Everyday Delicious

30 Minute(ish) Home-Cooked Meals Made Simple: A Cookbook

Hardcover

April 30, 2024 | ISBN 9781984825230

Ebook

April 30, 2024 | ISBN 9781984825247

About the Book

The #1 New York Times bestselling author and celebrity chef offers fast and flavorful recipes to help anyone cook like a chef in 30 minutes(ish) or less—every day of the week.

Finding himself at home more during the pandemic and in the hybrid world that followed, James Beard Award–winning author and chef Rocco DiSpirito rediscovered for the first time in decades the joy of cooking for and savoring weekday meals with his family and friends, something that was not a regular occurrence when he was working in a busy restaurant or as celebrity chef on the go.

Of course, as a home cook preparing nightly family meals, Rocco also experienced the fatigue of spending hours planning and cooking every night rather than sitting at the table enjoying family and friends. That’s what inspired this book: a collection of 100 no-fuss weekday meals to help you cook like a chef every night, in about thirty minutes or less. Every recipe is full of flavor and is sure to be a hit with the entire family. Recipes include many of Rocco’s favorites from over the years, plus all-new dishes, as well as classic Italian dishes from his childhood, including Mama Nicolina’s Cavatelli with Broccoli Rabe and Sweet Sausage, Linguine Vongole, Everyday Pesto Orzo Caprese Salad, Salmon Miso Marmalade, Tuna Avocado Furikake Crudo, Hot Chili BBQ Ribs, and more.

This book is all about simple ingredients, lots of flavor, and efficient cooking. It’s sure to become the essential cookbook for everyday dinners that everyone will love.
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Excerpt

Everyday Delicious

Introduction

In its own way, food is the language we use to express our life stories, through every phase, twist, and turn.

The dishes we cook tell the story of where we come from, the people we hold dear, and the moments of hardship or abundance. We tell the stories of the winter when we didn’t have enough time, and the summer when we had too much time. We tell the stories of the people we’ve lost and gained, the experiences that shaped us, the year we saw the world, and the year we saw only our apartment.

This book is a record of my personal journey through food, and my desire to share it with you so that you may enhance your own story. I grew up in a big Italian family where meals were savored over conversation. Food was prepared with love and with a larger purpose in mind. Food fed more than our bodies; it fed our souls. Meals were about connecting, sharing, and nourishing.

As time passed, life got in the way—as I’m sure it does for most of us. My entire adult life has been spent either cooking for others in professional kitchens or teaching home cooks how to make healthy, nutritious meals without sacrificing flavor. It’s been incredibly rewarding professionally, but behind the scenes, I almost never joined the table to appreciate the meal myself. As my career progressed, the personal joy of home cooking and the significance it held became distant. The light that came from cooking for myself, family, and friends—a formative part of my childhood—had dimmed.

Everything changed during the pandemic. I, like most of us, found myself at home, cooking and sitting down for meals surrounded by family. I was doing what I love, for the people I love, for the first time in decades. I started preparing the meals I relished making when no one was watching, the meals that were meant to nourish and bring comfort when I wasn’t worried about counting every calorie. I once again felt the power of cooking and enjoying weekday meals with my family—an everyday luxury for some that for me had become a rarity at best.

Of course, I’m not immune to the labor of cooking: It can be hard work. As a home cook preparing nightly meals, I also experienced the fatigue of spending hours planning and cooking every night, and the frustration of making the same dish again and again. I found myself trying to remember those favorite simple go-to recipes from my youth, recipes that were passed down in my family for generations, the dishes I learned to make growing up in the vibrant city of New York, and the recipes I created and loved during my years in professional kitchens.

Day by day, I started writing down ideas. My notebook became filled with scribbles and inspirations and notes like “Mom’s smashed garlic” or “Dad’s fish market trips” or “Robert’s mom’s ceviche.” I started cooking from the heart, from my memories and my stories.

That’s what inspired this book. Incoherent scribbles in my notebook became a collection of over one hundred of the best no-fuss recipes that have stuck with me throughout the years.

These are my absolute top recipes from over forty years spent cooking.

The best part? These are also the dishes made by the hardworking moms I learned from growing up who didn’t have all day to spend in the kitchen, and the busy restaurants I worked in where it needed to be ready 5 minutes ago. The vast majority of these recipes come together in 30 minutes or less, with flavors that will stick with you for the rest of your life.

If I’ve come to understand one thing, it’s that food brings joy. I’ve watched food bring comfort and moments of hope, even during the dog days of the pandemic. We’ve returned to our busy work schedules, commutes, and obligations, but we find ourselves with a new understanding of what we can accomplish in our kitchen, and a renewed excitement to share in life around the table. What we’ve lost in the bargain, though, is time.

In this book, I’ll teach you the tools, ingredients, and tricks I use to build flavor quickly, with foolproof recipes you can turn to time and time again. That means less planning, less prep, less time cooking, and more time enjoying meals with the ones you love.

These are the recipes I turn to when I have 30 minutes to spare and just a few ingredients in my pantry. They’re the meals I make for myself at home, or to please a crowd, or just on a Sunday evening when my downstairs neighbor, chef buddy, and best friend’s five-year-old are all breaking bread at my table.

Be it a weeknight Penne alla Vodka (page 27) with your family, Butterscotch-Glazed Short Ribs (page 247) for Sunday supper with your friends, or a Crab & Heirloom Tomato Salad (page 103) for a lazy summer afternoon on the porch, you’re sure to find an exciting take on your favorite classic, or a recipe to start a brandnew tradition of your own.

With food’s ability to tell our story, to connect and unite in even the most difficult times, I can’t think of a better time than now to share these recipes with you. You’ll be shocked by how quickly your own stories and traditions come together—and how much time you have to spare.

Buon appetito!

About the Author

Rocco DiSpirito
At the age of sixteen celebrated chef Rocco DiSpirito entered the Culinary Institute of America, and at eighteen began working for legendary chefs worldwide. After graduating from Boston University with a degree in business, he began working for such renowned New York chefs as Gray Kunz. In 1995 Rocco opened Dava and quickly earned two stars from Ruth Reichl at The New York Times. At thirty-one, Rocco opened Union Pacific in New York City and received three stars from The New York Times.
 
Hailed as one of Food and Wine magazine’s Best New Chefs, DiSpirito is the first chef to grace the cover of Gourmet magazine as “America’s Most Exciting Young Chef,” and was voted their “Leading Chef of his Generation.” Referred to as America’s original “Rockstar Chef,” Rocco has been featured in Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, W, The New York Times, Details, House Beautiful, Us, OK! and People, including the Sexiest Man Alive issue.
 
DiSpirito received the James Beard Award for his first cookbook, Flavor. He went on to author Rocco’s Italian-American (2004), Rocco’s Five Minute Flavor (2005), Rocco’s Real-Life Recipes (2007), and Rocco Gets Real (2009).
 
DiSpirito also starred in the Food Network series Melting Pot, the NBC hit reality series The Restaurant, and the A&E series Rocco Gets Real. He is a content partner on Rachael Ray, and a frequent guest on Good Morning America and Top Chef. He has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Chelsea Lately, The Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and NBC’s The Biggest Loser, and was the first chef to compete on the ABC megahit Dancing with the Stars.
 
In 2006 DiSpirito began his quest toward a more active and healthy life, competing in triathlons, including an Ironman 70.3. In November 2009 he was the spokesperson for and completed the Ironman in Clearwater, Florida, setting a personal-best time. Rocco lives in New York City and appreciates all that cooking has brought to him. More by Rocco DiSpirito
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