One Pot Pantry Raid Pasta

Pantry Raid Pasta

Last night I had one of those nights where I didn’t really want to go out, nor did I want to buy more groceries, nor did I particularly care to be overly healthy. It was a night where the starving artist looks at what he has and figures something out: pantry raid.

As I stared forlornly at my cabinets I came across a ziplock bag full of bow tie pasta that had been sitting in there for roughly two years. I rarely eat pasta anymore, hence why it has been kicking around for so long. Of course I love it, but it’s just too easy. Too easy to cook an entire pound and eat all of it in one sitting. Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about. I decided it was time – I was simply in the mood. And it turns out there was just enough pasta for one (three) servings. I was put even more in the mood when I realized I had grated Parmesan in my fridge. Destiny.

Here’s how it went. Boil 2 cups of pasta¬†in heavily salted water according to package directions. I just used my two quart saucepan with lid. While the water heats up, use a strainer to rinse two cups of frozen peas under very hot tap water until they soften. Set the strainer over a bowl to let the peas dry off while the water boils. When the pasta is cooked, strain thoroughly, do not rinse, and return back to the hot pot you just boiled it in. Add two tablespoons of butter and two tablespoons of olive oil to the hot pasta. Stir to melt the butter. Using a garlic press, mince one or two cloves of garlic directly into the pot along with the peas, 1 cup of grated Parmesan, two teaspoons of Italian seasoning, and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper. Stir to combine all ingredients. Add more cheese, butter, and pepper to taste. Devour immediately directly from the pot using the wooden spoon you used to stir the boiling pasta. Starving artist class.

There are of course 10000 variations you could do for this dish. And the best part is that I made it entirely from ingredients that were already in my kitchen. If you’re not in the habit of keeping frozen peas in your freezer, you should start. It is one of my top go-tos when making meals on the fly. And if you happen to have leftover chicken or sausage in your fridge that would send this quick humble little dish right over the top. And for you heat-lovers, try some crushed red pepper flakes mmmmm.

Raid your pantry. Tell me what you find.

Farmers’ Market Dinner

Hello friends, I am blogging in real time today! Hope everyone has enjoyed this beautiful fall weekend. This morning I finally had the opportunity to return to my beloved Hollywood Farmers’ Market. It had been two weeks since my last visit – for shame. Today I could not resist the Domenico’s tent. Not only do they have a plethora of fresh pastas, they also have the only pre-made pesto I would ever consider purchasing, made with roasted Marcona almonds and basil. Mind-blowing. I went for a package of fresh whole wheat bucatini and then made my way to the mushroom tent to purchase a $10 bag of fresh chanterelles. Between these two items I was already at $16, which means I couldn’t really go too much further with the purchases. So, I got stocked up on some fresh herbs – chives and chocolate mint are my two staples, but today I got a third one that I’ve never used, marjoram. It’s almost like a cross between rosemary and sage. Thought it would be perfect for a mushroom sauce to go with this fresh pasta.

Well, let me tell you, I was right. I chopped up the chanterelles with some creminis and sauteed them in butter and olive oil and salt. I also soaked some dried porcinis in boiling water for 10 minutes. I then chopped them up and threw them into the pan. Once soft I added 3 cloves of garlic run through a garlic press and one finely diced shallot. After cooking those for a minute, I added a bit of flour, cooked that for another minute, then added the water I soaked the porcinis in with some beef stock. Once it got thick and bubbly I added 1 cup of defrosted frozen peas,  the fresh marjoram, then let it simmer for a bit. Once my bucatini was cooked I scooped it right out of the pot into the saute pan. I brought it all together with some fresh parmesan and romano. An earthy, comforting meal for a chilly night. Delicious.

Happy Sunday :)

Quick Noodles and Peas

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Last night I was in the mood for two things: 1) a hot meal 2) spending little or no money. I found half a bag of whole wheat egg noodles and decided that noodles with butter, garlic, veggies, and cheese would be perfection. I always have peas in my freezer, I always have fresh garlic, always have an onion, and I usually have some kind of grated cheese shoved in the back of the fridge so that I forget about it and am not tempted to make red sauce. I decided that I wanted something more than peas in this dish, so I did go to the store and buy a $2.50 pack of sliced cremini mushrooms – my favorite. And I had all I needed.

Assembly is, as always with me, a total breeze. Get the water boiling and the noodles cooking. Place two cups of frozen peas in a small strainer and rinse them under hot tap water until the chill is gone and they have softened a bit. Set aside to drain. While the I got outmy large skillet and began to sautee the mushrooms in butter, olive oil, salt, and pepper. When the mushrooms began to soften and darken, I added 1/2 cup of chopped red onion and let it simmer for another 2 minutes. Then came 2 cloves of finely minced garlic (or you can run it through a presser). Finally 2 cups of frozen peas that I rinsed under hot tap water for a minute and allowed to drain