More Ketchup, Please

Watch Chef Dan Kluger Make the One Dish His Daughters Can’t Get Enough Of

It doesn’t get better than pasta for dinner.

July 25, 2019

Welcome to “More Ketchup, Please,” our newest series that’s spilling the beans on all the different ways we cook for, and with, our kids. We've got some great guests stopping by, to get schooled by their little ones on how to perfect family favorites. The more (cooks) the merrier? We think so.

Sometimes the toughest crowd, even for a celebrated chef, is his own family—as Loring Place’s Dan Kluger attests to when he steps into our kitchen with daughters Ella (13) and Georgia (10). “My first food memory is creamy, buttery rice with rosemary chicken. But he didn’t make it,” says Georgia, “she did,” she adds, pointing to her mom. “Look at the shade I get,” says Kluger.

Of course, Kluger’s got tricks to please. We all know he has a way with vegetables, and family-style pasta is something everyone can get behind, so it’s easy to believe that his ricotta cavatelli—plain with a side of roasted veggies (“no cheese, please”) for Georgia, and marinara for Ella (“more cheese, please”)—draws raves from everyone.

Dan Kluger’s response to picky palates is to find a middle ground—and occasionally, omit the details. “How would you even know if I put mushroom in something? Or sardines?” he asks the girls. His other trick? To get them involved in the kitchen.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“Looks amazing! I love cavatelli pasta. What brand cavatelli maker is chef using in the video?”
— Janet

And he does. Kluger grew up in a family where cooking always played a major role, so he is a big believer in having food be a major part of home life. “I give them little tasks,” he says, “like you're going to cut some herbs, and you're going to peel some garlic, or whatever. Basically having everything ready to go, and not being in a situation where I need this right now.” “Or, you could just let it go our way,” says Georgia (aka Kluger’s hype girl—watch the video).

And with this cavatelli, their way it was. Its allure lies in its minimalism, in being both fun to make and deceptively simple. So make a triple batch and freeze it—and bring it out, with mix-ins of your choice, every time you need to please a crowd. Or your family.

What are your favorite crowd-pleasing dinner recipes? Tell us in the comments below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • CorCor Kay
    CorCor Kay
  • Janet
Arati Menon

Written by: Arati Menon

Arati grew up hanging off the petticoat-tails of three generations of Indian matriarchs who used food to speak their language of love—and she finds herself instinctually following suit. Life has taken her all across the world, but she carries with her a menagerie of inherited home and kitchen objects that serve as her anchor. Formerly at GQ and Architectural Digest, she's now based in Brooklyn.


CorCor K. December 27, 2020
The recipe looks great but the kids were the real star here. While I myself have always been a polite Ella type the zaney Georgia kept the antics to adorable! Keep it up!
Janet July 25, 2019
Looks amazing! I love cavatelli pasta. What brand cavatelli maker is chef using in the video?