Depending on where you live, October is all about cozy baking, comforting soups, and our favorite fall produce (bless you, sweet potatoes). In this weekly digest, we’re sharing the recipes we make for fun—outside of the office—as we ease into autumn cooking. Check back every Friday for more October favorites.
Bright, Herby Shrimp Pasta
There has been a bag of shrimp in my freezer since, well, I don’t want to say when. This pasta from Rachel Gurjar got me excited to finally use them. It’s bright from preserved lemon and lemon juice, lively from chile flakes and fresh garlic. The recipe calls for parsley, but I swapped in dill because that’s what I had. Now I need more shrimp to make it again. —Emma Laperruque, senior cooking editor
Portuguese Orange Olive Oil Cake
Bought too much citrus—a good problem to have—and turned to this recipe from Leite’s Culinaria that I’ve been making for over a decade. It’s the type of cake that everyone should have in their repertoire: unfussy, crowd-pleasing, hard to mess up. It bakes in a Bundt pan (I used this one, which looks like an elaborate hairdo from Midsommar) and truly gets better with age (all that olive oil keeps it from drying out), so you can feed a crowd and still have leftovers for yourself all week. I dialed back the sugar by 50 grams and used a mix of navel and blood oranges, plus a stray Meyer lemon thrown in for good measure. —MacKenzie Chung Fegan, senior commerce editor
I’ve been joking recently that my current cooking MO is “open cans and serve,” and while it is a slight exaggeration, it’s definitely grounded in total reality. Case in point: this easy shakshuka. Spices, alliums, oil, a jar of peppers, and a can of tomatoes (I only had diced on hand and they worked just fine), plus eggs and hunks of bread. That’s brunch! But you know it’d be just as good for a quick and cheap dinner. —Sonia Chopra, executive editor
Curried Lentil, Tomato, and Coconut Soup
I don’t like to be on the phone when I’m cooking because I either blank on the convo or on what’s happening in the kitchen. But sometimes it has to happen and in that moment you need a recipe you don’t need to think about. Enter this very simple lentil soup. After reading the comments, I used vegetable broth instead of water and upped the spices, and I’m pleased to report it was as easy to make as it looked on paper and neither the dish nor the call dragged. —S.C.
Comforting, Buttery Potatoes
Potatoes + (preserved) lemon + butter + dill = Andy Baraghani’s Buttered Potatoes With Salted Lemon. Need I say more? One of the many delicious recipes I made from Andy’s The Cook You Want to Be, which we excerpted in our travel issue. These potatoes are the perfect side dish to accompany any roast or braise. —Dawn Davis, editor in chief
Speedy Spicy Noodles
What do I love more than a recipe with under 10 ingredients? One that also has only three steps. Make the kimchi-gochujang-butter sauce, add cooked udon noodles, and top with scallions, sesame seeds, and eggs, and you’ve got a quick and flavor-packed dinner in about half an hour. Next time I’ll do as the comments suggest and add mushrooms or another veg. Frozen udon (cooks in just one minute!) is my go-to, and I always have the other ingredients on hand. —Sonia Chopra, executive editor
Leeks, Bread, and Cheese
Aleksandra Crapanzano’s ode to raw leeks inspired me to make Leeks in Vinaigrette. I assembled the dish hours before dinner, then let it hang out while I got on with my Sunday (watched Survivor and folded laundry). Serve with a crusty baguette and wedge of gooey cheese. And hopefully a glass of wine. —Emma Laperruque, senior cooking editor
Kale Pesto With Whole Wheat Pasta
My CSA has a lot of things I look forward to, but the arugula isn’t one of them. Which isn’t to say I don’t like arugula. I do! This variety, though, is too bitter, even for me. Turns out, the solution wasn’t an arugula recipe—it was this verdant Kale Pesto from Chris Morocco. Quickly blanching the arugula tamed some of its rudeness, then pistachios, Parmesan, and olive oil took care of the rest. —E.L.
Labor-of-Love (But Totally Worth It) Soup
The last time the temperature registered in the 50s, I made our Low-Commitment Wedding Soup, and the minute the thermostat dipped into the 50s this weekend, I made it again. With homemade meatballs, toasted panko breadcrumbs, and fennel fronds to garnish, low commitment this ain’t. (To make it harder on myself, I make my own white beans.) Still, on a blustery fall or winter Sunday, this family-friendly and filling meal is as good as it gets. —Dawn Davis, editor in chief
Simple, Buttery Crepes
I made these lacy, crispy, buttery crepes from chef Shaina Loew-Banayan of Hudson, New York’s Cafe Mutton, one of our 10 Best New Restaurants of 2022. The frizzled edges crisped in browned butter are by far the highlight—I enjoyed them hot with nothing more than a hefty pour of maple syrup and a few pats of butter. The leftovers I kept stocked in my fridge to wrap around sliced bananas, Greek yogurt, and granola as a speedy weekday breakfast. —Antara Sinha, associate cooking editor