If you’re looking for something to erase Robert Pattinson’s viral pasta abomination from your memory, Stanley Tucci has provided the most potent antidote. In a diary for The Atlantic, the beloved actor documents a day in life as he now knows it—quarantined with his wife, two small children, and four older children, one of whom is a friend of his own kids. Last month Tucci showed us all how to make the perfect negroni—and now, he’s broken down how to make lamb, pasta, and chicken stock.
The delightful revelations in Tucci’s diary run beyond just food, though. For instance: Does it surprise anyone that he’s a neat freak? “The other day, it occurred to me that I might be able to strap a vacuum to my back like a leaf blower so that it could be with me at all times,” he writes. Also, it’s hard to think of an image much sweeter than Tucci playing “Mean King” with the younger tots—“in which I affect a very posh British accent and they come to me to ‘pay their taxes’ and then ‘steal’ them back when I ‘take a nap.’” (“I like this game because I get to sit on my ‘throne,’ an Eero Saarinen womb chair, the most comfortable seating device ever designed,” the actor confesses.)
But, you know, the recipes are pretty great as well! Tucci is one of Hollywood’s most well known foodies—and not just because of his involvement in nosh-centric films like Big Night and Julie & Julia. He authored his own cookbook, The Tucci Table, in 2012—and is now donating his percentage of the profits to Food Bank for New York City. The recipes he lays out in The Atlantic are both simple and clearly written, with a casual tone that includes suggesting a “glug” of olive oil. His lamb chop recipe, for instance, calls for only six ingredients: the meat, three cloves of garlic simply halved, “a bit” of fresh rosemary and thyme, a white wine, and olive oil.
Tucci’s pasta alla norma recipe is equally simple, as is the stock recipe. If you’re looking for some culinary inspiration but don’t want to buy out the grocery store’s selection of spices and accoutrement, the recipes are well worth a shot. That said, a word of warning: If you’re quarantining with a lot of people and get hooked on these recipes, your grocery bill might spiral out of control. As Tucci himself jokes, “I saw a neighbor hungrily eyeing our cat yesterday and it occurred to me that the woman probably hadn’t eaten meat in a week, because my gluttonous family had devoured all of the fucking beef, lamb, veal, chicken, oxtail, pork, rabbit, and game in Southwest London.” But what a way to go.