1. In a large sauté pan, cook the sausages in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat until brown on all sides, 10 to 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, transfer the sausages to a cutting board and let them rest for 5 minutes. Cut the sausages into diagonal slices about 1/3 of an inch thick. Turn the heat back up to medium and brown the sausage slices well on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  2. Put the flour in a shallow bowl and season it with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the chicken thighs liberally with salt, dredge them in the flour and dust off any excess. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, and then the chicken pieces, skin side down. Do not crowd the chicken – you may need to do this in two batches. Turn the heat up to medium-high, but keep an eye on things to make sure nothing burns. Brown the chicken on both sides, about 8 minutes total, remove and set aside.
  3. Pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of the fat in the pan and set back on the stove over low heat. Add the shallots and cook for a minute, stirring frequently. Add the garlic cloves and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots and garlic start to turn golden, another 2 to 3 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes if using and cook for another minute.
  4. Add the white wine and the rosemary sprig and cook until the wine is reduced by half, scraping up all the nice brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken stock and the chicken pieces, skin side up. Bring the liquid to a boil, then lower the heat so it’s just simmering and cook uncovered, turning the chicken pieces once, until the meat is cooked through and the sauce has thickened, 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Remove the rosemary sprig and discard, then add the sausage and the artichoke hearts to the pan, stirring gently to immerse in the sauce. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if necessary. Simmer for a few minutes more to warm the sausage and artichokes, then squeeze the lemon over everything and give it one more stir. Serve immediately with roasted potatoes or a simple risotto.

Pasta, pasta, pasta 

What’s that? Stovetop lasagna, lazy alfredo, and cacio e pepe? These are pasta dishes you can make with your eyes closed. (Of course, keep those peepers opened while chopping!)

Cacio e Pepe 

Serves 2 to 4

Salt, to taste

12 ounces pasta (spaghetti or bucatini)

tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper

cup freshly grated Parmesan or Asiago, as needed

egg yolk

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add some salt to the water (not too much, as you will use this water for your sauce). Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water, then drain.
  2. In the same pot the pasta was boiled in, add 1/3 cup of the pasta water. Melt your butter into this and add the pepper. Return the cooked pasta to the pot and toss to coat.
  3. Add the cheese and egg yolk and, using tongs, toss the ingredients together until combined. If the pasta seems a little sticky, add the remaining pasta water. If it’s a little wet, add more cheese. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.

Stir-Fry Staples 

High heat, lightning fast: Stir fries are a good way to get everyone involved with chopping and portioning during prep. Just have any little ones stand back while cooking!

Stir-Fried Rice Noodles with Minced Pork and Black Bean

Serves 3 to 4

200 grams rice noodles

300 grams minced pork

1/2 cup chopped baby corn

head of broccoli, chopped into florets

1-inch pieces of ginger, finely sliced

cloves of garlic, finely chopped

small onion, chopped

stalks of spring onions, chopped (set the tops aside to use as garnish)

teaspoons black bean paste

1 1/2 teaspoons soya sauce

teaspoon rice vinegar

1/2 teaspoon chile flakes

tablespoons olive oil (plus extra for the eggs)

eggs, lightly beaten

dried red chiles, halved and de-seeded

teaspoon sesame oil

teaspoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted

tablespoons peanuts, coarsely chopped

Freshly ground black pepper

Salt

  1. Cook the rice noodles in a pot of boiling water. Immerse the baby corn into the same pot as the noodles 3 minutes before the noodles are done. Blanch the broccoli a minute before both are done, and drain out all together. You want the noodles and vegetables to be al dente and still have a bite to it.
  2. Pour the olive oil into a wok/pot over medium heat and toss in the dried red chiles, onions, spring onions (the bottom part), ginger, and garlic. Sauté for a few minutes until translucent and lightly browned.
  3. Add the pork into the wok and, using a spatula, break up any clumps that are stuck together. Brown the meat thoroughly for a few minutes. Add in the black bean paste, soya sauce, rice vinegar, pepper, and chile flakes. (Note: Start by using 2 teaspoons each of soya sauce and rice vinegar, and taste before adding more). Cook for a few minutes until the rawness of the sauces are cooked off. Taste and adjust seasoning; set aside.
  4. In a skillet, lightly toast the sesame seeds and peanuts; set aside to sprinkle on top later. In the same skillet, add a few teaspoons of olive oil and lightly scramble the eggs, keeping it just a teeny bit runny.
  5. Toss in the noodles and vegetables into the minced pork mixture; add the scrambled eggs and mix through to combine evenly. Add a little water if necessary to loosen the consistency.
  6. Tip into your serving dish and garnish with the spring onion tops, peanuts, sesame oil, and seeds.

Lazy sweets

One-bowl sweets do exist, whether it’s prepping a dump-and-stir cake or baking one big, melty cookie instead of 2 dozen. And they are magical.

Brown Butter Ginger Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie 

Serves 8 people, approximately

200 grams (1 cup or 2 sticks) butter, unsalted

215 grams (1 cup, packed) brown sugar

90 grams (1/2 cup) granulated sugar

teaspoon salt

teaspoons ground ginger

egg, plus 1 egg yolk

240 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour

teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

150 grams (5 ounces) bittersweet chocolate, chopped

  1. Preheat your oven to 375° F (190° C) and grease very well a 20-centimeter (8-inch) cake pan, or just use a similarly-sized cast iron skillet. Melt your butter in a pan that is large enough to hold the rest of the ingredients, on a very low heat, until it becomes brown and fragrant (it’ll be a very nutty aroma), stirring it occasionally, should take about 7 minutes or so.
  2. Into that same pan, add both sugars, salt, and ground ginger and mix well with a wooden spoon. Remove the mixture from the flame and allow to cool to room temperature (otherwise your egg will cook once added!). Add the egg and egg yolk, mixing until combined. Then add your flour, bicarbonate of soda and mix until just incorporated, then add the chopped chocolate and fold it in.
  3. Dump the cookie dough into your prepared pan or skillet, flattening it with the spoon or your hands until even. Bake it for around 18 to 20 minutes, or until cooked through. Cut it while it’s still hot, and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.

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