Tuscan Spinach and Ricotta Dumplings

This May 22, 2018 photo shows Tuscan spinach and ricotta dumplings in New York. This dish is from a recipe by Sara Moulton. (Sara Moulton via AP)

It was my great good fortune recently to spend a week in Tuscany on a culinary tour, assisting a friend of mine with some cooking classes. Of course, I was as much a student as a teacher, and I learned a ton as we banged around from town to town. One of the recipes that especially impressed me was gnudi (in English, we’d say nude). These scrumptious little dumplings are built out of leftover ravioli filling — usually ricotta, spinach and cheese (pecorino or parmigiano-reggiano) — combined with a bit of egg and flour, rolled into a ball and poached, then served with a brown butter sage sauce. But why “nude”? Because basically they are ravioli that are stripped of the pasta with which they are generally clothed.

New tech is making gardening easier

This Feb. 10, 2013 photo provided by Dean Fosdick shows a hobby greenhouse in Langley, Wash., which was built in a sunny location capable of capturing an immense amount of summertime heat. It was later equipped with a timed irrigation system that automatically turns on early in the morning to water a wide assortment of potted plants. Smart devices are being introduced to make gardening less demanding and more efficient.(Dean Fosdick via AP)

New technology is easing the way we garden, store equipment, monitor watering and re-shape landscapes. And some of those tasks can be done remotely, using phones or tablets.

Chicken larb bursts with flavor

This December 2017 photo shows chicken larb in New York. Larb is a Thai minced-meat dish that some regard as the unofficial national dish of Laos. It is bursting with the quintessential flavors of this part of the world, that amazing balance between hot and sour, salty and sweet. (Lucy Beni via AP)

Larb is a Thai minced-meat dish that some regard as the unofficial national dish of Laos. It is bursting with the quintessential flavors of this part of the world, that amazing balance between hot and sour, salty and sweet.

Choose the right spot for honeysuckle

This undated photo shows trumpet honeysuckle in New Paltz, N.Y. Unlike some other species of honeysuckle, trumpet honeysuckle is sedate enough to make a good garden plant — and it blooms all summer long. (Lee Reich via AP)

Who couldn’t love a plant with a name that speaks of both sweetness and nurturing? Yet there are those who scorn honeysuckle. And — just as bad — there are those who shower honeysuckles with too much affection.

There is nothing like home-made ribs

This May 10, 2018 photo shows barbecue pork ribs in Amagansett, N.Y. This dish is from a recipe by Elizabeth Karmel. (Elizabeth Karmel via AP)

It’s officially barbecue rib season, and I couldn’t be more excited. I have made them three times in the last week and I am planning on making them for a party this weekend.

Safety tips for homegrown produce

This undated photo shows cleaned carrots after being taken from a garden near Washington, D.C. Row crop vegetables eaten raw are among the most common causes of food-borne ailments. Thorough washing and cooking are the best ways to kill bacteria in contaminated produce. (Dean Fosdick via AP)

Food safety often is cited as the primary reason why people grow their own edibles, but that’s frequently an illusion. Food-borne illnesses are almost as likely to be caused by homegrown produce as by fresh foods acquired elsewhere.

Reuben Pizza is quick & inexpensive for a party

This April 2017 photo shows a Reuben pizza in New York. This dish is from a recipe by Sara Moulton. (Sara Moulton via AP)

With the end of the school year looming, the proud parents of any number of soon-to-be-minted graduates are wondering how to pull off a celebratory party without spending a ton of time or money. Reuben Pizza is the answer. It’s quick, easy to make, inexpensive and completely scrumptious.

Salmon Panzanella

This December 2017 photo shows salmon panzanella in New York. This dish is from a recipe by Katie Workman. (Lucy Beni via AP)

In the most perfect of all worlds, things look as good as they taste. That’s true with this dish. Pink salmon, bright tomatoes (grab multicolored ones if that’s an option), flecks of purpley onion, pale chunks of toasty bread and a drizzle of bright green basil oil — a virtual rainbow.

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