During the week, it's difficult to come up with quick, simple, and delicious meals that everyone will enjoy. Each week in this space, I will post a recipe for a simple main course that requires 5 ingredients. It may be a slow cooker stew, it may be a quick saute, delicious soup, or a pasta bake, but each dish will be fresh, simple, and a new addition to your weeknight repertoire. To get you started, the ground rules are that I'm assuming you have a pantry that is stocked; not only a dry pantry with flour, sugar, dried herbs and chocolate, but a cold pantry with butter, milk, cheeses, ice cream and frozen vegetables. The "five" will be the fresh protein and vegetables. And some weeks, like this week, it will be a pantry meal, using some of the ingredients from your pantry to make the dinner.
|Sadly not everyone has this kind of space|
This is what's in my dry pantry:
Canned Tuna (oil pack)
Canned San Marzano Tomatoes
Canned Beans (garbanzo, kidney,pinto,black and small white beans)
Dry Pasta (your favorite shapes)
Rice (Arborio, long grain and brown)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Vinegars (Balsamic, red wine, rice, cider)
Pepper (in a grinder please)
Dried herbs and spices
Sun dried tomatoes
Dried legumes (split peas, lentils, beans)
Olives (Kalamata and green)
Chicken, Beef or Vegetable broth
Condiments: Mayo, mustard (Dijon and ball park), Ketchup, Worcestershire
Our first Take 5 is a Pantry Meal; you should have all the ingredients in your pantry which is a great bonus if you are exhausted and out of ideas; it can be a vegetarian main course, or you can add leftover cooked chicken or seafood to it.
Farfalle with Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Sauce
One pound farfalle pasta, cooked 3 minutes short of al dente, drained and kept warm
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained, and coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups half and half
1/4 cup finely chopped basil
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a large skillet, melt the butter, and add the garlic, and tomatoes, sauteing for 3 minutes, until the butter is infused with the garlic. Add the half and half, and bring to a boil. Add the cooked pasta, and basil, and turn in the sauce to coat the pasta. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, add 1/4 cup of the cheese and the pepper, and toss to blend. Serve the pasta in shallow bowls, garnished with additional Parmigiano Reggiano.
If you would like to add leftover cooked chicken, or seafood, (about 2 cups is good) add it with the garlic and tomatoes, so it will absorb some of the flavors before you add it to the pasta.
And one more thing, I never promised a non-fat blog; so please no snarky comments about using butter, or half and half. I'm committed to fresh, but I will be committed if I have to deal with low fat/soy/non-fat issues. If you are that concerned about a dish, don't make it, it's that simple.