Andy Baraghani Talks Food, Identity in New Cookbook

Baraghani shares his philosophy on foodstuff and identification with Healthline — plus, the Chickpea Cacio e Pepe recipe from his new reserve.

Andy Baraghani describes himself as curious — curious about cooking, touring, blending all those passions, and sharing what he’s realized with other people.

That curiosity underlies the philosophy at the rear of his future cookbook, “The Cook You Want to Be: Every day Recipes to Impress,” established to release May well 24 from Lorena Jones Books (Penguin Random House).

“I want to obtain as a lot data and expertise as attainable and approach it, and then be in a position to possibly keep onto it or, even greater, go that information and facts alongside,” Baraghani explained to Healthline.

A prepare dinner, food writer, recipe developer, and former Bon Appétit and Saveur editor, Baraghani seeks to do accurately that in his cookbook: manual visitors by means of producing dishes that never demand a whole lot of cooking expertise, diet know-how, or kitchen area devices.

The additional than 120 recipes are influenced by his identities as a queer, to start with-technology Iranian American, as perfectly as his ordeals touring all around the globe and cooking for and with others, this sort of as in eating places like Chez Panisse and Estela.

To that finish, the cookbook functions personalized essays that explore people inspirations and supply sensible suggestions for cooking additional simply.

“There are individual stories and activities in this e book that I create about, but I required to carry in the reader to embrace those people tales, embrace individuals approaches, embrace these recipes, and definitely combine and use the knowledge that they’ve figured out by means of my experiences into their have lifetime so that they can sense more empowered in the kitchen area and come to be the prepare dinner they want to be,” Baraghani stated.

The cookbook’s offerings vary from “Mighty Minor Recipes” — this sort of as sauces and dressings — and shareable snacks (like Borani, aka the Queen of All Yogurt Dips) to meat-dependent fare and a few desserts, this kind of as an Apple and Tahini Galette.

But, Baraghani stated, “this e book is generally vegetables.”

In point, he mentioned that one of his most loved chapters is “Salad for Days,” which is — you guessed it — devoted totally to progressive salads, which includes Eat-with-Everything Cucumber Salad and Unwanted fat Parts of Citrus with Avocado and Caramelized Dates.

One more most loved chapter, “Mind Your Veg,” brings veggies entrance and middle in recipes this kind of as Caramelized Sweet Potatoes with Browned Butter Harissa and Peas with Significant Hunks of Feta and Zhoug.

“I genuinely tried to give possibilities and variations to people,” Baraghani claimed. “I genuinely attempted to think of what would be uncomplicated for persons to have accessibility to but also really feel good about soon after they’ve well prepared this food.”

“I want foodstuff to not just flavor excellent, but I want it to make you feel very good.”

— Andy Baraghani

Element of that effort and hard work, he stated, provided producing recipes that don’t anticipate readers to use kitchen area gadgets like juicers or garlic presses if they really do not want or have those people objects on hand.

While the reserve does incorporate a guide to kitchen machines and utensils that folks may well locate helpful, Baraghani mentioned it’s important to stay functional.

“I think there is this worry within just so a lot of men and women in cooking,” he stated. “Adding all this tools, it overcomplicates duties that aren’t sophisticated at all.”

That is also why, in the era of YouTube cooks and TikTok recipes, Baraghani was influenced to publish a print cookbook somewhat than share these recipes on the net.

A print cookbook, he explained, encourages anything important that social media cooking doesn’t essentially make room for: taking your time.

Moreover, it afforded Baraghani the possibility to perform with designers, photographers, and other artists to lay out the cookbook so the guide alone can add to the storytelling in its have way.

“There’s a thing that is still pretty gratifying, to me at least, to cook dinner from a e-book and not scroll down a web site or look as a result of your cell phone,” he claimed. “I want people today to sit with the imagery. I want folks to sit with the style, the title, the copy, the headnote, the sidebars, the style of the recipe. I don’t believe that is anything that takes place as frequently with digital media.”

You can order “The Prepare dinner You Want to Be: Every day Recipes to Impress” from Lorena Jones Publications (Penguin Random Property) by way of Amazon here.

“I certainly never promise that you will be the best cook in the world soon after this e book,” Baraghani stated. “I promise that you will discover at minimum 1 detail that will make you a far more self-confident and curious cook.”

There are numerous recipes for pasta e ceci (aka pasta with chickpeas). The majority that I’ve encountered are brothy, pretty much souplike. This recipe emphasizes both of those the chickpeas and the pasta but is equally comforting and a good deal creamier than the common versions. A lot of the magic of this dish lies in crushing the chickpeas, so they launch their starches and transform the pasta drinking water into a creamy sauce. Some of the chickpeas keep their form, whereas others turn to mouth watering mush, and the caramelized lemon lends some chewy tang and brings the pasta back again to lifestyle put up-boiling. It is very fulfilling. If I continue to need to encourage you to make this, know that it was the initially food that I produced for my boyfriend, and he has been connected to me at any time due to the fact. —Andy Baraghani

Serves: 4 (additionally, maybe, some leftovers, although I doubt it)

Table of Contents


  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup added-virgin olive oil
  • 1 modest Meyer or frequent lemon, thinly sliced, seeds picked out
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 substantial shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 rosemary sprig, or 4 thyme sprigs
  • Freshly floor pepper
  • 1 pound tubular pasta (these as calamarata, pac
    cheri, or rigatoni)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, lower into tiny parts
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, moreover more for serving


  1. Convey a big pot of water to a boil, then throw in a handful of salt (about 1/4 cup).
  2. Though the water is performing its thing, set a independent massive pot or Dutch oven around medium heat and pour in the olive oil. Add the lemon and prepare dinner, applying tongs to flip the slices till they start out to frivolously brown and shrivel up, 6–8 minutes. Utilizing the tongs, transfer the caramelized lemon slices to a bowl, leaving the oil in the pot.
  3. Dump the chickpeas into the oil and allow them get a very little crisp and golden, stirring sometimes, 5–7 minutes. Increase the shallot and crush the rosemary to launch its oil and fall it into the pot. Season with salt and lots and loads of pepper and give almost everything a stir. Cook dinner until eventually the shallot is beginning to soften, 3–5 minutes. In the meantime, include the pasta to the boiling drinking water and prepare dinner until finally practically al dente, about 2 minutes fewer than what the deal indicates (it’ll complete cooking in the sauce).
  4. Just ahead of the pasta is al dente, scoop out 2 cups pasta drinking water. Insert 1 1/2 cups pasta water to the pot with the chickpeas and provide to a simmer, nonetheless around medium warmth. (This could appear like a large amount of liquid, but it will thicken as soon as the remaining substances are extra.) Just one piece at a time, stir in the butter right up until the pasta drinking water and butter have develop into one particular.
  5. Utilizing a slotted spoon, transfer the pasta to the sauce. Cook, stirring frequently and sprinkling in the Parmesan a minor at a time. (Never add the cheese all at once, as that can make the sauce break up and flip grainy.) Retain stirring until finally the cheese is melted and the sauce is creamy and clings to the pasta, about 3 minutes. If the sauce looks too thick, insert a lot more pasta water, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time to skinny (but know that saucier is great since it will thicken as it cools). Flip off the heat and fold in the caramelized lemon. Sprinkle with an virtually preposterous sum of pepper and a lot more Parmesan just before serving.

A headshot of Rose Thorne against a white background. Rose is a white person with very short black hair wearing a black top.

Rose Thorne is an associate editor at Healthline Diet. A 2021 graduate of Mercer College with a diploma in journalism and women’s & gender experiments, Rose has bylines for Small business Insider, The Washington Write-up, The Lily, Georgia General public Broadcasting, and additional. Rose’s proudest skilled achievements include things like currently being a college or university newspaper editor-in-main and operating at Reasonable Battle Action, the countrywide voting legal rights business. Rose covers the intersections of gender, sexuality, and overall health, and is a member of The Affiliation of LGBTQ+ Journalists and the Trans Journalists Association. You can obtain Rose on Twitter.

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