You wouldn’t change things for the world (you really do love your kids), but every once in a while (okay, most nights), you secretly lament your inability to dine out.
With that in mind, we tapped Gabe and Katherine Thompson (chefs at L’Artusi and Dell’anima) for a straight-off-the-menu, tiny-taste-bud-approved dish you can bring to your own table.
Penne with Mushroom Ragu
Serves four to six
1 lb. penne
Mushroom ragu (recipe below)
1 pinch chili flakes
2 tbsp. butter, cut into small pieces
½ c. grated Parmesan
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Generously season water with salt. Add penne and cook 10-12 minutes until al dente.
2. Meanwhile, in a large Dutch oven, heat mushroom ragu over low heat.
3. When pasta is ready, add it to the ragu. Add chili flakes, butter, and half the Parmesan. Stir to combine. Add ¼ c. pasta water to help emulsify sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning.
4. Serve in warm bowls; sprinkle leftover Parmesan on top.
2½ lb. cremini mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1 lg. Spanish onion, diced
1/3 c. tomato paste
1 pinch red chili flakes
1 c. dry white cooking wine
1 c. heavy cream
1. In a food processor, chop a few mushrooms at a time until they are all finely chopped (almost pureed; they’ll look like mush). Periodically scrape down the sides of the food processor.
2. In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and season generously with salt. Once onions are soft and slightly caramelized, add paste and flakes. Cook for another 5-10 minutes, stirring constantly. The paste should caramelize slightly but not burn.
3. Add chopped mushrooms. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. (This will look like a wet mess at first. Over time, the liquid will cook off, and the mushrooms will take on a dark, caramelized color.)
4. Add wine to deglaze. Scrape bottom of pot to remove any stuck-on mushroom bits. Stir constantly and cook until mixture is dry and wine has completely evaporated.
5. Add heavy cream. Simmer 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.
L’Artusi, 228 West 10th Street, between Bleecker and Hudson Streets (212-255-5757); Dell’anima, 38 Eighth Avenue, at Jane Street (212-366-6633).
You made that? Check out kitchen aids that make mixing and mashing a piece of cake.
New York Chocolate Show
What: One of the world’s largest cocoa-centric gatherings will feature a kid zone for little sweet tooths (think chocolate crafts, games, and readings).
Why: Coolest. mom. ever.
When: Thurs.-Sat., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W. 18th St., b/t Sixth & Seventh Aves. Tickets online at chocolateshow.com. Adults, $30-$40; first two children 5-12, free; additional children 5-12, $8; under 5, free.
Citi Pond at Bryant Park
What: The Midtown ice rink is now open for the season, complete with snacks, lessons, and a giant twinkling tree.
Why: Skip the tourist crowds (and price of admission) at Rock Center.
When: Sun.-Thurs., 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri. & Sat., 8 a.m.-midnight.
Where: 40th St., b/t Fifth & Sixth Aves. Admission is free; skate rental is $14.
Eat Sleep Play: Building Health Every Day
What: An exhibit to help kids (and parents) understand the importance of nutritious food, lots of rest, and plenty of exercise.
Why: Because you went to the chocolate show.
When: Opens Fri. Tues.-Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Where: Children’s Museum of Manhattan, 212 W. 83rd St., b/t Broadway & Amsterdam Ave. (212-721-1223). Adults and children, $11.
Photo: Courtesy of L’Artusi