Letâ€™s talk pantry pastas. Theyâ€™re a favorite here at A&E because they utilize pantry staples to create a quick, no-fuss meal any day of the week. Of course, the key to making these pastas work for you is keeping your pantry and fridge stocked with a collection of seasonings, oils, herbs, citrus, and seasonal produce that you find yourself coming back to again and again. That may look different for you than it does for us, but let this article serve as a guide rather than a rigid, step-by-step recipe. Learn the base method, then mix-and-match your flavors and ingredients as you see fit.
– Jailyn, @jailynmarcel
Pre-made sauce paired with fresh pasta and herbs makes for a flavor-packed, semi-homemade dish thatâ€™s done in less than 30 minutes
1 package of fresh pasta
1 package of frozen green peas
2 shallots or half of a red onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp of butter
1 tbsp of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 anchovies (optional)
1 jar of your favorite tomato-basil sauce
Step 1: In a medium sautĂ© pan, add butter and half a tbsp of olive oil. Keep heat on medium, then add in shallots and garlic once butter is melted. Season with a pinch of salt.
Step 2: Add in anchovies once shallots (or red onion) have softened. Let anchovies disintegrate, then add 1/2 to 1 cup of green peas. (Do not let the anchovies scare you. This is an ingredient thatâ€™s routinely added to common dressings and sauces, and most people arenâ€™t aware. Its presence adds a briny flavor that gives the sauce an added oomph.) | Note: The amount of green peas you add should be based on your preference. If youâ€™re a green pea fan, pile it up! If not, hold back. Either way, the peas add a welcomed sweetness to the acidic tomato sauce.
Step 3: SautĂ© the peas for 3-5 minutes, then add in your pasta sauce. Weâ€™re partial to a pre-prepared tomato sauce made from our favorite local farmerâ€™s market purveyor. If you donâ€™t have access to a farmerâ€™s market, head to the Italian section in your grocery store to find a quality, store-bought tomato sauce. Mix everything together, and lower heat to keep sauce warm.
Step 4: While the pasta sauce is warming, boil your water for the fresh pasta. Add a generous amount of salt to the boiling water! The water should mimic the taste of the ocean. If it tastes too salty, that means itâ€™s just right đź™‚
Step 5: Drop fresh pasta into boiling water for about 60-70 seconds, then immediately transfer to sautĂ© pan with sauce. If youâ€™re partial to a thinner sauce, spoon a couple of tablespoons of the seasoned pasta water into your sautĂ© pan.
Step 6: Serve in your favorite pasta bowl (we opted for Rigbyâ€™s grey rendition), then top with a glug of olive oil + fresh micro greens. | Note: We recommend adding a light piece of fish or poultry to kick this dish up a notch.
Cavatappi with Butternut Squash
Bacon and sautĂ©ed collards help this creamy, non-dairy pasta sauce sing with flavor
1 small -to-medium butternut squash
1 tbsp of smoked paprika (optional)
1 tbsp of olive oil
Black pepper to taste
1 package of dried Cavatappi pasta (or your favorite short, dried pasta)
2 large shallots
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bunch of collard greens
4 pieces of bacon + bacon grease
8 oz of water or chicken broth/stock
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the butternut squash lengthwise in half and scoop out the guts and seeds and discard them (orÂ save the seeds and toast them, and use on top of salads or in granola).
Step 2: Rub squash in olive oil, then season with a mixture of Kosher salt and smoked paprika.
Step 3: Pour 1/4 cup of water into a baking dish and place the butternut squash halves skin side up.
Step 4: Bake for 40 minutes or until the squash is fork tender. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Step 5: Scoop the squash flesh into a blender or food processor. Season to taste with salt, fresh ground black pepper, smoked paprika, then add in water or chicken stock 1/4 cup at a time. Blend until sauce is preferred consistency.
For Pasta Assembly:
Step 1: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place 4 – 5 pieces of a bacon on a foil-lined sheet pan. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes or until bacon is crispy. The bacon should be crisp enough for crumbles.
Step 2: Let bacon cool for 5 minutes, then transfer grease from baking sheet into a small container or glass jar for safe keeping. Place bacon between paper towels to remove the excess grease. | Note: Weâ€™ll be cooking with the grease. If thereâ€™s extra, you can keep the bacon grease in the fridge, and use it to cook everything from scrambled eggs to sautĂ©ed veggies.
Step 3: While bacon cools, throw your bacon grease into a medium sautĂ© pan, and add shallots and garlic. Cook until transparent without letting the garlic brown.
Step 4: Cut bunch of collard greens into thin shreds, then cut shreds in half horizontally, discarding the stems. Then add to sautĂ© pan, and cook until greens have softened. Taste your way through this. Season as desired.
Step 5: While collards are slowly cooking, boil a post of water and salt liberally. Throw in your dried pasta, and cook according to the package until itâ€™s al dente.
Step 6: Once collards are softened, add your butternut squash sauce to the sautĂ© pan to warm. mix contents together.
Step 7: In a separate bowl, combine finished pasta sauce with drained pasta. If the pasta sauce needs a looser consistency, gradually add in pasta water, one tbsp at a time.
Step 8: Transfer pasta to a serving bowl, then top with crumbled bacon and herbs of your choice. We opted for a mix of different micro greens.