Entries tagged with “Alison Roman”.

This mini eggplant Parmesan from Alison Roman (it serves two as a main dish or four as a side dish) delivers delicious results without any frying. Roast the eggplant until it is deep brown and tender. Make a tomato sauce, toast the breadcrumbs and then layer the eggplant and sauce with the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, capers, oregano and parsley. Top with fresh mozzarella and bake for about 20 minutes. This is a perfect vegetarian main dish, served with a  green salad.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Unico anchovies, capers and canned tomatoes are additive-free. Genuine Parmesan cheese contains no colour, additives or preservatives; look for the name on the rind. I used PC panko, which is additive-free. Make sure the hot pepper flakes and dried oregano (if using) are free of additives. Good-quality fresh mozzarella contains no additives or preservatives.

On top of the sauce, layer the roasted eggplant, Parmesan, parsley, capers, oregano, breadcrumbs and mozzarella

Bake for about 20 minutes


1 large globe eggplant (about 2 pounds/900 g), sliced about ½-¾-inch (1.25-1.9-cm) thick

½ cup (125 ml) olive oil, divided

Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper

1 small onion (yellow, white, or red), thinly sliced

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

4 anchovy fillets (optional), plus more if you want

1 28 oz. (793 g) can whole San Marzano tomatoes, crushed

¾ cup (187.5 ml) panko bread crumbs

⅓ cup (85 ml) grated parmesan

2–3 tablespoons (30-45 ml) capers, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons (30 ml) chopped fresh oregano or marjoram (you can skip, or use half the amount of dried)

⅓ cup (85 ml) coarsely chopped parsley, divided

8 oz. (226 g) fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced or torn


Preheat oven to 450° F (232° C). Drizzle eggplant with about half the olive oil and season with salt and pepper and roast, turning eggplant halfway through, until it’s as tender as custard and both sides are as brown as if they were fried, 25–30 minutes.

While the eggplant roasts, make the sauce. Heat two tablespoons (30 ml) of olive oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring every now and then until the onions and garlic are tender and starting to brown around the edges, 8–10 minutes. Add crushed red pepper flakes and anchovies, if using, and stir, letting both things melt into the onions. Pour the juices from the tomatoes into the pot and one by one, crush the tomatoes with your hands into the pot. Season again with salt and pepper and let it simmer gently for 15–30 minutes (you want to evaporate some but not all of the liquid).

Remove from heat. Set half aside and freeze or refrigerate the rest.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil in a small to medium skillet over medium heat. Add the bread crumbs and season with salt and pepper. Stir them to coat evenly in the oil and toast, tossing frequently, until all the bread crumbs are the color of toast, 5–7 minutes. Remove from heat.

Spoon about half of the tomato sauce on the bottom of a 1 qt. (1 L) baking dish or 6-inch (15-cm) skillet (both hold about 4 cups/1 L volume, that’s the size you want. Doesn’t matter the shape, as long as its heatproof).

Top with half the eggplant. Top with half the parmesan, parsley, capers, and oregano. Scatter half the bread crumbs in an even layer on top of all that, followed by half the mozzarella. Repeat this, ending with the mozzarella. Add a little more parmesan if you feel like it, maybe some black pepper.

Bake until the cheese is browned and everything is bubbling around the edges, 15–20 minutes. Remove from the oven, maybe finish with some more parsley and let it cool ever so slightly before eating. Serves 2 as a main dish and 4 as a side dish.

From Alison Roman

This pasta dish from Alison Roman is absolutely delicious. Caramelize shallots and garlic, add hot pepper flakes, anchovies, tomato paste and cook for another few minutes. Set half of the sauce aside in the fridge or freezer for future use. Cook the pasta and add to the remaining sauce with some of the pasta cooking water. Cook until the sauce is thickened a bit and coats the pasta. Garnish with a mixture of chopped parsley, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook’s note: I know this looks like a lot of anchovies, but they add an incredible depth of flavour and the final dish does not taste like anchovies at all.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check the hot pepper flakes to make sure they don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents. I used Unico anchovies and No Name tomato paste.

Caramelized shallot pasta


¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil

6 large shallots, very thinly sliced

5 garlic cloves, 4 thinly sliced, 1 finely chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon(5 ml) red-pepper flakes, plus more to taste

1 2-ounce (57 g) can anchovy fillets (about 12), drained

1 4.5-ounce (128-g) tube or 6-ounce (170-g) can of tomato paste, about ½ to ¾ cup (125 to 187 ml)

10 ounces (285 g) pasta

1 cup (250 ml) parsley, leaves and tender stems, finely chopped

Flaky sea salt


Heat olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium high. Add shallots and thinly sliced garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots have become totally softened and caramelized with golden-brown fried edges, 15 to 20 minutes.

Add red-pepper flakes and anchovies. (No need to chop the anchovies; they will dissolve on their own.) Stir to melt the anchovies into the shallots, about 2 minutes.

Add tomato paste and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly to prevent any scorching, until the tomato paste has started to cook in the oil a bit, caramelizing at the edges and going from bright red to a deeper brick red color, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer about half the mixture to a resealable container, leaving the rest behind. (These are your leftovers to be used elsewhere: in another batch of pasta or smeared onto roasted vegetables, spooned over fried eggs or spread underneath crispy chicken thighs.)

To serve, cook pasta according to package instructions in a large pot of salted boiling water until very al dente (perhaps more al dente than usual). Transfer to Dutch oven with remaining shallot mixture (or a skillet if you are using the leftover portion) and 1 cup pasta water. Cook over medium-high heat, swirling the skillet to coat each piece of pasta, using a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up any bits on the bottom, until pasta is thick and sauce has reduced and is sticky, but not saucy, 3 to 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine parsley and finely chopped garlic clove, and season with flaky salt and pepper. Divide pasta among bowls, or transfer to one large serving bowl, and top with parsley mixture and a bit more red-pepper flakes, if you like. Serves 4.

From Alison Roman

I don’t know about you, but recent events have me yearning for comfort food and this baked pasta dish from Alison Roman in a recent issue of Bon Appetit fits the bill. While the pasta cooks, cook leeks and then add red pepper flakes and chopped broccoli rabe. Combine the cooked pasta with the leek-broccoli rabe mixture, then add cream, cheese, chives and some of the pasta cooking water. Put the mixture into a baking dish, top with breadcrumbs and cheese and bake for about 35 minutes. Delicious!

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Make sure the cheddar does not contain colour and the red pepper flakes do not contain colour. I used 4C brand of panko for the topping.

Cook the leeks until soft and beginning to brown

Add the broccoli rabe and cook until it begins to wilt

Mix leeks and broccoli rabe with chives, cream and cheese. Place in baking dish and top with breadcrumbs and more cheese.

Bake until browned and bubbling

Sprinkle with chives and serve


Kosher salt

1 lb. (454 g) rigatoni, ziti, or fusilli

8 Tbsp. (120 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, divided

3 large leeks, white and pale green parts only, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced into half-moons

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp. (5 ml) – or more – crushed red pepper flakes

2 bunches broccoli rabe or 3 bunches baby broccolini, trimmed, coarsely chopped

1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream

12 oz. (340 g) sharp white cheddar, coarsely grated (about 3 cups/750 ml), divided

1 cup (250 ml) chopped chives, divided

1 cup (250 ml) coarse fresh breadcrumbs or panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)


Preheat oven to 425° F (218° C). Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add a generous amount of salt. Cook pasta, stirring occasionally to keep it from sticking together, until just barely al dente, about 2 minutes less than package directions. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup (250 ml) pasta cooking liquid.

While you are cooking the pasta, get the broccoli rabe going. Heat 5 Tbsp. (75 ml) oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium–high. Add leeks and season with salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are softened (but not so much that they don’t have any texture left) and starting to brown, 8–10 minutes.

Add red pepper flakes to leeks and stir to incorporate. Add broccoli rabe by the handful, stirring to combine and allowing each addition to wilt before adding more. Season with salt and black pepper. Once all of the broccoli rabe has been added, cook, stirring occasionally, until bright green and wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove pot from heat and set aside.

Add pasta to reserved broccoli rabe mixture along with cream, three-quarters of the cheese, ½ cup (125 ml) chives, and reserved pasta cooking liquid; mix well. Season with salt and black pepper and add more red pepper flakes if you prefer more heat (keep in mind that the saltiness and spiciness will increase as the pasta bakes).

Transfer pasta to a 3-qt. (2.8 L) baking dish (or, if your Dutch oven is ovenproof, just leave it in there). Toss breadcrumbs and remaining 3 Tbsp. (45 ml) oil in a medium bowl until coated; season with salt and black pepper. Scatter over pasta, then sprinkle evenly with remaining cheese. Bake until pasta is bubbling across the entire surface and breadcrumbs are deep golden brown, 30–35 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Scatter remaining chives over pasta just before serving. Serves 6-8.

From Bon Appetit

Happy New Year! This recipe from Alison Roman’s Nothing Fancy can be made in the oven or on the grill. Marinate the chicken in citrus juice, tamari sauce, oil, jalapeno and garlic. Cook the chicken and let it rest on top of citrus slices. Sprinkle with herbs and reserved marinade and serve after the chicken has rested about 15 minutes.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use freshly squeezed juice and tamari, which does not contain artificial ingredients. Use jalapeno instead of the sambal sauce.

Let the cooked chicken rest on citrus slices, topped with herbs and reserved marinade

Citrus chicken rested in herbs


½ cup (125 ml) lime or lemon juice, plus 1 lime or lemon, thinly sliced

½ cup (125 ml) orange juice, plus 1 orange, thinly sliced, seeds removed

½ cup (125) ml soy or tamari sauce

2 tablespoons (30 ml) canola oil

2 tablespoons (30 ml) sambal or 1 jalapeño chilli, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely grated

Kosher salt and freshly ground

Black pepper

1 3.5 to 4 lb. (1.6 to 1.8 kg) chicken, halved lengthways through the backbone, or bone-in, skin-on parts

1 handful coarsely chopped coriander, tender leaves and stems

1 handful coarsely chopped parsley, tender leaves and stems

A few sprigs of rosemary, thyme, oregano or marjoram (optional)


To make the marinade, combine the lime juice, orange juice, soy sauce, oil, jalpeno and garlic in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper. Set about half aside for later, and add the rest of the marinade to a large bowl, resealable bag or baking dish. Add the chicken, tossing to coat well.

Let it sit in the marinade for at least 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours, in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). Alternatively, heat a barbecue grill to medium heat, with cooler coals or low flames on one side. (You can grill the chicken over hotter flames, but it can be challenging to manage; for beginners, it’s good to err on the side of the coals being slightly cooler than slightly hotter.)

Remove the chicken from the marinade, discarding the marinade the chicken was sitting in. Place on a baking tray, skin side up. Roast until the skin is deeply browned and lightly charred and the chicken is cooked through, 35–45 minutes; there’s no need to flip or turn the chicken.

Alternatively, place the chicken skin side down on the grill and cover; make sure the vents are open. Let it grill, resisting the urge to turn or check too frequently, until it’s nicely golden brown with those cute little grill marks, 10–12 minutes; just like when you’re searing chicken in a skillet, the skin will release effortlessly once it’s cooked and golden. Attempting to move it beforehand will probably tear the skin and maybe ruin your day! Using your finest and largest tongs, carefully flip the chicken, then cover so that it continues to grill and cook on the other side, another 10–12 minutes. Flip once more, skin side down, and add a few halves of cut citrus if you have them. Continue to grill another 5–8 minutes, to crisp the skin and finish cooking through.

Place the citrus slices on a platter or cutting board and scatter with the herbs. Place the cooked chicken on top, skin side up, and pour the reserved marinade over. Let the chicken rest for 10–20 minutes, allowing its juices to mingle with the citrus and herbs.

Carve the chicken into pieces before serving. Serves 4-6.

From Nothing Fancy by Alison Roman

I’m really enjoying cooking from Alison Roman’s new cookbook, Nothing Fancy. In this recipe, salmon is topped with browned butter, caramelized lemon and onion slices and capers and then slow-roasted until just cooked through. Cook’s note: the recipe calls for a garnish of dill, sesame seeds and onion. I didn’t make the garnish and the dish was still outstanding.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Make sure your butter doesn’t contain colour. Unico capers are additive-free.

Season salmon with salt and pepper and place in baking dish

Brown the butter and add lemon, onion and capers

Pour the butter mixture over the salmon and bake

Buttered salmon with lemon and red onion


1 lemon

2 lbs (907 g) salmon fillet

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 tbsp (90 ml) unsalted butter

¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

½ a small red onion, sliced into very thin rings, divided

2 tbsp (30 ml) brined capers, drained

One cup (250 ml) fresh dill

2 tbsp (30 ml) toasted sesame seeds (optional)


Preheat the oven to 325º F (163º C). Thinly slice half the lemon and remove any seeds; save the other half for juicing.

Place the salmon on a baking tray or in a large baking dish and season with salt and pepper.

Heat the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, swirling occasionally, until the butter has started to brown, 2-3 minutes. Add the olive oil, sliced lemon and half the onion. Season with salt and pepper and cook, tossing occasionally, until the lemon and onion have started to brown and frizzle, 2-3 minutes (you’re looking for a kind of crisped rather than softened and caramelized). Add the capers.

Pour the brown butter-lemon mixture over the salmon. Place it in the oven and roast until just cooked through but still medium rare inside, 12-15 minutes; the flesh will more translucent, less opaque. Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving dish.

Meanwhile, toss together the dill and sesame seeds, if using, in a medium bowl. Give a squeeze from the halved lemon and season with salt and pepper. Scatter on top of the salmon, along with the raining sliced onion. Serves 4-6.

From Nothing Fancy, by Alison Roman

Here’s another delicious dish from Alison Roman’s new cookbook Nothing Fancy. Cook a pot of rigatoni or other tube-shaped pasta and drain. Brown spicy sausage or chorizo and set aside. Brown breadcrumbs and set aside, then fry garlic and add tomato paste and broccoli rabe. Cook a few minutes until the broccoli rabe is tender-crisp. Add the cooked pasta, a splash of pasta cooking water and sausage back to the pot and heat through. Garnish with the breadcrumbs and grated cheese.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I use PC Free From hot Italian sausages, which are additive-free, a panko without additives and No Name tomato paste. Genuine Parmesan cheese contains no additives, preservatives or colour.

Brown the sausage and set aside

Brown the breadcrumbs and set aside

Brown the garlic

Add tomato paste and broccoli rabe and cook until tender-crisp

Add cooked sausage and pasta to the pan

Garnish with breadcrumbs and cheese and enjoy


1 pound (454 g) fresh chorizo or spicy hot Italian sausage (about 4 links), casings removed

6 tablespoons (90 ml) olive oil, divided, plus more as needed

1 ½ cups (375 ml) fresh coarse bread crumbs or panko

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound (454 g) dried tube-shaped pasta, such as rigatoni or ziti

6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

¼ cup (60 ml) tomato paste

1 large bunch of broccoli rabe, stems trimmed, coarsely chopped

Hunk of pecorino, Parmesan, or ricotta salata, for grating


Cook the sausage in a large pot over medium-high heat, breaking up the meat with the back of a spoon, until browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the sausage, leaving the fat behind.

Add 3 tablespoons (45 ml) oil and the bread crumbs to the pot; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the bread crumbs are golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until just al dente. Drain, reserving at least 1 cup (250 ml) of the pasta water.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil in the pot, then add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s toasted and golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until it’s a nice brick-red color and starts to stick a bit to the bottom of the pot, 2 to 3 minutes more.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the broccoli rabe, then season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s all wilted and bright green, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the pasta and sausage back to the pot along with ½ cup (125 ml) of pasta water. Cook, stirring constantly, until each piece of pasta is coated nicely in the tomato-y, sausage-y sauce.

Serve straight from the pot (or not), with toasted bread crumbs and cheese for sprinkling over. Serves 6.

From Nothing Fancy by Alison Roman

This roast chicken dish from Alison Roman, featured in her new cookbook Nothing Fancy, is perfect for Sunday dinner. Season a whole chicken and stuff with oregano. Place in a roasting pan and scatter tomatoes, garlic, butter and more oregano around the chicken. Roast low and slow – about 2 ½ hours – until the chicken is done and the tomatoes are soft. Add some wine vinegar and serve.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I use Eden Organic red wine vinegar, which has no sulfites added. Check the bread for preservatives – Ace Bakery bread is usually free of additives. I use Gay Lea butter, which has no colour added.

Tomatoes, garlic, oregano and butter enhance the flavour of this slow-roasted chicken

Stuff the chicken with oregano, drizzle with oil and crushed fennel seed and nestle the other ingredients around the chicken

Roast until the chicken is done and the tomatoes are very soft

Slow-roasted oregano chicken with buttered tomatoes


1 (3 ½ – to 4-pound/1.5 to 1.8 kg) whole chicken

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil

1 ½ tablespoons (22.5 ml) fennel seeds, crushed in a mortar and pestle or spice mill, or chopped with a knife

1 bunch fresh oregano

1 ½ pounds (680 g) small vine-ripened tomatoes (about 6), halved lengthwise

2 heads of garlic, halved crosswise (it’s fine to leave the skin on)

2 tablespoons (30 ml) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

2 tablespoons (30 ml) red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar

4 to 6 (1-inch/2.54-cm-thick) slices of good country bread, such as country loaf or sourdough, toasted (optional)


Heat the oven to 325 degrees F (163 C). Season the chicken with salt and pepper. (If you can do this in advance, please do.) Drizzle it with the olive oil and sprinkle with the fennel seeds.

Stuff the cavity with half the oregano and place in a large baking dish. Scatter the tomatoes, garlic, butter and remaining oregano around the chicken. Roast until the chicken is golden brown and completely cooked through, and the tomatoes are nice and jammy, 2 ½ to 3 hours. Add the vinegar to the tomatoes and let the chicken rest in the baking dish for 10 minutes.

Place toast, if using, on serving platter and spoon the jammy tomatoes over or around the toast. Carve the chicken and place on top of the toast to catch the juices. Serves 4-6.

From Nothing Fancy, by Alison Roman