What to Cook This Week

Start with a big Italian-inspired spread, then go casual later on with BLT tacos.

By Melissa Clark

Hello there. It’s Sunday, which in Italy means taking the time to make the pasta-filled, multicourse, multigenerational family lunch known as il pranzo di domenica.

This tradition is appealing on so many levels — the slowness of it, the platters of gorgeous Italian food, the glass of wine in the middle of the day followed by a walk and a nap — and I’ve been fantasizing about making such a feast right here in New York.

Maybe you’d like to join me? You could whip up your own pranzo, starting it off with David Tanis’s supremely summery caprese antipasto (above), rich with tomatoes, mozzarella and roasted bell peppers. Then, I’d turn to the pasta-whisperer Colu Henry, with either her lemony zucchini pasta with herbs, or her blond puttanesca with tuna, arugula and capers. For dessert, there’s this easy blackberry jam crostata from my friend Elizabeth Minchilli, who lives in Rome. It’s got a press-in-the-pan cookie crust that takes the fear out of pastry-making. It’s a terrific recipe.

That all could be enough of a feast for a hot summer day. But if you wanted to go all out, you could add this fennel-dusted pork loin, then save the leftovers to make rice noodles with pork, carrots and herbs on Monday night.

Here’s another gift you can give yourself for tomorrow: Spend three and a half minutes this evening to put together Genevieve Ko’s dried fruit-filled overnight oats. Your Monday morning self will thank you.

When she was helming the newsletter last week, my colleague Kim Severson wrote about her family’s enthusiastic commitment to taco Tuesday. If that’s how it goes in your family, too, you could try these BLT Tacos, because in summer, you can never have too many BLTs.

For Wednesday, how about taking a cue from Tejal Rao’s Auntie Sulu by making vermicelli sweet corn usli (also known as upma)? Tejal writes that it’s “savory and satisfying, full of vegetables and delicate fried noodles, and seasoned with coconut and cashews.” It’s an ideal South Indian breakfast that she also recommends for lunch or dinner.

Then on Thursday, you could follow Julia Child to France and make her Provençal potato gratin that’s heavy on the garlic and tomatoes. (It’s also got an entire tin of anchovies! Go Julia!)

And on Friday, if you’ve still got corn on hand from Wednesday’s usli, you can turn it into Sarah Jampel’s spicy corn and coconut soup, which could be your main course or the start of a larger meal.

Which brings me to this newsletter’s chicken moment. How about serving Sarah’s soup before — or alongside — sheet-pan chicken with tarragon and sherry vinegar onions? Or there’s Eric Kim’s fantastic roasted chicken with fish-sauce butter. You should watch Eric make that recipe on our YouTube channel — he’s so darn good on camera.

Still looking for ideas for the week? We have loads at New York Times Cooking. If you’re already a subscriber, we’re grateful to have you on board. And if not, you can subscribe right now.

You can also find us on Twitter and Instagram (where I’m @clarkbar if you wanted to see what I’m cooking any given week). And if have any questions, either technical or recipe-wise, don’t hesitate to contact us directly at [email protected] so we can help.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and see you tomorrow!

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