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Ragu alla Bolognese

Published November 1, 2011.

Our goal was the richest, most savory interpretation of this famous meat sauce. But how many meats did that require—and would the dairy have to go?

Lentil Salad

Published September 1, 2011.

The key to creamy but firm lentils lies in the relationship between legume and salt.

Cuban Black Beans and Rice

Published March 1, 2011.

Cooking beans and rice in a single vessel sounds like a straightforward one-pot meal—that is, until both elements cook up mushy and bland.

Quick Mushroom Ragu

Published March 1, 2011.

Making a true, long-simmered Italian meat sauce means tending the pot for hours. Is it possible to achieve deep, satisfying flavor in just 30 minutes?

Spaghetti with Lemon and Olive Oil (al Limone)

Published January 1, 2011.

Unaccustomed to the spotlight, lemon can turn temperamental in this quick-hit Italian classic—unless you provide it with the perfect costars.

Basic Couscous

Published January 1, 2011.

Back-of-the-package instructions may be simple, but too often they yield a tasteless, soggy mess. To cook couscous properly, we had to think outside the box.

Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs for a Crowd

Published November 1, 2010.

Meatballs and tomato gravy are the ultimate comfort food, except when you're the cook. To cut the fuss, and still feed a crowd, we start by turning on the oven.

Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Italian Sausage and Fennel

Published March 1, 2010.

Tomato sauce is almost never the right choice for capitalizing on this pasta’s robust flavors.

Rice Pilaf Cooking Method

Published January 1, 2010.

Follow these steps to prepare long-grain rice with distinct, separate grains that do not clump together.

Red Beans and Rice

Published January 1, 2010.

In New Orleans, cooks transform inexpensive dried beans into a creamy, smoky stew. So why is it so hard to translate this dish once you cross the state line?

French Pork and White Bean Casserole

Published November 1, 2009.

Sausage, beans and a homemade breadcrumb topping come together for a traditional French favorite. We shortened the multi-day cassoulet recipe into an afternoon affair.

Pasta alla Norma

Published July 1, 2009.

Meaty eggplant meets bold tomato sauce for a satisfying weeknight meal, Sicilian-style—but the tale turns tragic if it’s dense and greasy.

Pasta with Tomato and Almond Pesto

Published July 1, 2009.

Not all pesto is basil, pine nuts, and Parmesan. In Sicily, tomatoes and almonds take center stage.

Brown Rice with Onions and Peppers

Published March 1, 2009.

We’ve already solved the cooking problems that plague brown rice. Now, what to do about jazzing up its taste?

Baked Ziti

Published March 1, 2009.

This pasta dish boasts robust tomato flavor and layers of cheese in every bite.

Pasta with Butternut Squash and Sage

Published January 1, 2009.

The blandness of butternut squash usually gets camouflaged inside ravioli. Our goal was to bump up its flavor to bring it out of hiding.

Asian Noodles 101

Published September 1, 2008.

The Asian noodle world is vast and varied, but also confusing. Here’s what you need to know.

Pork Stir-Fry with Noodles (Lo Mein)

Published September 1, 2008.

Pork lo mein is full of ingredients we love: fresh egg noodles, smoky barbecued pork, and pungent Chinese vegetables. So why can't takeout joints deliver a winning version?

Pasta with Olives, Garlic, and Herbs

Published July 1, 2008.

Made in Italy with the very best local olives and extra-virgin olive oil, this simple dish can be superb. But how good can it get with ingredients from the supermarket?

Pasta with Creamy Tomato Sauce

Published May 1, 2008.

Combining tomatoes and cream can result in a tinny-tasting mixture more akin to canned soup than pasta sauce. What's the secret to a successful marriage of the two?

Making Pasta

Published May 1, 2008.

There are a few tips to ensure your pasta comes out perfectly cooked every time. Be sure you use enough water and never rinse the pasta.

Spring Vegetable Risotto

Published May 1, 2008.

Bland flavor and mushy vegetables can ruin this Italian classic. Could we boost taste while improving the vegetables' texture?

Making Sticky Rice

Published November 1, 2007.

Rinsing and draining the rice before cooking allows some starches to wash away and releases others, making the rice sticky.

Ricotta Gnocchi

Published September 1, 2007.

This elegant Florentine dish is the lighter cousin of potato gnocchi. But achieving the right texture requires more than a simple ricotta-for-potato swap.

Preventing Gnocchi from Falling Apart

Published September 1, 2007.

The dough has to have the right consistency, and the gnocchi must be cooked very gently. Try a few at first to see if your dough needs more flour.

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