First courses–typically soup and pasta.

Oil-based, Primi

Orrechiette with Broccoli Rabe

This is another sauce in the olive oil and garlic family. Broccoli rabe (aka rapini) is sort of a wild cousin to broccoli, or a cross between broccoli and cauliflower. It used to be hard to find, but now you can get it in any supermarket. I used to grow all three in my garden, […]

Butter-based, Primi

Tortellini in Panna

Pasta sauces can be divided into two categories: those that start from a base of olive oil and garlic, and those that start from a base of butter and cream. This is the most basic version of the butter and cream sauces. Years ago, tortellini was a very special thing. You had to get it […]

Oil-based, Primi

Spaghetti alle Vongole

Spaghetti with clam sauce. If you can manage to make the basic spaghetti agli’olio, you can make this—it’s not much harder. I originally made this with clams in a can—and if that’s all you have, that’s fine. But it’s of course much better with fresh, whole clams. I made this when you kids were very […]