2. Using less water (and less energy) to cook pasta. Food scientist Harold McGee argues that using huge amounts of boiling water (that just goes down the drain) is wasteful. He estimates that America could save $10 to $20 million in oil costs each year, and he conducted a few experiments to determine if pasta could cook in less water and less time. We have to say, he didn't convince us... See what you think.
3. Orange salad with black olive puree. Simple and seasonal, from Bittman.
4. Soup's secret ingredients: chicken backs, lamb necks, and shin bones. Adding bones to soup as it cooks gives body and flavor without the need for homemade stock. We're trying this, most likely with the lima bean soup. Mm.
5. Tough times for coat check attendants. This is primarily a restaurant story, but it's a funny, short essay, and the accompanying recipe for Prime Rib Hash (adapted from Keens Steakhouse, one of our favorites) looked too good to pass up.
Last week's Top 5: Polenta Pizza for Breakfast
(Image: Tony Cenicola for The New York Times)