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The Best New Cookbooks

Our top 6 favorites are bound to please someone on your list (including you). Sample 5 recipes from the books

Penne with Ricotta and Mushrooms

Adapted from Lidia's Commonsense Italian Cooking: 150 Delicious and Simple Recipes Anyone Can Master by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali (Knopf, 2013)

Serves 6

This is a simple recipe, packed with flavor and with a great mouth texture. It can also be made in any season of the year, since mushrooms now abound on our store shelves year-round. I love mushrooms; they deliver a lot of flavor and texture without the heavy calories. The creaminess of the ricotta adds to the complexity of the flavor, and the pasta carries it all deliciously.

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for the pot
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary needles
  • 1 pound mixed fresh mushrooms
  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 pound penne
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh ricotta (abut 12 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta. In a large skillet, over medium heat, heat the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic, and cook until it is sizzling. Add the rosemary and cook a few seconds until fragrant. Raise the heat to medium-high, add the mushrooms, and season with the salt. Cook until the mushrooms are browned and wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the scallions and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Ladle in 1 cup pasta water, and simmer until mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes.

While the sauce simmers, cook the pasta. When the sauce is ready and the pasta is al dente, remove the penne with a slotted spoon and add it directly to the sauce. Stir in the ricotta and parsley, and cook until warmed through. Remove the skillet from the heat, stir in the grated cheese, and serve.

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