Dan Barber, chef and co-owner of Blue Hill at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, kicks off the breakfast chapter with instructions for making Fresh Ricotta, Butter, and Milk Jam and encouragement to “support your local grass-fed dairy farmer.” Ina Garten procured the recipe for Penne alla Vecchia Bettola from one of her favorite East Hampton restaurants. Bobby Flay takes comfort in Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta and Cremini Mushrooms, which “makes my house smell like good, slow cooking all day long.” And for dessert, New York Times food columnist Melissa Clark suggests slathering toast or pound cake with Lemon Curd with Poppy Seeds.
Recipes run the gamut from quick-cooking to slow-simmering, thrifty to indulgent. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options abound. One recent balmy evening, I whipped up Atlanta chef Hugh Acheson’s 20-minute Spaghetti with Shrimp and Leeks, enriched with crème fraiche or sour cream (my choice) and spiked with lemon zest and red pepper flakes. I tossed together a salad, and plated the pasta to serve on the patio under the stars with a nice sauvignon blanc.