Tracking the Top 10 most downloaded recipes from our California Cookbook database, which includes recipes dating back to the 1990s, shows just how diverse our readers' interests are.
Besides the rigatoni and the dog biscuits (from former Spago pastry chef Sherry Yard), the most popular recipes for the month are a summer salad with Israeli couscous, an apricot-raspberry crisp, Greek lemon chicken, paella verda from Smoke Oil Salt's Perfecto Rocher, curried slaw from Napa Valley's Mustards Grill, massive chocolate chip cookies from a Washington bakery, strawberry gelato you can make without an ice cream freezer, and the fabulous curried chickpeas from Joan's on Third.
Here's the recipe for the most popular dish: the rigatoni.
RIGATONI WITH MUSHROOMS AND PANCETTA
Active work time: 15 minutes | Total preparation time: 30 minutes | Serves 2 to 3
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 ounces pancetta, diced small
1 small onion, diced small
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound button mushrooms, minced
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
1/2 pound rigatoni
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, add the pancetta and fry until crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the pancetta from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on paper towels, leaving as much oil in the pan as possible.
2. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, 1 minute, being careful not to burn it. Add the minced mushrooms and cook until they release their moisture, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.
3. Add the tomatoes and their juices, bring to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors have melded, 10 to 15 minutes.
4. When the water is boiling, cook the rigatoni until al dente, 11 to 12 minutes. Drain the pasta and set aside.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste to the sauce, along with the parsley and thyme. Toss the pasta with the sauce and top with the pancetta and Parmesan to taste just before serving.
Each of 3 servings: 369 calories; 991 mg sodium; 16 mg cholesterol; 15 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 47 grams carbohydrates; 15 grams protein; 5.78 grams fiber.