Everything We’ve Been Cooking in March

Pastas, dumplings, and two very different kinds of ribs

By SAVEUR Editors

Published on March 30, 2018

This year, March was in like a lion and out like a— oh, wait, that's not March? Ok, fine, but it sure felt like March gave us a lot of strange things to deal with, including the weather. That's why the recipes we cooked this month were kind of all over the place. We went from wanting comforting pastas and hearty breakfasts one day to craving spicy ribs and summery chocolate desserts the next. Compound that with a need to ferment just about anything we could get our hands on, and you've got a recipe for, well, a really great roundup of things we cooked this month.

"This is a nod to tahini dip, done in a way where you also get sweet and sour flavors from fresh and fermented vegetables," Burns says. "The sesame helps emulsify, and lemon juice, garlic, and spices lend a little acid and heat." If you have another fermented vegetable on hand, you can substitute all fresh squash and use the lacto-brine from that vegetable in place of or in addition to the lemon juice. Get the recipe for Fermented Squash and Sesame Dip »

This classic French meal of baked, cream-soaked toast and eggs is deceptively simple (and scalable) but lavish. Named for the Alpine region of Bresse, which is best known to the culinary world for its exceptional chickens, the dish is practical country cooking at its finest. As it bakes, the cream soaks into the bread and thickens to a rich sauce right on the platter, resulting in a savory French toast. Get the recipe for French Baked Toast with Cream and Eggs »

Ruweena Deen's chicken buriyani with wattalapan, Malay pickle, and mint sambol. Get the recipe for Sri Lankan Chicken Buriyani »

Khinkali are Georgian soup dumplings. In the high Caucasus mountains of Kazbegi, the khinkali are usually stuffed with lightly spiced meat. Get the recipe for Meat-Filled Khinkali Dumplings »

In Rome's beloved version of pasta all'amatriciana, the crushed tomatoes and their juices are simmered in lard or the rendered fat of guanciale, a cured pork jowl that also garnishes the dish. In this creatively bastardized version the rendered fat is cut back, the onions are deeply caramelized, and the sauce cooked slowly for richness and depth of flavor. Along with spaghetti and bucatini, mezze maniche rigate, a ridged tube akin to a half rigatoni, is traditional with amatriciana in Rome, but fusilli, which Bottura uses as an alternative, is great for lapping up the sauce. Stir the sauce often while it cooks to prevent sticking and scorching. Get the recipe for Mezze Maniche All'Amatriciana a Modena »

Rumor has it that pasta puttanesca–literally "whore's pasta"–was a quick and easy dinner of choice among Napolitan working ladies, but the dish's salatious history is unlikely. Get the recipe for Classic Spaghetti Puttanesca »

Raegan Steinberg, co-owner of Arthur's Nosh Bar in Montreal's hip Saint-Henri neighborhood, calls her partner chef Alex Cohen an "everything and the kitchen sink kind of cook." Called the McArthur Sandwich, this high-piled schnitzel-filled creation adapted from the restaurant is the perfect example of his genius. Pounded and breaded chicken is topped with sweet honey, salty dill pickles, and vinegar-y iceberg slaw, then served upon crispy challah toast. The secret to the crunchy yet hearty schnitzel breading: instant mashed potato flakes mixed into the breadcrumbs. Get the recipe for The Ultimate Fried Chicken Sandwich »

In Spain's Basque Country, marmitako means roughly "from the pot." This rustic, filling soup, now common in Basque homes and sociedades, began as a meal local tuna fishermen would make during long fishing routes on their boats, and still do. Traditionally, locals crack the potatoes with a partial cut, then break off ragged chunks to toss into and add starchiness to the soup. Adding the tuna right at the end, just as the soup is removed from the heat, keeps the fish moist and tender. Get the recipe for Basque Tuna and Potato Soup (Marmitako) »

These starchy sandwiches are a popular beachside snack in Mumbai. Fluffy Goan-style white rolls are filled with a crispy fried potato patty, sweet and spicy chutneys, and a garlicky powdered chile-coconut condiment. Get the recipe for Vada Pav (Indian Veggie Burgers) »

Tangy fermented pepper paste, the base of Burns' harissa, can be customized to be as sweet or spicy as you prefer. "Mine is usually in the middle," she says. The sauce can be used immediately, but Burns says the leftovers will continue to improve in taste for up to 6 months and keep indefinitely in the refrigerator. Slow-cooking the short ribs at the oven's lowest temperature, or in a low-heat dehydrator, ensures that the centers stay medium-rare. And a quick sear on a grill or grill pan delivers crispy edges. Get the recipe for Short Ribs with Fermented Pepper Harissa »

A quick, buttery, sesame- and poppy-seedy snack from Denmark. Chef Claus Meyers of Meyers Bageri makes his traditional frøsnappere using a yeasted, laminated danish dough. Our quick version substitutes packaged puff pastry for a lightly sweetened twist that you can have ready in under an hour. Get the recipe for Danish Seeded Pastry Twists (Frøsnappers) »

These crustless tarts, adapted from Ana Sortun and Maura Kilpatrick's book Soframiz, are inspired by a yogurt and semolina custard that is traditionally baked inside cooked grape leaves in Greece. The authors say that, even though the grape leaves aren't rolled and filled cigar-style, the filled tarts are still a version of a dolma, a word that means "stuffed" in Turkish and Greek. "I love this version because the grape leaves get crispy and a little caramelized," Sortun says. They work equally well in ceramic ramekins, fluted or non-fluted tart pans, muffin tins, or small cast iron baking dishes. Get the recipe for Spicy Lamb and Grape Leaf Tarts With Orzo and Feta »

The Georgian restaurant Diaroni is famous for its delicate veal ribs. Since ribs these fine are hard to find in other countries, cookbook author Carla Capalbo sometimes substitutes baby back pork ribs. For added flavor, marinate the meat several hours before cooking. Get the recipe for Spicy Ribs (Tskhare Neknebi) »

"It's a common misconception that tortelli and tortellini are the same," chef Evan Funke of Felix in Los Angeles says. Unlike round tortellini, tortelli (the proper name for these ravioli-like stuffed pastas) are squares or rectangles simply folded over a filling and sealed. This is a thicker dough and more toothsome, too. A classic autumn condimento is a porcini mushroom sauce. "When it's mushroom season in Italy, you eat porcini until you're blue in the face," says Funke. Get the recipe for Potato and Cheese Tortelli with Porcini Mushrooms »

Corn is prevalent in Gascony, France, where it's used to feed the region's famous foie gras ducks. It's also the star of this pain de méture, a Gascon cornbread made with sourdough and baked in a cast iron pan. This cabbage-leaf-lined version from New York-based baker Kamel Saci was tested by Saveur contributor Kate Hill, a cook and cooking instructor in the region, who loves the crispy bits of cabbage that sear around the bread's edges. Get the recipe for Gascon Sourdough Cornbread (Pain de Méture) »

This flaky, comforting puff pastry hand pie is evil but genius—it tastes like the Italian version of a ham and cheese croissant, but without the labor of from-scratch pastry. Mortadella, a pork-based deli meat with pistachios and delicate morsels of pork fat, is available at many grocery stores, and Italian markets. Get the recipe for Mortadella and Fontina Slab Pie »

Coco Rico is a mild, coconut-flavored soda from Puerto Rico that is also used as an ingredient in Vietnamese cooking. If you can't find it, substitute the same amount of Sprite mixed with ¼ teaspoon of coconut extract. Get the recipe for Braised and Caramelized Vietnamese Coco Pork Belly (Thit Kho) »

This recipe, from Madhur Jaffrey's A Taste of India, is part of SAVEUR's November 2017 cookbook club. Though we've tested this recipe in the SAVEUR test kitchen, we present it in its original, unedited form from the book. Get the recipe for Mushrooms with Fennel and Ginger »

Jon & Vinny's restaurant in Los Angeles serves this rich bittersweet chocolate budino with caramel sauce, a drizzle of fruity olive oil, and flaky sea salt crystals. For an easy but impressive dinner-party dessert, we skip the caramel, pile the pudding in a pretty glass bowl, and drizzle it in extra-virgin olive oil at the table. Get the recipe for Chocolate Budino »

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