Jan 5, 2012

Pasta lunch for one

I was home alone, hungry and scrounging around the fridge and pantry to find something for lunch. I do this often. I like to use up the last of food and challenge myself to create a meal out of what appears to be an empty fridge or pantry.

In reality, in the western world our fridges and patries are rarely truly empty and in my case, it's yet to happen. With this belief, I really think that most of the time I can turn out a quick meal.

In this instance, it was a pasta with zuchinni, broccolini, cherry tomato, pine nuts and fetta. In the time it took to boil the penne, I had a delicious meal ready using what I had on hand at the time. On any other day I still may have made a pasta but it would have reflected the ingredients on that particular day.

What about you, how do you think about cooking? Do you need a recipe and all its ingredients or can you come up with something out of what you have lying around? Or do you like to mix it up?

My pasta recipe for one

Approx 50gm dried pasta, I used penne
1 baby zucchini or ½ regular, sliced into matchsticks
A few cherry tomatoes or 1 small tomato, chopped
2 stems of broccolini, chopped
1Tbs pine nuts
Approx 40gm low fat fetta, in small cubes
1Tbs olive oil
½ tsp dried chilli flakes
1Tbs parmesan or grana padano cheese, finely grated

1. Cook pasta according to packet instructions reserving a little pasta water to add later.
2. In a pan, toast the pine nuts until dark golden brown. Remove pine nuts from the pan and heat the olive oil.
3. Add chilli flakes, broccolini, zucchini and tomatoes. Fry for a few minutes until vegetables are cooked but still crisp. Add the pine nuts and fetta and warm through. Remove pan from the heat.
4. To the vegetables, add the cooked pasta, about 1Tbs of pasta water, grated cheese and S&P to taste. Mix all ingredients well and serve.


Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Anna, I love rummaging around and making up a meal. I loathe waste so it helps in that respect! :P This looks like a delicious weeknight dinner! :D

Faith said...

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! This looks like a lovely lunch...I also enjoy coming up with a meal out of whatever I have on hand!

Cakelaw said...

I like to mix things up between recipes and improv, but I think it's a great idea to ise up whatever you have to avoid waste. This pasta sounds delish.

CC11 said...

I admire you for making such a fab meal just for yourself, I have to admit that if it's just me eating dinner the most I can be bothered making is a sandwich - for shame!

And it's true, I've often caught myself thinking 'I have nothing in the cupboards' but when you actually look, as long as you have pasta, rice, grains, legumes, produce or eggs you can always cook up something.