Andy Baraghani shares 2 recipes from new cookbook, ‘The Cook You Want to Be’

Cook and writer Andy Baraghani’s highly anticipated debut cookbook, “The Cook You Want to Be: Everyday Recipes to Impress,” blends the home cooking of his Iranian upbringing with his professional training in restaurants, editorial experience at Bon Appetit and Saveur and his global travels to bring home cooks more than 120 everyday recipes.

Baraghani joined “Good Morning America” ​​Wednesday following the release of his book and shared two of his favorite dishes below.

His deep culinary experience began at the early age of 15 at Alice Waters’ famed Chez Panisse and, later, celebrated New York City bistro Estela. Baraghani then pivoted to food writing and test kitchen cooking before serving as a senior editor and viral video host.

Check out his full recipes below.

Big Shells with Spicy Lamb Sausage and Pistachios

Stuffed shells from “The Cook You Want to Be.”

Emma Fishman

“If shells make you think of ricotta-stuffed, tomato sauce-coated, baked pasta, I feel that. My aunt made a mean version of it. I haven’t had those stuffed shells in decades, but I miss the giant shell pasta shape. So let’s use them to make a less labor-intensive pasta and bring back jumbo shells,” Baraghani wrote with this recipe. “This is one of those sauces that tastes like it’s been cooking for much longer than it has been; it’s sneaky like that.”

Serves: 6

kosher salt

1 bunch broccoli rabe

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 pound spicy lamb or hot Italian pork sausage, casings removed

1 pound jumbo shells gold paccheri

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

Freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup raw pistachios, coarsely chopped

Finely grated Parmesan for serving


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then throw in about 1/4 cup salt. Trim the thick stems from the broccoli rabe and reserve for another use (a stir-fry!). We want the leafy greens and tender stems only, not the intense crunch from the thicker parts. Run your chef’s knife through the greens and stems two or three times to give them a very coarse chop. Set aside.

In a large heavy pot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Using your hands, grab small clumps of the sausage (you’re going for rustic meatballs, about the size of a golf ball) and add to the pot. Cook, casually turning each piece as it becomes crusty, until deeply golden brown all over, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a plate, leaving behind all that good lamb fat. Remove the pot from the heat (we’ll come back to that later). If it looks like the sausage has given off a lot of fat, tip some of the fat into a bowl, so you’re left with about 2 tablespoons in the pot. Save the rest for another use (like fried eggs).

Meanwhile, drop the pasta into the boiling water and give it a couple of stirs. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is just shy of al dente, about 1 minute less than the package suggests (it’ll finish cooking in the sauce). Scoop out 1½ cups pasta water and then drain the pasta.

Return the pot with the lamb fat to the stovetop over medium-low heat and add the garlic. Cook, scraping any browned bits stuck to the pot and stirring, so the garlic cooks evenly, until the garlic has softened slightly, about 2 minutes. Add the broccoli rabe, season with salt and pepper, and continue cooking, stirring, until the greens have wilted and are bright green, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the sausage to the pot along with any juices that have collected on the plate. Using a wooden spoon, smash the sausage to break into smaller, but still coarse, pieces.

Add the pasta and butter to the pot, along with 3/4 cup pasta water. Cook, tossing often and adding more pasta water a tablespoon or two at a time, if needed, to create the sauce, until all the shells are coated in the sauce, 2 to 3 minutes.

Turn off the heat, add the lemon zest and lemon juice, and toss the pasta to coat.

Sprinkle the pasta with the pistachios and Parmesan.

Set out the pot for people to serve themselves, or take control and assemble each bowl, making the perfect pasta-to-sausage ratio for yourself.

Peach and Blackberry Crisp with Cinnamon Crunch

PHOTO: Peach and Blackberry Crisp with Cinnamon Crunch.

Peach and Blackberry Crisp with Cinnamon Crunch.

Emma Fishman

“A crisp is the ultimate dessert for people who claim they don’t bake because it’s impossible to mess up. I like mine with a good amount of crumb on top, in this case, inspired by Cinnamon Toast Crunch (“the taste you can see”). For extra crunch, I throw some panko in with the flour, but you could use nuts, oats, or whatever makes you happy. The berries and peaches break down and turn into luscious pie filling, and if you don’t like my combo of peach and blackberries, use 3 to 4 pounds of whatever fruit you want.”

Serves: 8

cinnamon crunch

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

1/2 cup packed light brown or granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

3 pounds ripe peaches, pitted, cut into 1-inch-thick wedges

12 ounces blackberries

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cold heavy cream or ice cream for serving


To make the Cinnamon Crunch: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, panko, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt and stir to mix. Drizzle in the melted butter and work it with your fingers or a fork until there are no dry spots remaining and the mixture looks very crumbly but can hold together when squeezed. You’ll have crumbles that are as small as sand and larger ones that are about the size of a quarter. Set aside in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, toss together the peaches, blackberries, granulated sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and vanilla. Pour the fruit mixture into a 12-inch cast-iron skillet or a 3-quart baking dish. Scatter the Cinnamon Crunch over the top. Bake until the crisp is lightly browned and the filling is bubbling around the edges, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Put a generous scoop of the warm crisp in individual bowls, top with a spoonful of fresh cream or a scoop of ice cream, and serve.

Recipes reprinted with permission from “The Cook You Want to Be.”


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