3 Surprising Pantry Ingredients Dorie Greenspan Uses to Upgrade Wintry Pasta

Her special menu for one.

December 18, 2018

Even when we start the week with the greatest of intentions—to bring lunch every day, to cook dinner every night—a few unexpected factors (a late meeting, an impromptu drink with a friend) are enough to derail those best-laid plans. Lucky for us, Dorie Greenspan is ready to help.

The famed cookbook author might well be known for her cookie prowess (in fact, she has a cookbook dedicated to just that), but her latest book, Everyday Dorie chronicles just that: the go-to meals she turns to, day in and day out.

In the latest installment of our Dinner with Dorie series, she shows us what she likes to whip up when finds herself dining solo. The menu comprises just two recipes: Pasta with Cabbage, Winter Squash, and Walnuts; and a Salted-Chocolate Hot Fudge Sundae that further underscores our love for this woman. It's a simple but comforting lineup that just so happens to be vegetarian-friendly. "I rarely say vegetarian because this is just a good meal," she explains. "And it happens to not to have any meat or fish in it."

In this easy-as-pie meal, Dorie's gift to us lies in three little secret ingredients that take her pasta from good to great: cider vinegar, honey, and dried cranberries. "You want to give it that vinegar kick," she says of the vinegar. It's an easy way to liven up cold weather palates accustomed to richer flavors. The honey rounds out the sharpness, and the dried cranberries are tossed into the pasta water last-minute: "It's nice to let them boil in water because they plump that way."

"The way I cook is I like to put something unexpected, something surprising in every dish, so that even if you think you know the dish, there's something there that you're going to taste and say 'Oh! Oh, I didn't know that would be there.'"

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“I think cooking the dried cranberries with the pasta water is just brilliant-cant Wait to make this for my pasta loving . partner - wonderful meatlessmonday choice”
— Doris

Dorie Greenspan, keeping us on our toes at every turn. Watch the full video up top for more.

What is your favorite menu for one? Let us know below!

Order now

A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

Order now

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Julie
  • Kate
  • Adrian Seltzer
    Adrian Seltzer
  • pamela p. nangle
    pamela p. nangle
  • Jan gautro
    Jan gautro
Hana is a food writer/editor based in New York.


Julie January 10, 2019
This looks great and I can't wait to try it. I really love watching the video - it really helps to see her techniques -- so much fun!
Kate January 7, 2019
I love this pasta so much that I’ve made it 2 times in the last week...and the hot fudge sundae too, of course. I can’t get enough of Dorie!
Hana A. January 8, 2019
Oh my, what great news! Thanks so much for letting us know how delicious it is, Kate!
Adrian S. January 5, 2019
I would skip the cranberries and saute some apple cubes with the squash. Is there sage in the recipe?
Hana A. January 8, 2019
No sage in the recipe, but that sounds like a wonderful twist!
pamela P. January 4, 2019
We stumbled upon her restaurant Prune in New York and have been a fan ever since. I have her cookbook "Around My French Table" and want to acquire the new one she mentioned in the video. What a character she is! Love her method of constructing the Hot Fudge Sundae!
Juliebell January 4, 2019
I think Prune is chef Gabrielle Hamilton’s restaurant.
pamela P. January 4, 2019
I think you’re absolutely right! If you haven’t tried it you should!
Juliebell January 4, 2019
It’s on my “bucket list”. Thanks for the recommend.
Jan G. January 4, 2019
Can’t wait to try this!!!
Hana A. January 8, 2019
Let us know how it goes!
Jordan P. January 4, 2019
she is my new favorite person!
Sfpami January 4, 2019
Met her recently at a dinner and book signing. She is a genuine, kind person.
Hana A. January 8, 2019
Couldn't agree more! Her warmth is true and genuine. Thank you for reading!
Doris December 18, 2018
Looks delicious! I think cooking the dried cranberries with the pasta water is just brilliant-cant Wait to make this for my pasta loving . partner - wonderful meatlessmonday choice
Hana A. January 8, 2019
Hope you enjoy it, Doris!