1. Mustard tagliatelle with rotisserie chicken
Jimmy Bannos Jr., chef/partner at The Purple Pig restaurant in Chicago reached into the pantry for flour, then turned the eggs into a homemade pasta dough enriched with the mustard and mayonnaise.
1. Make a broth with the chicken: Pick chicken off the bones; set meat aside. In a large saucepan, sweat half a yellow onion, diced, in a small amount of olive oil. (Optional: Chop garlic and dice 1 carrot and 1 rib celery, then sweat all vegetables). Add 1 teaspoon tomato paste and 1/2 cup white wine. Add bones; add cold water to barely cover. Heat to a boil; allow to simmer, 1 to 2 hours. (Add thyme and bay leaf to stock, if you have them.)
2. Prepare pasta dough: Place 2 1/2 cups flour and a pinch of salt in a food processor; pulse to blend. Add 2 whole eggs and 4 egg yolks, 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard and 2 tablespoons mayonnaise. Pulse until dough just begins to come together. Knead dough on a floured board, 5-10 minutes. (You may need up to 1/2 cup more flour). Wrap with plastic wrap. Let rest, 20 minutes. (Tip: enjoy a glass of wine while the dough rests.)
3. Roll dough with pasta roller into 1/16-inch sheets. Cut dough into 1/2-inch wide noodles. Dust with flour; set aside.
4. Chop a leftover hunk of bread into breadcrumbs. In a bowl, lightly coat with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet; toast in a 350-degree oven until golden brown.
5. Strain stock, discarding bones and reserving vegetables. Cook the pasta in a large pot of well-salted boiling water (it should taste like seawater) until slightly al dente.
6. In a saute pan, take 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the broth and reserved vegetables; heat to a boil. Add pasta; stir in 2 tablespoons of butter cut in small cubes, a little at a time. Add reserved chicken. Cook until sauce coats back of spoon. (If you run low on liquid, add more stock.) Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce. Pasta sauce should cascade off of the pasta. Grate Parmesan on top and finish with the breadcrumbs.
Makes: 4 servings
2. Spicy stracciatella
Tanya Steel, Epicurious editor-in-chief: "This is how I cook many nights a week — I come home, peer into the fridge and make an impromptu recipe with whatever I have on hand. I always have frozen veggies, all manner of pasta and noodles, and cans of tomato puree, beans, tuna and chickpeas on hand.
"With these ingredients, plus the mystery basket items, the Italian stracciatella soup came to mind. This classic recipe is an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink bowl of goodness. Besides being the perfect canvas to add almost anything you have in your pantry, it can be very healthy, inexpensive, and improves if you make it ahead."
1. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large saucepan. Add half a yellow onion, chopped; 2 carrots, chopped; 2 cloves garlic, minced; saute until lightly golden. Add 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, 2 cups cold water, 4 cups shredded cooked chicken and 1 bay leaf. Heat to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, 10 minutes.
2. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup each mayonnaise and mustard. Spread on thin bread slices. Place on a baking sheet; bake at 350 degrees until lightly golden brown, about 8 minutes.
3. Whisk together 3 eggs and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan. Slowly add to simmering broth, whisking constantly, until the eggs have formed cooked threads throughout. Ladle into bowls, season to taste with hot sauce, and serve with the bread.
Makes: 4 to 6 servings
3. Chinese-style chicken soup
Sara Moulton, chef, cookbook author and star of "Sara's Weeknight Meals" on PBS, came up with a Chinese-inspired soup. "When you are trying to get dinner on the table every night of the week, make leftovers your best friends and rethink dinner," Moulton said in an email. "A meal doesn't have to consist of the traditional three elements — protein, starch, vegetable — all arranged on a plate. Why not have soup for supper? Breakfast (eggs) for dinner? Or a substantial sandwich? Leftovers are the backbone of these alternative dishes."
Moulton added a few extras to this recipe, but added, "Don't worry, even if you don't augment the soup with the extras it will be plenty tasty as a bare-bones chicken and egg soup. And by the way, if you don't have chicken broth in the house, just combine the rotisserie chicken carcass with cold water by 1 inch, bring to a simmer, simmer for 1 hour, strain the broth and use it for the soup."
1. In a large saucepan, cook 1 to 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger in 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat, 2 minutes. Add 4 cups chicken broth; heat to a boil.