I’m going to Atlanta on Friday (YAY!) and having at least one dinner out this week, so it turns out there was no point buying groceries for and cooking a weeknight dinner thing. So I’m doing a week of Pantry Staple Cooking. You’re welcome, sister.
The aim is to make food using things that are only in the pantry/freezer/fridge/etc. I tend to have a bizarrely well-stocked pantry/freezer/fridge/etc., so we’ll see how this goes for everyone else…
So tonight I made pasta with spinach, white beans, tomatoes, and parmesan cheese. This was based on this recipe, but I ignored most of the directions (and halved it). It’s good; it’s not the greatest food of all time, but it cost $0 and was really quick.
Pasta with Spinach, Etc.
Based on a recipe from Food.com
1/2 package of pasta—I used ziti (not whole-wheat because there are enough healthy things in here)
1 onion, diced
~2 tsp chopped garlic (about 4 cloves; I’ve started using a giant container of pre-chopped garlic… it’s terrible, I know)
5 oz. frozen spinach (i.e. half a package)
1-2 small tomatoes, chopped and de-seeded
About 1 cup cooked white beans, without the liquid, or about half a can, drained—though this might be better scaled up
Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes
About 1/2 c parmesan cheese or so
Boil your salted pasta water while you saute the onion over low heat. Add the garlic once the onion has softened. Saute for a few minutes, until fragrant, golden, etc. Do not burn like I did.
Add the spinach and tomatoes. I didn’t fully thaw the spinach first—just microwaved it in a slab for a few minutes—and it was fine, but if you find it annoying to stand over the clump of spinach hacking at it while it very slowly melts, you should thaw it first and drain the liquid. Add red pepper flakes. (Not really sure when is the best time to do this, but I think this is when I did it.)
Once the pasta is cooked, DON’T drain it. Add about half a cup of the cooking liquid to the spinach mixture, along with the pasta, beans, and parmesan cheese. Stir, simmer, cook until a reasonable-looking sauce has formed.