Butternut Squash Pizza Recipe

By Laura Ratliff and Ryan Smith | April 25, 2012

Butternut Squash Pizza

One of the greatest picnic-friendly dishes to make in the spring is pizza! Not only does it not require utensils to eat, but there are also endless possibilities for your favorite toppings. While pizza is not only delicious in New York City; it’s also readily available. Some of the best shops in the entire city-John’s, Keste, Joe’s, and Bleecker Street Pizza-are within a one-block radius of our apartment, meaning that there’s not a huge incentive for us to make our own pies. Regardless, we’ve been doing just that!

While I don’t make the dough at home, I think I’ve mastered the topping-to-dough ratio and the perfect art of that crispy, crackling crust. Making pizza at home is fast and happens to be a great way to use seasonal ingredients, especially those that are about to spoil in the crisper, as we’ve discovered.

Before I started making pies at home, I wanted to make sure that I could replicate that shattering crust that so many of the best shops in the city have. We don’t have a pizza oven, or even a pizza stone, but with a baking sheet and a bit of experimentation, I found a method that works.

First, I preheat an inverted baking sheet in a 500 degree oven for upwards of 30 minutes, or however long it takes me to prepare my toppings. Once I’m ready to build the pizza, we (very carefully) pull the baking sheet out of the oven and make the pizza right on the hot baking sheet. Then, I’ll typically bake the pizza for about 5-10 minutes.

This particular pizza was a little different, since butternut squash takes longer to cook. I preheated my pan as normal, but rather than baking the pizza at 500 degrees, I turned the oven down to 450 degrees and cooked the pizza for a bit longer.

The last step was inspired by a New York City pizza legend, Di Fara. The Brooklyn shop‘s owner, Dom DeMarco, handcuts fresh basil over all of the pies that come out of his oven. In our case, the freshly-cut arugula was the perfect finishing touch for a pizza that was already excellent. We might not have Dom DeMarco’s experience (or his oven), but using a trick from a seasoned pro made for an at-home pizza that was devoured in an instant.


Penne With Brie, Mushrooms, and Arugula Recipe

By Laura Ratliff and Ryan Smith | February 1, 2012

Penne with Mushrooms and Brie

By: Laura Ratliff and Ryan Smith

One of the great things about living in a city like New York is the sheer variety of cooking ingredients available. I can’t recall how many times I’ve purchased something at the market just because it sounded “interesting,” even if I didn’t have a clue what it was or what to do with it.

This week, I was delighted when I came across hedgehog mushrooms, a small mushroom that resembles a chanterelle. Hedgehog mushrooms are named appropriately; instead of gills on the underside of their cap, they have little “teeth” reminiscent of a hedgehog’s spikes. Read More


Arugula Soup Recipe

By Aine Carlin | October 3, 2011

Photo: Aine Carlin

Photo: Aine Carlin

I am a soup fanatic. I can’t go a week without having it at least once but I usually eat (drink? slurp?) it for lunch because I guess I feel it isn’t substantial enough for a dinner dish. Now and again though, it can be nice to have something a little lighter for an evening meal and it certainly helps that homemade soups are super quick and easy. The bonus being they also happen to be much tastier and healthier than store-bought soups, which tend to be full of additives, preservatives and salt. Read More


Seared Duck Breast With Roasted Figs and Arugula Salad Recipe

By | September 6, 2011

Photo: PrettyKateMachine

If you have a love for combining the two worlds of bitter and sweet together then look no further than this recipe. Here, the sweetness of the sugared figs along with the bitterness of arugula salad matches perfectly to enhance the seared duck. By baking the figs for this dish you will gain a succulent taste to the toppings of the dish. This duck recipe will make you the talk of the town for weeks to come. What’s also great about this simple recipe is that there aren’t too many ingredients so you won’t have a huge grocery bill after this dinner. Read More


Steak Sandwich with Horseradish Cream Sauce Recipe

By Emma Haberman | August 30, 2011

Photo: Emma Haberman

Photo: Emma Haberman

Uh oh! Your weekend BBQ got rained out and now your fridge is full of leftover steak. What a delicious problem to have! I am of the mindset that all leftovers can be brought back to life by whipping them into a sandwich – a good loaf of bread goes a long way. This sandwich is a combination of classic flavors nestled between two slices of fresh Ciabatta, making it portable and easy to eat. Read More


Asparagus, Prosciutto, and Arugula Salad Recipe

By Lindsay Hunt | June 1, 2011

Photographer: Lindsay Hunt

Photo: Lindsay Hunt

I’ve been cooking a lot with prosciutto. Mostly because it’s delicious, but also to share it’s versatility with you. Packed with flavor, prosciutto improves many dishes with only a small amount, which is easy on your wallet (and figure). What’s great about this salad in particular, is that it takes two multipurpose ingredients and combines them in a new meal. Again, good for budgeting.  Read More


Spicy Tomato-Arugula Angel Hair Recipe

By Marcus Samuelsson | January 13, 2011

Photo: Paul Brissman

This pasta is a tribute to one of my favorite neighborhoods of New York City: Little Italy.  It has a hint of spiciness, and brings a depth of flavor to your meal.  The sharp and peppery arugula adds a fantastic texture to this airy pasta.  It’s simply angelic!

Here are a few more of my favorite pasta dishes:

Simple Carbonara

Penne with Brie, Mushrooms, and Arugula

Fusilli Pasta with Lemon, Garlic, and Greens



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Whether it’s finding the best goat tacos in LA, spotting a well-worn vintage bag in Sweden, or interviewing the “crab man” selling seafood on a corner in Harlem, we tell stories seen from Chef Marcus Samuelsson‘s point of view. strives to create conversations about food, nutrition, culture, art, and design. We want to find Read More


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