Andy Baraghani Talks Food, Identity in New Cookbook

ByLois C

May 27, 2022 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Baraghani shares his philosophy on meals 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 these passions, and sharing what he’s figured out with other individuals.

That curiosity underlies the philosophy powering his forthcoming cookbook, “The Cook dinner You Want to Be: Day to day Recipes to Impress,” established to launch May 24 from Lorena Jones Guides (Penguin Random Property).

“I want to get as substantially facts and know-how as attainable and procedure it, and then be equipped to either maintain onto it or, even far better, pass that data along,” Baraghani instructed Healthline.

A prepare dinner, foodstuff author, recipe developer, and previous Bon Appétit and Saveur editor, Baraghani seeks to do just that in his cookbook: guidebook audience by means of producing dishes that don’t demand a lot of cooking practical experience, nutrition awareness, or kitchen area devices.

The additional than 120 recipes are impressed by his identities as a queer, initial-era Iranian American, as perfectly as his encounters traveling all-around the globe and cooking for and with some others, these types of as in dining establishments like Chez Panisse and Estela.

To that finish, the cookbook features personal essays that examine those people inspirations and offer you sensible assistance for cooking additional only.

“There are personalized stories and experiences in this guide that I generate about, but I needed to bring in the reader to embrace those tales, embrace all those techniques, embrace these recipes, and genuinely combine and apply the knowledge that they’ve learned by my encounters into their very own lifetime so that they can truly feel more empowered in the kitchen area and grow to be the cook dinner they want to be,” Baraghani claimed.

The cookbook’s offerings array from “Mighty Little Recipes” — these kinds of as sauces and dressings — and shareable treats (like Borani, aka the Queen of All Yogurt Dips) to meat-primarily based fare and a couple desserts, these types of as an Apple and Tahini Galette.

But, Baraghani said, “this guide is mostly veggies.”

In point, he reported that a person of his most loved chapters is “Salad for Times,” which is — you guessed it — devoted fully to revolutionary salads, including Try to eat-with-All the things Cucumber Salad and Fats Items of Citrus with Avocado and Caramelized Dates.

Another preferred chapter, “Mind Your Veg,” brings veggies entrance and centre in recipes this sort of as Caramelized Sweet Potatoes with Browned Butter Harissa and Peas with Major Hunks of Feta and Zhoug.

“I genuinely tried to give selections and variations to men and women,” Baraghani mentioned. “I seriously tried using to feel of what would be uncomplicated for individuals to have entry to but also truly feel superior about right after they’ve geared up this food.”

“I want food stuff to not just taste great, but I want it to make you experience superior.”

— Andy Baraghani

Aspect of that work, he explained, incorporated composing recipes that never be expecting visitors to use kitchen area gadgets like juicers or garlic presses if they really do not want or have all those merchandise on hand.

Although the guide does incorporate a manual to kitchen area tools and utensils that individuals may well find handy, Baraghani said it is vital to continue to be functional.

“I consider there is this dread inside so numerous folks in cooking,” he said. “Adding all this machines, it overcomplicates duties that are not complex at all.”

That is also why, in the era of YouTube cooks and TikTok recipes, Baraghani was inspired to publish a print cookbook instead than share these recipes on-line.

A print cookbook, he claimed, encourages some thing vital that social media cooking does not necessarily make room for: taking your time.

Furthermore, it afforded Baraghani the prospect to perform with designers, photographers, and other artists to lay out the cookbook so the e book alone can contribute to the storytelling in its have way.

“There’s a thing that is however quite satisfying, to me at minimum, to cook from a e-book and not scroll down a site or seem by your cellphone,” he stated. “I want people to sit with the imagery. I want folks to sit with the variety, the title, the copy, the headnote, the sidebars, the flavor of the recipe. I never feel that is anything that happens as typically with electronic media.”

You can buy “The Cook dinner You Want to Be: Day to day Recipes to Impress” from Lorena Jones Textbooks (Penguin Random Household) via Amazon right here.

“I undoubtedly never assure that you will be the finest prepare dinner in the earth soon after this e book,” Baraghani said. “I promise that you will discover at the very least 1 factor that will make you a extra assured and curious cook dinner.”

There are a lot of recipes for pasta e ceci (aka pasta with chickpeas). The vast majority that I have encountered are brothy, almost souplike. This recipe emphasizes the two the chickpeas and the pasta but is equally comforting and a lot creamier than the standard versions. Considerably of the magic of this dish lies in crushing the chickpeas, so they launch their starches and renovate the pasta drinking water into a creamy sauce. Some of the chickpeas keep their condition, while others transform to tasty mush, and the caramelized lemon lends some chewy tang and provides the pasta back to daily life article-boiling. It’s amazingly satisfying. If I nonetheless require to influence you to make this, know that it was the to start with food that I created for my boyfriend, and he has been attached to me ever considering the fact that. —Andy Baraghani

Serves: 4 (moreover, maybe, some leftovers, although I question it)


  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup excess-virgin olive oil
  • 1 smaller Meyer or standard lemon, thinly sliced, seeds picked out
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 huge shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 rosemary sprig, or 4 thyme sprigs
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound tubular pasta (this sort of as calamarata, paccheri, or rigatoni)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, lower into compact items
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, moreover a lot more for serving


  1. Deliver a large pot of h2o to a boil, then toss in a handful of salt (about 1/4 cup).
  2. When the h2o is doing its point, set a different large pot or Dutch oven about medium warmth and pour in the olive oil. Include the lemon and cook, working with tongs to flip the slices right until they commence to frivolously brown and shrivel up, 6–8 minutes. Applying the tongs, transfer the caramelized lemon slices to a bowl, leaving the oil in the pot.
  3. Dump the chickpeas into the oil and enable them get a minor crisp and golden, stirring sometimes, 5–7 minutes. Incorporate the shallot and crush the rosemary to launch its oil and drop it into the pot. Period with salt and a lot and a lot of pepper and give everything a stir. Prepare dinner till the shallot is commencing to soften, 3–5 minutes. Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling drinking water and cook dinner until finally just about al dente, about 2 minutes a lot less than what the package suggests (it’ll finish cooking in the sauce).
  4. Just before the pasta is al dente, scoop out 2 cups pasta water. Insert 1 1/2 cups pasta drinking water to the pot with the chickpeas and carry to a simmer, however about medium heat. (This might look like a ton of liquid, but it will thicken the moment the remaining ingredients are extra.) 1 piece at a time, stir in the butter right up until the pasta water and butter have turn into one.
  5. Making use of a slotted spoon, transfer the pasta to the sauce. Cook, stirring normally and sprinkling in the Parmesan a small at a time. (Really don’t incorporate the cheese all at at the time, as that can make the sauce break up and convert grainy.) Keep stirring until the cheese is melted and the sauce is creamy and clings to the pasta, about 3 minutes. If the sauce looks much too thick, incorporate much more pasta drinking water, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time to slender (but know that saucier is best simply because it will thicken as it cools). Change off the heat and fold in the caramelized lemon. Sprinkle with an almost absurd sum of pepper and additional Parmesan in advance of 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 affiliate editor at Healthline Diet. A 2021 graduate of Mercer College with a diploma in journalism and women’s & gender reports, Rose has bylines for Business Insider, The Washington Publish, The Lily, Georgia Community Broadcasting, and additional. Rose’s proudest qualified achievements contain being a higher education newspaper editor-in-chief and working at Truthful Combat Action, the national voting rights firm. Rose addresses the intersections of gender, sexuality, and health and fitness, and is a member of The Affiliation of LGBTQ+ Journalists and the Trans Journalists Affiliation. You can obtain Rose on Twitter.

By Lois C