APRIL 03, 2020

Pantry pasta recipes

BY JACQUE DE BORJA (WORDS AND STYLING)
PHOTOGRAPHY BY RG MEDESTOMAS

As quarantine week three comes to an end, dive deep down your shelves for pasta recipes you can do right about now.

In this time of community lockdowns and a worldwide pandemic, we have to try our hardest to stay healthy, find ways to help (keep posted as we’re currently compiling the many avenues we can do this), and either be productive—or distracted—by keeping ourselves busy.

Now more than ever is the best time to learn how to cook and experiment with the ingredients we have in our pantry. Our carb of choice? Pasta.

Dried pasta is perfect as it has a long shelf life – any kind will do so don’t stress if you don’t have the specific ones mentioned in the recipes below.

The other ingredients below are simple and adaptable based on your current kitchen stock. Apron up, let’s get cooking.

Aglio e Olio

With a name that literally means “garlic and oil,” it literally won’t take much to dish out a flavorful plate of pasta.

Ingredients:
220 g of spaghetti
Sea salt (or any salt in your pantry)
4-5 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 head of garlic, thinly sliced
30-40 g of parmesan cheese, grated
Chili flakes (optional)
A bunch of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped (optional)

Ingredients for Aglio e Olio—recipe not as hard as Italian pronunciation.
Image by RG Medestomas

Prep:
Cook pasta in boiling well-seasoned water (aka add a lot of salt!) and stir occasionally until al dente, roughly two minutes less than package directions.

In a heavy bottom pan, add four to five tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and garlic and cook on low-medium heat, adjusting temperature when needed.

Be sure to add garlic in room temperature oil so they’ll slowly heat up on the pan. This allows the garlic to infuse the oil with flavor. Make sure you stir continuously to prevent garlic from burning.

When the garlic reaches a light brown color, add in chili flakes and stir.
Set aside around one cup pasta water as you drain the pasta and return cooked pasta in the pot over low heat.

Add in your garlic and oil mixture and toss, adding one tbsp of pasta water as needed, to emulsify with the oil – this will help the flavor cling to the noodles.

Roughly chop flat leaf parsley and toss in your pasta. Then slowly add grated parmesan cheese and continue to mix. Serve immediately and top with more grated parmesan cheese as you please!

Aglio e Olio pasta. Image by RG Medestomas

Tomato, Garlic and Tuna Pasta

More Filipino than Italian, this pasta dish requires ingredients that common to a Pinoy pantry.

Ingredients:
220 g rigatoni pasta
Sea salt (or any salt in your pantry)
1 can of tuna chunks with chili (the non-spicy version works, too)
1 medium-large tomato, julienne-cut, remove seeds
1 small white onion, thinly sliced
Half a head of garlic, minced
Extra virgin olive oil, for cooking
Ground black pepper
A bunch of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped (optional)

Ingredients for Tomato, Garlic and Tuna pasta. Image by RG Medestomas

Prep
Cook pasta in boiling well-seasoned water and stir occasionally until al dente or according to package directions.

In a pan, stir-fry garlic and then add onions, continue to cook until onions are translucent. Add tomatoes, continue to stir until tender.

Add tuna chunks with the oil and sauce from the can. Break down the tuna chunks into flakes and lower the heat.

Drain pasta and add to your sauce, continue to toss until noodles are fully coated. Plate then top with roughly chopped parsley and some ground black pepper. Serve immediately!

Tomato, Garlic and Tuna pasta—pretty plate preferred, but not required.
Image by RG Medestomas

Brown Butter Lemon Pasta

Full disclosure: this easy recipe is a Bon Appétit masterpiece we had to try ourselves. Needless to say, this citrusy pasta dish was divine.

Ingredients:
220 g of penne pasta
Sea salt (or any salt in your pantry)
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 whole lemon, thinly sliced into rounds, remove seeds
35 g parmesan cheese, grated
Ground black pepper

Ingredients for Brown Butter Lemon pasta. Image by RG Medestomas

Prep:
Cook pasta in boiling well-seasoned water and stir occasionally until al dente, roughly two minutes less than package directions.

In a separate pan, heat up half of the butter over medium heat until melted. Add lemon slices and be sure to stir often until tender and bottom of the pot show brown spots (those are milk solids from the butter.) Set aside some of the lemon slices.

Scoop half a cup of pasta water into your butter mixture, stir continuously. Slowly incorporate the remaining butter into your mixture, adding a piece at a time, until the butter and water emulsifies.

Drain pasta and add it to the sauce. Stir often as it cooks, then gradually add grated parmesan cheese. Once you add all the cheese, continue to cook and stir until the cheese melts. Add pasta water if you need to thin out the sauce.

Remove from heat and toss in ground black pepper – the more, the better. Plate and top with lemon rounds and more parmesan cheese.

Brown Butter Lemon Pasta. (Hope we made you proud, Bon Appétit.)
Image by RG Medestomas

Which pasta recipe will you be trying this weekend?