Daily Dinner Table

Ideas for dinner tonight. Household and kitchen tips, recipes, tweaks. What's worked great, and not so great.

Empty Pantry Pasta

What to make when you’ve been away, you have an empty pantry, and a refrigerator full of, well….. science experiments?  I didn’t really feel like cooking much tonight. We had a fun day watching Rafael Nadal win his match against David Ferrer  to head into the finals of the French Open tennis tournament, and unfortunately for Roger Federer, Novak Djokovich (hmmm, not so sure how to spell that!) will be taking on Rafael for the final on Sunday. (Rafa is my fave, aside from Andy Roddick. My son gives me enough grief about Andy, so no more please!) So, back to dinner plans!  I was intending on going grocery shopping today, but it didn’t happen. As Scarlet O’Hara says, tomorrow is another day. I’m searching the pantry for something, anything! I spy pasta! Always  handy, and versatile. What to put with it? Heading to the fridge, we had some grape tomatoes… a good start, a little cheese, ok,… that’ll work. I’ll figure something out. Here’s what I did, and I honestly thought this wasn’t going to be very good. I was ready to tell hubby to get dialing to Domino’s. BUT, it WAS pretty dang good. It works in a pinch, it’s quick, has fresh ingredients and dinner is done.

Here’s what you’ll need for 2 servings:

2T olive oil

3T butter

2t minced garlic

2 servings of pasta… I used Barilla Omega 3 pasta. A serving is a bunch about the size of a quarter

1T capers

1 1/2 c halved grape tomatoes

1/4 c dry white wine… I used Pinot Grigio tonight, but any dry will do

1/2 c shredded Pecorino cheese. Parmesan, romano etc will work great also

about 1/4-1/2 c chopped basil

Boil water with a bit of Kosher salt added, and prepare pasta to al dente. Cook about 10-12 minutes. Save some of the pasta water prior to draining in a pyrex cup if added liquid is necessary for sauce. Drain pasta and keep warm.

While waiting for water to boil, in a small sauce pan, heat  olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and slowly cook to develop flavor. Add butter, capers, wine and tomatoes. Stir occasionally to mix. Cook about 5 minutes to soften tomatoes and blend flavors.

Mix basil, a splash of olive oil, and half of the cheese into the drained pasta in the pot. Put a serving of pasta in each bowl, top with half of the tomato caper sauce and garnish with remaining cheese and a basil sprig. A squeeze of lemon would be ideal also. I didn’t have any lemon tonight, but thought it would have added a nice touch. A slice of crusty french bread (baking some tonight!) and nice glass of wine and a green salad would round it out nicely, but as I said, it was an empty pantry night for me today. The pasta worked just fine. 


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This entry was posted on June 9, 2012 by in main dish, vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , , , .
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