English Muffin Tid-Bits

Onions, garlic and butter transform a plain English muffin into the perfect dipper for a bowl of minestrone soup.

  • 1 package English muffins
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  1. Preheat broiler. Open English muffins and spread with butter.
  2. Combine the onion and garlic and spread evenly amongst slices. Sprinkle on poppy seeds.
  3. Broil until lightly golden.
  4. Serve warm.

Spaghetti Amatraciana

This satisfying pasta with a sauce of bacon, onions and tomatoes is one of Lucinda’s favorites. Adapted from the book “Lucinda’s Rustic Italian Kitchen,” by Lucinda Scala Quinn

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces thick-cut pancetta or lightly smoked bacon, cut in 1/4-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 shallots, peeled and sliced crosswise (about 1/4 cup)
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, with juices, lightly pulsed in food processor or blender
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • Freshly grated Pecorino or Romano cheese, or can also use Parmesan
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
  2. Place 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the pancetta in a large skillet over high heat and cook until the fat is completely rendered and the pancetta is crispy, about 6 to 8 minutes. Pour off the fat and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the shallots and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Swirl in the remaining tablespoon of butter.
  3. Meanwhile, generously salt the boiling water. Add the spaghetti and cook until tender but still firm. Set the timer for 2 minutes less than the package instructions specify and taste for doneness. Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce. Toss to coat and serve topped with freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese.


Berries with Buttermilk and Honey

Here’s a sensational (as in highly satisfying to the senses) finish to a summer supper: Whirl tangy buttermilk, ice, and honey into a sweet, frothy cloud of a frappe. Serve with a colorful jumble of the season’s jewel-like berries, scattered with a few mint leaves.

  • 2 cups cold buttermilk
  • 1 cup ice
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 3 cups mixed berries (any combination of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries)
  • ½ cup fresh mint
  1. Blend buttermilk, ice, and honey in a blender until frothy.
  2. Combine mixed berries with fresh mint.
  3. Divide iced buttermilk and berries among 4 to 6 bowls.