A Pasta That’s Perfect for Easy Cleanup

March 11, 2024
Dining & Wine
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Last week, I asked for your favorite brilliant and easy dinners after I shared a new one of mine, Eric Kim’s peanut butter noodles. I got an email from a reader named Lia that was so attuned to the prompt that I’m sharing it here. It’s a no-recipe recipe for roasted salmon, and to me it both reads like a scene from my own kitchen (“check emails quickly if it’s not done yet”) and sounds like it should be dinner tonight:

Slather stone-ground mustard and maple syrup on a salmon fillet on a baking sheet, and pop it in the oven at around 375 or so. (I’ve done this with fresh and with frozen salmon, both work well, but frozen is in some ways better because: 1. You don’t have to thaw it if it’s something you have on hand in your freezer, 2. The mustard and maple stick to it better, and 3. It’s harder to overcook the salmon — usually ends up juicier.)

Throw some mustard and maple in a largish bowl with the zest and juice of a lime or two, a bit of salt and some olive oil, and mix. Toss in a good amount of hearty greens (anything will do, but my favorite is frisée) and mix a bit. Check the salmon for doneness, check emails quickly if it’s not done yet, check it again, and if it’s done (or better yet just slightly under since it seems to keep cooking once it’s out) put salad in a bowl, salmon on top and dinner’s ready.

I also want to tell you more about a new feature from New York Times Cooking. You’ll find One Pot, Once a Week every Wednesday in the Cooking newsletter. (You get the Cooking newsletter, right? And The Veggie?) Our editors pick easy meals with easy cleanup, like the one-pot spaghetti with cherry tomatoes and kale below.

As ever, tell me what you’re cooking by emailing me at dearemily@nytimes.com. I love to hear from you.

Kimchi tuna salad, cast-iron steak and perfect buttermilk pancakes.

Did you know that you can cook all the ingredients for a simple pasta dish, including the spaghetti, in one pan? No giant pot of water on the stove, slowly gurgling to a boil? This recipe, from the cookbook author Anna Jones, is a version of an internet-famous dish that made the rounds online about a decade ago. The technique still brings fresh delight.

Dried apricots and chicken make magic together (think of tagines, where you’ll sometimes find them paired). Yasmin Fahr throws them together to make something wholly new and nearly effortless with ginger, white wine and spinach. I love the flavors, the zippy cook time and the fact that there’s barely any chopping to do.

View this recipe.


This utterly delicious recipe by Zainab Shah melds tomatoes, onions and a small cloud of spices into a delicious sauce. The ingredient list is long, but the cook time is short: The whole thing is done within 30 minutes. Use any white fish you like — they’ll all taste good here.

Here’s a dinner to sneak in before the weather turns warm: Ali Slagle’s sausages with brussels sprouts and potatoes, sweetened with tangy honey mustard. It’s a weighted blanket of a meal, and I mean that as a compliment. I would swap in broccoli if I were feeding small children or other known haters of brussels sprouts.

View this recipe.


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