Love the idea of some new recipes for your repertoire? You and your family will love these dishes.  The recipes are simple and do not take a lot of time. Best of all, they are packed with great flavor.

Orecchiette with Brown Butter, Broccoli, Pine Nuts and Basil*

Brown butter is butter that is cooked until it takes on an amber brown color and nutty flavor. There’s nothing to it, but you’ll be amazed at what this extra step does for a simple pasta dish. Of course, the basil -which has the ability to take a good recipe and make it better -doesn’t hurt, either. Cooked shrimp or chicken can be added to the pasta. (Omit the nuts if there’s someone with a nut allergy.)



13 ounces broccoli florets with 1-inch stems (about 6 cups)

1 pound orecchiette

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter

1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Extra virgin olive oil, for serving


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the broccoli and cook for about 2 minutes, or just until bright green. Using a mesh spoon or sieve, scoop the broccoli out of the water, draining it well, and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Set aside.

Return the water to a boil. Add the orecchiette and cook, stirring often to ensure it doesn’t stick together, for about 8 minutes, or until tender but still firm to the bite. Scoop out and reserve ‘/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain the orecchiette.

Meanwhile, heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and stir for about 2 minutes, or until it has turned hazelnut brown. Add the broccoli and cook, stirring often, for about 1 minute, or until hot.

Add the pasta to the broccoli mixture and stir gently to combine. Stir in the basil, pine nuts, and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in enough of the reserved cooking water to moisten the pasta as necessary.

Divide the pasta among four pasta bowls, drizzle with olive oil, and serve.

Greek-Style Lamb Tacos with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce and Salad**

Serves four


1 tbsp. grapeseed oil

½ med. red onion, finely chopped

1 lb. ground lamb

1 tsp. kosher salt

½ tsp. black pepper

½ tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. dried oregano

8 corn tortillas, 6-inch taco size

2 c. cucumber yogurt sauce (recipe below)

1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped for salad

½ head butter lettuce, such as Bibb, washed and chopped

1 navel orange, peeled and chopped

2 tbsp. dressing of choice

Black pepper


1. Heat a 10- to 12-inch skillet over medium heat and add the oil. Add the onion and sauté until softened, 3-4 minutes.

2. Add the ground lamb and season with the salt, pepper, cumin, and oregano, stirring to combine. Cook until the lamb is browned and no longer pink inside, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat. If necessary, drain a little fat from the pan or blot it up with a paper towel.

3. To soften, wrap the tortillas in wet paper towels and microwave for 30 seconds or heat one by one in a lightly oiled pan for 10 seconds per side.

4. Spoon 3 tbsp. of the lamb into each tortilla followed by 2 tbsp. of yogurt sauce. Top with chopped bell pepper.

5. Arrange the tacos on a serving platter.

6. In a large salad bowl, combine the lettuce, oranges, and dressing. Sprinkle with pepper.

Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

Makes two cups


1 med. cucumber, peeled

1 c. plain nonfat Greek yogurt

Juice of 1 lime

½ bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley

¼ tsp. kosher salt

1. Shred half the cucumber.

2. Cut the other half into a ½-inch dice.

3. Combine the shredded cucumber, yogurt, and lime juice.

4. Mix in the diced cucumber and parsley.

5. Add salt.

6. Chill until ready to serve (up to 3 days).

Applesauce Cake***


3 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 1/4 teaspoons ground cardamom

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups packed light-brown sugar

1/4 cup honey

2 large eggs

2 cups Basic Applesauce, or store-bought chunky applesauce

Nonstick cooking spray

Confectioners’ sugar, optional


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom. Set aside.

In another bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, and honey until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture; beat just until combined. Beat in applesauce.

Generously coat a nonstick 9-inch tube pan with cooking spray. Spoon batter into pan; smooth top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean (but slightly wet), 50 to 60 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes. Turn out of pan onto a cutting board or baking sheet; invert cake onto rack, top side up. Cool completely. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving, if desired.


*Recipe Reprinted from:

**Recipe Reprinted from:

***Recipe Reprinted from: