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We're celebrating Meatless Mondays with balanced, delicious meal plans. We hope you'll join us -- whether you're vegetarian all the time or just here and there.
Today: Carbohydrates, cheese, and alcohol. And some greens, too.
Sometimes you need a dinner that serves as a delivery system for carbohdyrates, cheese, and alcohol. This is that meal, only slightly funkier. Basil simple syrup, yuzu juice, and dandelion greens will make you feel sophisticated, even if you're eating in high-waisted sweatpants while watching "Garfield." Use what you can find easily -- substitute arugala or escarole for the dandelion greens, and lemon or lime juice for the yuzu.
Here's how to make it:
Prep the cocktail by steeping fresh basil leaves in a hot simple syrup for 15 minutes. Pour through a sieve and chill the strained syrup in the refrigerator while you make the pasta. Bring a large pot of water with 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil. While the water is heating, sauté a bunch of dandelion greens, tough stems removed, in garlic until they're wilted and softened, about 5 minutes.
Cook the pasta until al dente. While the pasta cooks, mix equal parts basil syrup, yuzu juice (or lime juice, lemon juice, or a mixture of the two), and vodka. Just before draining the pasta, scoop 1/3 of the reserved pasta water and whisk it into a couple of lightly beaten eggs. Add the drained pasta to the sauté pan (off the heat) with the dandelion greens. Drizzle in the eggs and chili flakes and toss everything together, seasoning as needed. Stir in grated Pecorino and fresh bread crumbs. Pour your drinks over ice and start twirling your pasta.
Take advantage of our handy grocery list and click the recipe photos or titles to see (and save and print) the full recipes.
Yuzu juice (unsweetened), or fresh grapefruit, lemon, lime juice, or a combination
12 ounces pici or bucatini pasta
1 bunch dandelion greens
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or dried crushed chili
1/4 cup grated fresh Pecorino Romano cheese
2 tablespoons coarse fresh bread crumbs
You’re probably all set with sugar, garlic, eggs, extra-virgin olive oil, and salt. If you’re running low, add those to the list, too.
Photos by James Ransom and Sarah Shatz