Some cookbook authors have earned my complete trust, and Amy Chaplin is one of them. I’ve never made a thing I didn’t love from her stunning first book, 2014’s “At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen,” and have recommended it countless times. So I knew that when the Australian teacher, consultant and personal chef came out with another book, history would repeat itself.
In Chaplin’s latest, “Whole Food Cooking Every Day,” she uses base recipes for pastas, soups, nut butters, sauces, beans, muffins and more, and then expands each with multiple variations.
I plan to cook my way through the book, and I started with a base recipe for pine nut pasta sauce. The chunky purée of toasted pine nuts, olive oil, lemon and salt created the cheesiest nondairy sauce I’ve ever had. I immediately added this technique — with pine nuts, or another nut, such as walnuts, cashews or sunflower seeds — to my repertoire.
As instructed by Chaplin, I then tossed the pasta with raw tomatoes I had marinated in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil and garlic, and, well, another star was born.
In the winter, I’ll make a variation with lemon, red chile pepper and parsley; come spring, it’s green pea pasta with pea shoots.