What to Cook This Weekend

Start things off right with Melissa Clark’s creamy pasta with ricotta and herbs.

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By Sam Sifton

Good morning. One of the most enjoyable aspects of life in and around the world of New York Times Cooking is the arrival of a new recipe from Melissa Clark. There’s an elegant simplicity to her approach that reminds me of those Sondheim lyrics about painting, in “Sunday in the Park With George”:

Mapping out the sky/Finishing the hat/Starting on a hat/Finishing the hat/Look, I made a hat/Where there never was a hat.

This week the hat’s a creamy pasta with ricotta and herbs (above). And it’s what I want to cook this evening, using fresh ricotta and fruity olive oil, handfuls of chopped soft herbs, Parmesan and lemon zest. Pasta water thins out the cheese to make a sauce, and a few grinds of black pepper provide a little pop at the end. I might sear a few scallops to serve along with. I think it’ll start the weekend off thrillingly.

Saturday could be for baking, in advance of grilling: a strawberry and cream layer cake made in the morning for enjoying at night. Then a lunchtime sandwich and an evening of grilled marinated swordfish steaks alongside grilled zucchini ribbons.

Or maybe crispy sour cream and onion chicken instead? Chile oil noodles with cilantro? I’d be very happy to eat a salade Lyonnaise and pretend that I’m sitting in the dining room at the Odeon in Manhattan, waiting on an order of steak frites.

Buttermilk pancakes for breakfast on Sunday, I think. Hummus for lunch, with cut vegetables and pita. And then pork roast with roasted jalapeño gravy for dinner, over white rice, with quick-pickled okra.

Many thousands more recipes are waiting for you on New York Times Cooking, and you can find more ideas for what to cook on our TikTok, Instagram and YouTube accounts. Not to put too fine a point on it, but you do need a subscription to access the recipes. Subscriptions support our work and allow it to continue. If you haven’t already, would you subscribe today? Thank you.

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Now, it’s a long way from chermoula and whole grains, but I’ve been enjoying George Pelecanos and David Simon’s new series about policing in Baltimore, “We Own This City,” on HBO Max. It’s not “The Wire,” but it’s pretty good, “with granular realism, a sly sense of humor and fine acting top to bottom,” as James Poniewozick put it in his review for The Times.

Longreads put me in a time machine and zapped me back to 1981 with this Timothy White profile of Stevie Nicks in Rolling Stone that I think you’ll want to read.

The New Yorker has a new documentary up from Katie Bernstein and Clara Mokri, about those who live on boats in San Francisco, and those who want them gone: “Anchored Out: Evicted at Sea.”

Finally, it’s Allen Ginsberg’s birthday. He would have been 96. Here’s Wilborn Hampton’s obituary for him in The Times, and a poem, too: “A Supermarket in California,” from 1955. I’ll see you on Sunday.

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