Every halfway-decent home cook knows that the rest of the adult world can barely fathom doing more for dinner than chucking a box of dried pasta in boiling water.
That's why it's so easy to wow everyone else with your "from scratch" recipes, no matter how easy they really are.
Case in point: this ricotta cavatelli from Birch and Barley, which is technically pasta and technically "from scratch." But you don't need a rolling pin, a pasta machine, or a two-year apprenticeship in a famous kitchen in Bologna to make it.
The pasta dough is pure dump-and-stir: mix ricotta with an egg and some flour, form it into a homogenous mass, and roll it into a rope like you did with Play-Doh as a kid. Cut it into little bites, and you've just made cavatelli. Huzzah!
The topping is a different story—you'll want to set aside a few hours to let the boneless pork shoulder roast in the oven, but it requires no finesse. Let it slow-cook over a bed of onions, garlic, and fennel seed until it's meltingly tender, and you're golden.
As for the sauce, it's just a quick sauté of slightly bitter broccoli rabe, some aromatics, and chicken stock. Mix it all together, hit it with some Parm, and you've just earned enough yourself enough kitchen cred to last the rest of the month.