What are your favorite ingredients and tools? My go-to ingredients that I always have on hand are ricotta, basil, salt, and pickle juice. I love chorizo, andouille and blood sausage, saffron, oysters, and I'll pickle anything. My fridge is never without a wedge of Parmesan, that I can grate into anything—soups, pasta, rice dishes. I've hit a recent busy patch, so I'm concentrating on building natural flavors, but making the cooking process simpler. I love to throw some sun-dried tomatoes, and a lump of ricotta into the food processor, and quickly toss it in whole wheat penne. I love to make Pesto from scratch; chunky, raw, hand chopped. Tipped off by a friend, I've been poaching a whole chicken in a big pot of water, together with a lots of fresh Ginger. Carrots, celery, onions, garlic, peppercorns, (or whatever you have in the fridge, really. Parsley, or any stray fresh herbs). Simmer, let sit, and then after it's cooled, shred the chicken and use it for the entire week. In salads, sandwiches, or even a risotto. When you do make the risotto, use the water from the poached chicken as your stock, instead of a carton of chicken stock. It's phenomenal. I love that cooking the chicken this way is a 1-step cooking process, that gleans me 2 things. Cooked chicken, and flavorful broth.