Besides big roasts, slow braises, and stuffed pastas that are probably best for lazy-Sunday cooking, Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking has much to offer in the way of weeknight dinner (if youâ€™re accustomed to spending about an hour making dinner, that is). I love Marcella Hazanâ€™s frittate but somehow always forget that eggs for dinner are allowed, so I usually end up browsing soups, salads, and vegetables for ideas. Recently I put Chick Pea Soup, Potatoes with Onions, Tomatoes, and Sweet Pepper, and Shredded Savoy Cabbage Salad to the test. The potatoes, according to Hazan, are as â€œhearty and satisfying as a meat stewâ€ and should be eaten with crusty bread. I wouldnâ€™t compare this dish to meat stew, but it does stick to your ribs (and was a nice change from plain old roasting, my standby potato preparation). My plans to make bread fell through (weeknight dinner!), so we just ate this with a salad. It was good the second day, too. If you love cabbage (as I do), this is a wonderful salad for winter. I used Napa instead of Savoy, which my grocery store does not seem to carry. What is most interesting here is the way you infuse the salad with a subtle garlic flavor by rubbing two tiny bits of bread crust with two smashed garlic cloves, tossing it with the cabbage, and letting it sit for about an hour before dressing. I didnâ€™t believe this would work, but by golly, it did. And chick pea soupâ€”this recipe sounded like a weeknight winner, since she gives you the green light to use canned chickpeas, canned tomatoes, and a bouillon cube instead of stock. But I feel as if something must have gone wrong in my execution, because, as they say, "it wasnâ€™t very good, and the portions were so small!" What was billed as a dish for four to six people barely fed two of us; I think the yield was three cups of thick, not very compelling soup. I consulted with a wise friend who tells me he has never liked this recipe but does like the â€œVersion with Riceâ€ that follows, so Iâ€™m going to take his word for it and give you those instructions, too. About the author: Robin Bellinger recently escaped a career in book publishing, which was really cutting into her cooking time. Now she is a freelance editor and can bake bread on Tuesday afternoon if she feels like it. She lives in midtown Manhattan with her husband and blogs about cooking and crafting at home*economics.