In light of recent events here in the Midlands, I am sure it comes as no surprise that my kids and I have been confined to the house for several days. This weather has either discouraged me from going anywhere or just down right prevented it from being possible. Several days pass and I cook and bake and create meals from what I have in my kitchen, but at some point in time, staples start to run low.
It is during these times that I end up scanning my fridge for some kind of magical button I can push, thereby dispensing fresh fruits and vegetables. Wouldn’t that be nice? Cold crisp apples and bright bunches of broccoli at a moments notice when your fridge previously contained only the dregs of a bunch of yellowed celery?
Alas, this is still a pipe dream and plan B needs to be implemented. I instead, turn to my pantry. A few well placed ingredients and I have a meal fit for … well … anything. This quick pasta dish is inexpensive and yet, so full of flavor. It will easily become part of your regular rotation — regardless of the weather.
Recipe via Brittany’s Pantry
This will feed four people with a serving leftover for lunch the next day. A fresh salad is great with this, but frozen peas work too!
3/4 lb of thin spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 T extra virgin olive oil
large pinch of red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 tsp anchovy paste, optional
1-28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1/2 c roughly chopped pitted kalamata olives
2 heaping T capers, drained
1 tsp dried oregano
1 T dried parsley
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste
parmesan cheese for serving
While the pasta cooks, heat the oil and garlic in a large sauté pan over medium heat until just starting to sizzle. DO NOT LET IT BROWN AND BURN! As soon as it is fragrant, add the anchovy paste, red pepper flakes, and oregano. Cook for about 15 seconds stirring well to dissolve the anchovies and dump in the crushed tomatoes. Add the olives, capers, dried parsley and sugar. Give it a few cranks of black pepper and let it come up to a slow bubble. Taste it for salt and pepper seasoning, and let the whole thing bubble gently until the pasta is done. Dump all the pasta into the sauce and toss gently with a tongs until combined well. Serve with plenty of parmesan cheese.