Spaghetti with Garlic and Olive Oil

Photo: Lynn Andriani

The "Cupboard's Bare? No Sweat!" Classic
When you need a fast, frugal and filling pantry meal, you probably reach for pasta. But instead of jarred tomato sauce, try this speedy, olive oil-based alternative. The key is to not hold back on the garlic, since its pungent flavor mellows when you sauté it. Grated Parmesan is the other powerhouse ingredient here; put some in the dish, and then pass around more at the table.

Get the recipe: Spaghetti with Garlic and Olive Oil
Mashed potatoes

Photo: Thinkstock

Couldn't-Be-Simpler Mashed Potatoes
We love buttermilk, crème fraîche and all the other fantastic mix-ins we've seen added to classic mashed potatoes. But on a busy Tuesday night, this ultrasimple version is ideal. Potatoes, heavy cream, butter, done.

Get the recipe: Creamy Whole Butter Potatoes with Coarse Salt and Cracked Black Pepper
lemon pizza

Photo: Jonny Valiant

A Brighter Than Usual White Pizza
A classic garnish takes center stage as thin slices of citrus, rind and all, combine with smoky cheese for a gooey, tart slice that's a cut above traditional pies.

Get the recipe: Lemon and Smoked-Mozzarella Pizza
salt and pepper chicken

Photo: Jonny Valiant

Traditional Bar Food, Lightened Up
Think of salt and black pepper as ho-hum standbys? Not after you try this recipe: The spice rack staples add a piquant flavor that makes these wings really take flight.

Get the recipe: Salt-and-Pepper Chicken Wings with Bok Choy and Peppers
cod with chorizo and tomatoes

Photo: Jonny Valiant

A Classic Spanish Pairing, with a Burst of Tomato
Lightly sautéing cherry tomatoes and spicy sausage creates a luscious topping for the mild fish in this Spanish-style dish.

Get the recipe: Cod with Chorizo and Tomatoes

Photo: Jonny Valiant

Choose-Your-Own-Filling Homemade Hot Pockets
The filling possibilities for these Latin American–style turnovers are endless—rotisserie chicken and poblano peppers, say, or barbecued pulled pork.

Get the recipe: Kale and Goat Cheese Empanadas
raspberry buckle

Photo: Jonny Valiant

The Fruity Dessert with a Crazy Secret Ingredient
Even after tasting a second helping, no one will be able to guess the magical ingredient in this moist, fluffy cake: melted vanilla ice cream.

Get the recipe: Raspberry Buckle

Photo: Jonny Valiant

Easier-Than-Box-Mix Brownies
Eggs and flour transform chocolate-hazelnut spread into subtly sweet, cakey brownies.

Get the recipe: Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies