As many others did too, I cooked a lot in December, both for family gatherings and weeknight meals at home. I narrowed this month’s recipe roundup down to five dishes and each one listed here is a star. They are indulgent, beautiful, and filling. I hope you find an occasion to make one of these!
Torta di Maccheroni (Macaroni and Cheese Puff Pastry Pie) from A Table for Friends (shown above)
Oh! This pie was a hit. My friend Marlo made it for the cookbook club I hosted last month, and my sister took on the challenge for Christmas dinner this year. August even tried a bit of the dish and named it “Sloppy Pie,” which perfectly describes the flaky crust and gooey filling.
I’m including a link to a similar recipe here, but if you want the exact one, I highly recommend ordering the book A Table for Friends, which became one of my go-to cookbooks in 2021.
Miso Roasted Squash and Potatoes from The Modern Cook’s Year
If you are getting tired of your standard roasted veggies, try this recipe out. The harissa and miso give a whole new zing to your standard squash and potato sheet pan roast.
This recipe can be found online at the link below. If you want to try out more of Anna Jones’ vegetarian recipes, consider ordering The Modern Cook’s Year.
Potato Pie with Comté Cheese from A Kitchen in France
This would be a great recipe for NYE dinner or simply served at room temperature and cut into wedges as an appetizer. It was easy to make and assemble ahead of time—just be sure to cook it a bit longer than the recipe requires if you take it from the fridge directly to the oven.
The recipe is from Mimi Thorisson’s beautiful cookbook, A Kitchen in France. You can also find an adapted version at the link below.
Spaghetti alla Carbonara from Old World Italian
I didn’t realize I was making carbonara “wrong” until I tried this recipe! Old World Italian is a fantastic cookbook for learning about the different cuisines of Italy region by region, with lots of anecdotes sprinkled in. I highly recommend it.
I’m including a link to a similar recipe here, but if you want the exact one, consider ordering the cookbook!
Culurgionis (Pecorino-Filled Dumplings) from Bitter Honey
Consider these a Sardinian version of ravioli. The filling is bright and minty, the pasta rustic and simple to make. I used a food processor to bring the dough together quickly. Both the filling and dough can be made ahead of time, which makes assembling and cooking the pasta a great activity for a dinner party of 4-6. Consider assembling dumplings a group activity to be done over drinks!
I’m including a link to a similar recipe here, but if you want the exact one, consider ordering the Bitter Honey cookbook.
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BY Kate Arends - December 30, 2021
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.