Easy Dinner Recipes from The Minimalist

Mark Bittman helps you bring global flavors to the dinner table with his simple, approachable cooking techniques and tips.

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Photo By: Evan Sung ©2007, Evan Sung

Photo By: Evan Sung for The New York Times

Photo By: Evan Sung for The New York Times

Photo By: Evan Sung for The New York Times

Photo By: Evan Sung for The New York Times ©Evan Sung

Photo By: Evan Sung for The New York Times

Photo By: Evan Sung for The New York Times

Photo By: Evan Sung for The New York Times

Photo By: Evan Sung for The New York Times

Photo By: Evan Sung for The New York Times

Photo By: Evan Sung for The New York Times

Photo By: Evan Sung for The New York Times

Photo By: Evan Sung for The New York Times

Photo By: Evan Sung for The New York Times

Photo By: Evan Sung for The New York Times

Photo By: Evan Sung for The New York Times

Photo By: Evan Sung for The New York Times

Photo By: Evan Sung for The New York Times

Photo By: Evan Sung for The New York Times

Photo By: Evan Sung for The New York Times

Photo By: Evan Sung for The New York Times

Photo By: Evan Sung for The New York Times

Photo By: Evan Sung for The New York Times

Photo By: Evan Sung for The New York Times

Photo By: Evan Sung for The New York Times

Braised Short Ribs

A braising sauce spiked with strong coffee, wine and two types of chiles transforms short ribs into a main that has subtle heat and plenty of flavor.

Get the Recipe: Braised Short Ribs

Pasta With Chicken, Risotto-Style

By substituting pasta for rice, you create a dish that's equally as creamy as risotto, but takes a quarter of the time to prepare.

Get the Recipe: Pasta with Chicken, Risotto-Style

Grilled Swordfish With Pimenton

A pimenton and lemon aioli is the perfect accompaniment to simply grilled swordfish. If you'd prefer to skip the mayo, the olive oil, garlic and pimenton glaze gives this fish ample flavor on its own.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Swordfish with Pimenton

Edamame Salad

Always a crowd-friendly appetizer, edamame becomes a zesty, salty, vegetarian-friendly main when mixed with pecorino cheese and a lemon-olive oil dressing.

Get the Recipe: Edamame Salad

Rack of Lamb With Pimenton

A paprika and garlic rub gives a rack of lamb delicious, smoky depth and a beautiful amber crust. The best part? This guest-ready main is ready in just over a half hour.

Get the Recipe: Rack of Lamb with Pimenton, Garlic and Olive Oil

Sabrina's Tacos

Inspired by a delicious meal enjoyed on the Yucatan Peninsula, Bittman shares this recipe for Sabrina's Tacos with roasted chiles, corn, potatoes and onions.

Get the Recipe: Sabrina's Tacos

Southeast Asia Thai Mussel Salad

The beauty of mussels is their chameleon-like ability to take on an endless array of flavors. When tossed with a coconut milk, lime and fish sauce dressing, these mussels are brightened with the creamy, zesty notes prevalent in Southeast Asian cooking.

Get the Recipe: Southeast Asia Thai Mussel Salad

Pork-Fennel Burger

Fennel and fennel seeds lend their wonderful anise flavor to fatty pork shoulder meat in this entirely different take on the burger.

Get the Recipe: Pork-Fennel Burger

Pasta With Beans and Mussels

This rendition on the classic Italian pasta e fagioli contains cozze, or mussels. By cooking the shellfish with almost no water, Bittman extracts a strong, briny broth that's perfect for livening up the standard dish.

Get the Recipe: Pasta with Beans and Mussels

West African Peanut Soup with Chicken

Peanut butter lovers take notice: This sweet, savory soup proves that your favorite sandwich spread is so much more than jelly's perfect pair. Chopped peanuts and peanut oil round out the rich flavors.

Get the Recipe: West African Peanut Soup with Chicken

Frank's Steak

Sugar and plenty of spice (including nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves) are the key to this 1,000-year-old steak recipe shared by restaurateur Frank DeCarlo.

Get the Recipe: Frank's Steak

Egg Noodle

In an episode on Asian food, Bittman describes this recipe as the anti-Ramen. The surprising ingredient — ketchup — provides balancing sweetness to the soy sauce-based broth.

Get the Recipe: Egg Noodle

Paella With Tomatoes

Though often prepared with seafood or a variety of meats, paella needs little more than tomatoes, rice, saffron threads and pimenton to bear those traditional Spanish flavors.

Get the Recipe: Paella with Tomatoes

Tuna Steaks

When grilled, tuna develops meat-like flavor. For a different sort of preparation, Bittman grills his steaks medium-rare, then dips them in a lively Mediterranean-inspired mixture of marjoram, dill, parsley, tarragon, mint and finely chopped olives.

Get the Recipe: Tuna Steaks

Grilled Chicken Wings With Provencal Flavors

Chicken wings become fragrant fare when grilled with an herb paste and bay leaves. Cook slowly over indirect heat to avoid burning the wings, then finish on direct heat for that crispy golden skin.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Chicken Wings with Provencal Flavors

Pasta With Prosciutto and Lettuce

Tender greens and crispy prosciutto give this pasta dish a variety of textures, while melted Parmesan binds the ingredients and marries the sweet and salty flavors.

Get the Recipe: Pasta with Prosciutto and Lettuce

Monkfish and Mash Potatoes

Firm fish such as monkfish, red snapper and striped bass are best when oven-roasted, as the even temperature ensures the fillets are cooked all the way through. These thyme- and garlic-kissed fillets are perfect over a bed of buttery, smooth mashed potatoes.

Get the Recipe: Monkfish and Mash Potatoes

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad With Black Beans and Chili Dressing

Perfect for your backyard barbecue or as a weekday main, this vibrant dish with a jalapeno-lime dressing is not your ordinary potato salad — and it's healthier, to boot.

Get the Recipe: Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Black Beans and Chili Dressing

Tri-Tip Steak With Tomato Romesco

While this bottom sirloin cut of beef is harder to come by (each cow has only one, Bittman explains), it's the Romesco sauce from Catalonia that really sets this recipe apart. The tomato, garlic and sherry vinegar condiment possesses unique crunch and flavor thanks to toasted almonds.

Get the Recipe: Tri-Tip Steak with Tomato Romesco

Pasta With Soft Shell Crabs

This simple pasta dish needs no sauce; the juice from the soft shell crabs forms a fragrant base for the noodles, with parsley, red chile flakes and garlic rounding out the flavor profile.

Get the Recipe: Pasta with Soft Shell Crabs

Late Summer Minestrone

Corn, string beans, tomatoes and other seasonal vegetables need little more than water and herbs to be transformed into a clear soup with pure vegetable flavor.

Get the Recipe: Late Summer Minestrone

Lamb Meatballs and Collard Dolmades

In this recipe, Bittman reimagines stuffed grape leaves by rolling flavorful lamb meatballs into collard greens.

Get the Recipe: Lamb Meatballs and Collard Dolmades

Pan-Roasted Corn and Tomato Salad

With bacon, avocado, onions and chiles, this flavorful salad is a surprising, juicy main with just the right amount of heat and a hint of smoke.

Get the Recipe: Pan-Roasted Corn and Tomato Salad

Yakisoba

Though you'll find endless versions of this dish throughout Japan, there are three integral ingredients: noodles, aromatic vegetables and a unique combination of sauces. Bittman's take contains pork, cabbage and a sweet, salty and spicy sauce.

Get the Recipe: Yakisoba

Scallops With Cream and Basil

This dish — with ample butter and heavy cream — is as rich and decadent as it is quick to prepare. In just 15 minutes, turn out these tender, basil-kissed mollusks.

Get the Recipe: Scallops with Cream and Basil

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