Monday, January 7, 2013

Pantry Cooking and Kitchen-Sink Capellini Recipe

Did you happen to catch The New York Times article A Vegan Resolution over the weekend? The piece discusses eating vegan as part of a resolution to healthy meals in 2013. (Isn't it great to see veganism in mainstream media?) The article also issues a challenge: take an inventory of your pantry, refrigerator and freezer and cook for a week without buying anything except foods that your family eats on a daily basis, such as bananas.

That's quite a challenge, but it's the perfect way to clean out your kitchen for starting afresh in the new year. Did you know that Vegan Unplugged by Jon Robertson with recipes from Robin Robertson is not only a power-outage survival guide, it's also a pantry cuisine cookbook? It's full of delicious, easy to make dishes such as Almost Instant Black Bean Chili, Pantry Pasta Salad and Fire-Roasted Blueberry Cobbler that are made from everyday ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. It's a must have book for anyone who wants to discover the ease of cooking great-tasting pantry cuisine. Once you start cooking with it, you'll have your kitchen cabinets cleaned out and ready to start anew in no time!

Here's a fast and easy recipe from Vegan Unplugged that uses ingredients you more than likely have on hand right now:

Kitchen-Sink Capellini
With so many goodies in this flavorful dish, you can omit an ingredient or two and it will still taste great. If you have Kalamata or other imported olives on hand, use them instead of the regular sliced black olives.

  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes

  • 1 pound capellini or angel hair pasta

  • 3 teaspoons olive oil

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, drained

  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas, drained
1 (6-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

  • 1 (4-ounce) can sliced black olives, drained

  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained (optional)

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil (or 1 tablespoon fresh basil, if available)
    Salt and black pepper

  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (optional)

  1. Place the sun-dried tomatoes in a small heat-proof bowl. Add boiling water and let sit for 10 minutes to soften. Drain and cut into 1/4-inch strips. Set aside.
  2. Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain the pasta in a colander. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil, toss to coat with the oil, and set aside.
  3. In the same pot, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Stir in both kinds of tomatoes, chickpeas, artichoke hearts, olives, capers (if using), basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until hot, about 5 minutes. Add the reserved pasta and toss gently to combine and heat through. Serve hot sprinkled with the pine nuts, if using.
Makes 4 Servings

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