Roasted Red Pepper & Parmesan Soup

Most of my favorite soups have “peasant” origins. From the poorest “peas porridge” to simple black bean, reheated ribollita to wintermelon and stock, this humble fare reminds me that you don’t have to simmer a whole great number of specific things to come away with a really great soup. Especially if your ingredients are great on their own.

Homemade Orecchiette (or something almost resembling it) with Broccoli Rabe & Lemon Butter

Anyone who’s a real purist of pasta is going to take one look at these misshapen dumpling-like things and sneer. Can’t blame me for being a little over-ambitious for a weeknight meal, but you can for exaggeration in calling these “orecchiette.” Well, I’m just not sure what else to call them. But they taste alright — especially when tossed in a buttery, fresh lemon sauce and surrounded by spicy broccoli rabe.