I’m in love with the new Bon Appetit. I’ve tweeted at Adam Rapoport to tell him so. The week that Gourmet folded my mom and I had tickets to a lunch with Ruth Reichl that was cancelled so that Ruth could properly mourn. I’ve been mourning the loss since then as well…until Friday when the glossy cover of “The Italy Issue” of Bon Appetit drew me in at Hudson News.
As Adam explains in an interview with Eater, the magazine is no longer just about recipes. They teach you stuff! I’m usually a skeptic about lists and tips developed by magazine editors but the folks at BA aren’t joking around. Their “10-Point Guide to the simplest, most luxurious sauces imaginable” wasn’t full of fluff. I’m no stranger to pasta sauces yet the 10-Point Guide taught me something new: “Everything’s Better With Butter”. (Side note and plug for my friend Chef Camille – she taught me that “Everything Starts With an Onion”…also true).
Tonight I was ready to throw together a bucatini all’amatriciana with some guanciale I picked up this weekend at Chelsea Market. Instead I grabbed my new favorite read and consulted with “The Guide” to check out the cover recipe. Tucked in amongst the list of tips is a simple “Cook the Cover” recipe. No list of ingredients to jot down in your shopping list (duh…if you love pasta you know the best ones are made with ingredients you almost always have stocked in your kitchen), no calorie count (who cares). Just a simple recipe explained as my pal Camille would if I was looking over her shoulder in our old kitchen while she prepares a steamy bowl of pasta for me.
Back to my butter epiphany. I have made red sauce a million different ways and this simple Pasta al Pomodoro recipe is by far one of the tastiest, and easiest, I have executed. I knew even before I stirred the Plugra butter into the pasta that I finished off by bathing it in the red sauce that it was THE key to the silky mouth feel Bon Appetit promised. The article quotes Andrew Carmellini of Locanda Verde explaining that in Italian it’s called “mantecare”, which means “to make creamy”. Yes, sir! I’ll have more of that please. And I’ll have more Bon Appetit…a subscription will soon be headed to my address. Thanks Bon Appetit for finding the right balance between out of reach recipes and tips that talk down to readers. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for June.