What to Cook This Week

It’s Mother’s Day, and we have recipes for you to cook while mom relaxes.

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By Sam Sifton

Good morning. Happy Mother’s Day to those celebrating, and a lovely day as well to those who are not.

Here’s hoping you get exactly what you want. That might be crazily delicious, buttery pancakes (above), or a lunchtime Negroni. Maybe it’s cute gifts from the children or flowers from your spouse. Maybe it’s not. But I do hope mothers everywhere also get a few hours to themselves, entirely free of responsibility, able to do whatever they desire. (Confidential to those with moms: Take the hint.)

As for dinner, let’s have roast chicken the way André Soltner intended, with these insanely delicious puréed potatoes with lemon and a bunch of green beans that have been tossed in olive oil and roasted on a sheet pan below the chicken. That’s a righteous Sunday supper.

As for the rest of the week …

Monday

This recipe for spicy red pesto pasta is one to bring you into the sun-dried tomato game, especially if you’ve avoided them since the time when sun-dried tomatoes were everywhere and rarely used to the benefit of the ingredients paired alongside. No longer!

Tuesday

Here’s dinner in 15 minutes if you’re good at peeling shrimp, and 10 minutes if you cook it with scallops instead: spicy shrimp and chickpea salad. Do read the notes below the recipe. Our subscribers have made some fascinating substitutions and hacks.

Wednesday

What I love about this slow-cooker lemony chicken soup is that it’s just as good after a sunny day as it is after a brisk and rainy one. And it’s excellent with store-bought tortellini stirred in at the end.

Thursday

Can you improve on spaghetti carbonara? Maybe. Try artichoke carbonara, in which Anna Francese Gass takes the quintessential Roman dish and adds another Roman favorite to it, artichoke hearts heated in the rendered fat of the guanciale. True story: If you use canned artichokes, the dish will come together in under 30 minutes.

Friday

And then you can cook a dish our Florence Fabricant adapted from one she learned from her mother: chicken roasted with oranges and onions. (Florence’s mom cooked it with veal.) I think that would make for a lovely introduction to the weekend.

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Now, it’s nothing to do with bouillabaisse or halvah, but Dwight Garner reviewed Rax King’s book of essays, “Tacky,” in The Times last week. Dwight: “ ‘Tacky’ was published last fall. I’m writing about it now because a) the women I’m closest to have been swapping heavily underlined copies for weeks, b) The Times didn’t review it and c) I’m late to discover that it reads like sequential shots of Fireball Cinnamon Whisky.” Check that out.

You should also read Cynthia R. Greenlee’s deep dive into, among other matters, the endlessly shape-shifting culture of pimento cheese sandwiches, in Oxford American.

Those who’ve abandoned terrestrial television may have missed Peter McIndoe’s appearance on last week’s “60 Minutes,” talking about how birds aren’t real. It’s worth your time.

Finally, some Mother’s Day music to play us off: Outkast, “Ms. Jackson.” Have a great day. I’ll be back on Monday.

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