Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pasta With Leftovers

Fig.1. Pasta and leftovers can be friends.

Sometimes it's not a question of using leftovers, it's about using all those edible odds and ends lingering in the recesses of your fridge and pantry. I hate wasting food and find it utterly sinful to throw away anything edible.
I've said it before: you can make pasta with anything.  The basic premise of a starch mixed with other ingredients holds true in many different forms, just because it's pasta doesn't mean it has to fit within a framework in our minds forged by years of people telling us what should be.  You might not think of combining pasta with avocado, but avocado with rice or tortillas (two starches of a different kind) are an acceptable match in many parts of the world. I've added pasta to just about everything at one time or another: shepard's pie, (not bad, had to add chicken stock if I recall) beef stew, (really good) chili, (awesome!) hamburger steak, (flippin' awesome!) you get the picture.

Here's something I whipped up last night with edibles just screaming to be made into pasta.

 Pasta With Chimichurri, Marinated Vegetables And Other Odds And Ends
 Serves 3 to 4

What you see in the photo below was hanging around my fridge and pantry. From the top: Italian parsley, orrecchiette pasta, half a jar of chimichurri, (which I made, it's basically garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, lemon juice, and parsley.) green onions, some saucisson (a Mondo Salami brand which I thourally enjoyed) a sweet red pepper, and some leftover marinated artichokes, mushrooms and olives purchased at Milano and tasted like plastic.

Ingredients: (See above)
Use whatever you have in your fridge. In this case, the jar of chimichurri added the wetness I needed. If you only have dry ingredients in your fridge, just add some extra olive oil to your pasta, some of the pasta water, or a combination of both.  And another thing, it's perfectly acceptable to have a greater ratio of other ingredients besides pasta in your dish.

Set a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Add some good olive oil to a large pan set over medium heat. Start by adding your raw ingredients, in this case, add the chopped green onions and chopped red pepper, saute until tender, 8 to 10 minutes.  Add the rest of your ingredients including the pasta, stir well. If your pasta is dry, simply add some more olive oil or pasta water, or a combination of both. Use what's in your fridge and don't be scared. You don't need always need a recipe!

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