*Updated March 2020
Friends dropping in for an unexpected dinner? Stuck at home in a blizzard? Sunday night and the fridge is bare? With these pantry essentials on hand, you can produce a simple but delicious dinner.
- Cans of tomatoes, beans, and chickpeas
- Can of tuna and/or salmon in water and in olive oil
- Carton of chicken stock
- Pasta (different kinds: spaghetti, penne, etc.)
- Rice, basmati, couscous, quinoa
- Sauces and pastes: soy sauce, tomato and garlic pastes
- Extra-virgin olive oil, red-wine vinegar, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard
- Herbs & flavorings: pepper corns, sea salt, and red-pepper flakes, tarragon, oregano, basil
- Anchovies, capers, and Parmesan cheese
From Everyday Food comes this recipe for Pasta with Garlic and Red Pepper Flakes:
- 1 pound pasta
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- 1 clove garlic, crushed or 1 T garlic paste
- pinch of crushed red-pepper flakes
- 1 T lemon juice
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Generously salt water and return to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook, according to package directions, until al dente.
- Drain spaghetti, reserving 1⁄2 cup pasta-cooking liquid, and return pot to stove. Add olive oil, garlic or garlic paste, and red-pepper flakes; cook, stirring, over medium-low heat, 3 to 4 minutes. Add spaghetti and stir to coat. Add lemon juice and reserved cooking liquid, if desired. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Remove from heat.
- Remove garlic and discard. Divide pasta evenly between 4 serving plates; serve immediately with cheese and drizzle with olive oil, if desired.
Want some more ideas? These recipe apps will help. We love Dinner Spinner from Allrecipes.