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Date Night Dinners

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Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook 1 pound spaghetti according to package directions. Drain the pasta (reserve 3/4 cup pasta water) and return it to the pot.

Meanwhile, heat a small skillet over medium heat. Place 2 teaspoons black peppercorns and 2 teaspoons Szechuan peppercorns in the pan and toast until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Place the peppercorns in a mortar and crush with a pestle until coarsely ground. Transfer the pepper to a medium bowl with 3 large egg yolks and 2 packed cups finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese. When the pasta is done, stir 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water into the egg mixture, add the pasta, and toss to coat. Stir in the remaining pasta water, if needed, to reach the desired consistency. Season with salt, and serve immediately.

or top with: fresh or frozen (thawed) peas



Peel, quarter, and slice 4 blood oranges; set them aside. Quarter and core 1 medium head radicchio (about 12 ounces) and set it aside, too.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season 4 thinly sliced pork chops (3/4 pound total) with salt and pepper. Add the pork to the skillet and sear, turning once, until browned and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes total; set aside.

Add the oranges, radicchio, and 1 tablespoon honey to the hot skillet, plus more oil if necessary, and toss together until the radicchio wilts. Stir in 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar and 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves and serve over the chops.

Also try: pork cutlets + grapefruit + honey + frisée + fresh rosemary leaves



Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook 1 pound linguine according to package directions. Drain the pasta, reserving enough water to refill the pot to a depth of 3 inches; keep the water at a simmer.

Meanwhile, slice 1 bunch Swiss chard, cutting stems into 1/2-inch pieces and leaves into 1-inch pieces. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the Swiss chard and 1 sliced garlic clove; season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing, until the greens are wilted. Add 1 pint cherry tomatoes and 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, and cook, partially covered, until the greens are tender and the tomatoes have split slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the pasta and 2 tablespoons olive oil, and toss until combined; cover and set aside.

Add 1 teaspoon white vinegar to the remaining pasta water. Crack 4 large eggs into the simmering* water, and poach until the whites are set but the yolks jiggle, 1 to 2 minutes; remove with a slotted spoon. Divide the pasta among four plates and top each with a poached egg. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

*Or crack each into a cup first

Also try: collard greens + ¼ cup white wine + poached eggs

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