Hi all, since NaBloPoMo is now fully underway, I thought I’d do a theme entry and a regular entry, if possible each day for the month of November. Now that’s 30 items. What can I think of with 30 items? Well a pantry of course! I’m one of those people that buys 5 of something if it’s on sale. This is in the hope that every time I go to the pantry for a staple of some sort, it’s there, and, in that case, I’ll never not be able to throw together SOMETHING for dinner or company that shows up unexpectedly. So without further unnecessary introduction:
Edition 1 – Pasta.
Yes, folks, pasta is king of the pantry. It comes in all sort of shapes, sizes, colors and even in wheat and white, like bread! From your first apartment or college days Top Ramen to plain old spaghetti, having pasta in the cupboard is a sure first step to having something that a variety of people will eat and enjoy. Macaroni and cheese, Alfredo and chicken noodle soup, pasta is a necessity. It’s also enriched with a lot of vitamins & minerals that are part of a healthy diet.
Okay, so how do you decide which pastas to stock? Where to store it? There are some things to take into consideration, first, how much pasta do you eat, and second, how much space do you have? My thoughts: If there’s only one or two of you and you don’t eat a lot of pasta, I’d stick to a long noodle, an egg noodle, and a shape. Buy a tall plastic container with a good seal on it for your long noodles for a traditional pasta dish (pick one of fettuccine, spaghetti, angel hair, etc.) The egg noodles would be great for goulash, soup, or basically any other meat stuff you can put over noodles, stroganoff, etc. and the shape (elbow macaroni, wagon wheels, penne) is great for macaroni and cheese and miscellaneous applications, for the same great taste.
Now if there’s a family involved, you can go crazy, buy a couple of shapes and mix them. See your kids’ faces light up as they see all the different shapes to eat. Buy super enriched 3 color “wacky mac” – it doesn’t taste any different than the others and its get more vitamins. Plus the kids will love the colors. I’m not suggesting you make a game out of it, they’ll do it on their own, trust me. Buy a box of lasagna noodles and keep them in the tall container with your choice or choices of tall noodles. Keep your other boxes of pasta in the freezer, cupboard, or if you’re worried about them keeping or something getting into them, go ahead and get a large fancy container or two and put your pasta in them and keep them on the counter for decoration, or just simple Tupperware types store pasta just as easily.
Ed. 1 Recipe:
Nothing enticing to eat? Want something simple but feel lazy? Have a little bit of pasta in the cupboard? Butter? Spice cabinet? You’re all set. Cook your pasta according to package directions. Drain, and put it back on the stove over the keep warm or low setting. This will take the rest of the water out of the pasta. Add some butter and stir, then go crazy, add in your favorite spices, garlic or onion powder, Italian seasoning (basil or oregano), crushed red pepper flake or chili powder, salt and pepper, whatever you like. Stir it up with the pasta and butter (butter helps the spices stick to the pasta better) and you’re all set. Recipe courtesy of K.M.A.