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Recipes: 'The Splendid Table'

These recipes appear in The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper: Recipes, Stories, and Opinions from Public Radio's Award-Winning Food Show by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift, (Clarkson Potter, 2008).

Roasted Butternut Squash and Greens over Bow-Tie Pasta

Sweet Roasted Butternut Squash and Greens Over Bow-Tie Pasta
Serves 4 to 6
10 minutes prep time; 35 minutes oven time

You could cook this dish ahead through Step 6 and then bake it in a shallow casserole, topping it with extra cheese in the last 5 minutes of baking.

An autumn supper in a bowl, this is a "sauce" that you roast in the oven in about 30 minutes: chunks of sweet squash, roasted herbs and greens. Add half-and-half, toss with hot pasta and cheese, and you have a great sell to the anti-vegetable contingent.

5 quarts salted water in a 6-quart pot

Roasted vegetables

3 to 3 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into bite-sized chunks

1 medium to large onion, cut into 1-inch chunks

2 big handfuls escarole or curly endive that has been washed, dried and torn into small pieces, or spring mix

1/3 tight-packed cup fresh basil leaves, torn

16 large fresh sage leaves, torn

5 large garlic cloves, coarse chopped

1/3 cup good-tasting extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 tight-packed tablespoon brown sugar (light or dark)

Salt and fresh-ground black pepper

Pasta and finish

1 pound imported bow-tie pasta

1/2 cup half-and-half

1 to 1 1/2 cups (about 6 ounces) shredded Asiago cheese

Slip one large or two smaller shallow sheet pans into the oven. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Bring the salted water to a boil.

In a big bowl, toss together all the ingredients for the roasted vegetables. Be generous with the salt and pepper.

Pull out the oven rack holding the sheet pan. Taking care not to burn yourself, turn the squash blend onto the hot sheet pan and spread it out. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the squash is tender, turning the vegetables two or three times during roasting.

As the squash becomes tender, drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook it until tender, but with some firmness to the bite. Drain in a colander.

Once the squash is tender, turn on the broiler to caramelize it. Watch the vegetables closely, turning the pieces often. Anticipate about 5 minutes under the broiler. You want crusty brown edges on the squash and wilted, almost crisp greens.

Scrape everything into a serving bowl. Add the half-and-half, hot pasta, and 1 cup of the cheese. Toss to blend, tasting for salt and pepper. Add more cheese if desired. Serve hot.

Fennel Garlic Roast

Heat a shallow roasting pan in a 450°F oven as directed above. Instead of squash, use 2 fennel bulbs, cored and sliced thin, 2 large onions sliced thin and 8 garlic cloves, crushed. Omit the greens, basil, sage and brown sugar. Toss the vegetables with the oil in the recipe, the red pepper flakes, and 3 tablespoons whole fennel seeds, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Roast them for 15 minutes.

Stir in a drained 14-ounce can of whole tomatoes (crushed), and continue roasting until the fennel is tender and slightly browned. Eliminate the half-and-half. Instead, toss the vegetables with the cheese, and serve them over spaghetti, linguine, bucatini, ziti, penne or fusilli.

Tamarind-Glazed Pork Chops
Serves 2 to 4
10 minutes prep time; 5 to 10 minutes grill time (These are best eaten hot off the grill.)

Tamarind, all on its own, gives barbecue sauce a run for its money. Toss in garlic and chile, especially the fruity-hot Aleppo or velvety ancho. These thin-cut chops, hot off the grill, are like eating crisp cookies right from the oven.


3 generous tablespoons tamarind concentrate

2 tablespoons ground Aleppo pepper (or other sweet dried chile like ancho)

6 garlic cloves

2 teaspoons Asian fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc nam)

1 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons dry white wine

3 tablespoons water or more as needed

Pork Chops

4 thin-cut, bone-in pork chops (organic if possible)

Good-tasting extra-virgin olive oil

If you are grilling, prepare the grill.

In a food processor, puree the tamarind, Aleppo pepper, garlic, fish sauce, sugar and wine. Thin the paste with water as needed to get to the consistency of thick maple syrup. Set it aside.

Grill the chops over a medium fire until nicely browned, or alternatively film a large sauté pan with olive oil and sear the pork over medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes.

In the last few minutes of grilling (or searing), baste the chops with the marinade, turning them once to coat both sides. You want it to bubble and caramelize. Serve the chops, with the extra marinade alongside.

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