you’re tired of sliced tomatoes and fresh mozzarella — the classic Caprese salad — try it with freshly made ricotta cheese instead. Homemade ricotta? Absolutely! Super easy and fun. Start with high quality dairy (we love Snowville Creamery products) and let heat and acid work their magic! Get the recipe for homemade ricotta cheese on writes4food.com! Continue reading