Maybe it's the first day of your period or perhaps you've weathered a particularly hazardous day, there's no greater source of comfort than food. We all have our unique (and some not so) cravings when we're in need of consolation. To me, comfort tastes like bowls of my mum's parmesan and olive oil-topped lentil soup or mounds of fried chicken. There's no middle ground. To others, comfort may come in the form of a lovingly simmered pasta sauce, a plate of mashed potato or a tub of Ben & Jerry's. To each their own. When you're in need of a hug, the following recipes will provide it in food form. There's the holy trinity, carbs, cheese and chocolate, and a little something else too. Below eight comforting recipes to try this week.
Anything pasta-related is kind of a no-brainer and when Cassandra Dimitroff, our Production Editor, is in need of comfort this is her go-to meal. You could easily whip up some Easy Mac (no judgement here) or Alison Roman has lent her tips to the conversation in the linked article.
Customisable and deceivingly quick and easy, this curry from Meera Sodha's Fresh India is comfort without the presence of cheese or potato. It's vegetarian, although meat eaters could easily add chicken or other protein – not that it's entirely needed, between the chickpeas and rice you'll feel satisfied and full. Take your time sweating the onions, the payoff is worth it.
Not exactly a meal, unless you eat a whole tray of them, these recipes will no doubt bring the comfort you're looking for – especially if you have a sweet tooth. These will cater to your preferred cookie format; whether that's thick and chewy, gooey and warm. And if your dessert of choice comes in the form of an apple pie, there's recipes for that too.
This is the kind of thing that is delicious at all ends of the high-low spectrum. Using a Breville and rubbery cheese singles? Fantastic. Layering in Comté, Manchego or about $8 worth of Jarslberg (IFYKYK)? Sexy. A grilled cheese is the best kind of choose-your-own-adventure experience. I like mine oozy and simple with mustard, buttery thick cut toast and a little salty cheese skirt. Perhaps you prefer yours with sourdough and aren't afraid of it's incisions to the roof of your mouth. Other great additions include: salami, ham – cured meats of any kind really, kimchi, spaghetti bolognese or leftover curry. Serve with a pickle and enjoy!
As promised, a recipe for nourishing lentil soup, courtesy of Los Angeles chef Jeremy Fox and his cookbook On Vegetables. His take pays homage to the Progresso canned soup his mother would cook for him as a child, however he's done away with the Kraft singles. I make it without the leek, swede and celeriac, replace powder garlic for fresh and parsley for basil or pesto. Either way is delicious, although never as good as a mother's touch.
This is becoming a carbs only space, no ifs and or buts. Tteokbokki has it all; the glossy sauce, a chilli kick, little rice cakes that are fun to eat as much as they are filling, a recipe that's easy to riff off. As always, Maangchi is the best person to take you through this Korean classic. Keep it simple, or add fish cakes, eggs, seafood, the world's your lobster.
OK so she's a little involved, but say you're in the middle of your cycle or in the throes of a bad week (our condolences), the preparation and eventual eating is something to look forward to. A little pick-me-up at the end of the horizon. If you need something without so much prep, see the rest of the recipes on this list. And anyway, isn't it enough just to watch Matty Matheson fart his way around a kitchen? We think so.
I'm sensing a theme here... Seriously though, pasta is the foundation of many of our comfort meals. You could keep it simple with a red sauce, spend the time to make bolognese, try your hand at the viral vodka pasta, mix in anchovies, chilli – whatever is on hand, or eat cacio e pepe. The options are endless. Personally, carbonara is my comfort sauce of choice. Guanciale, egg yolks, parmesan or pecorino, pasta and its water, and an abundance of fresh pepper. That's all it is. Sure, you could shoot tradition and add in garlic or, the blasphemous full cream, I really enjoy lap yuk for it's umami sweetness. However, there's really no great need to.