The worst of Hurricane Irene seems to be behind us—at least in the New York area. Last weekend, the city was captivated, as New Yorkers (people not normally accustomed to floods) contemplated evacuating their apartments and stock piled candles, water and other essential non-perishables.
I decamped to New Jersey to wait out the storm with my family. For the most part, we made out unharmed, until we all realized something awful: We’d run out of food! By Sunday night, we had eaten through our rations—most of the fresh fruit and vegetables, milk, and even leftover Indian takeout. It was all gone, and the fridge was pathetically bare. When my sisters turned to me and asked “What are we having for dinner?” I could sense the concern in their voices. I knew that I was in trouble. Then, I turned to my pantry and, in a moment of inspiration, pulled together the makings of a delicious, quick and cheap dinner—whole wheat pasta, canned plum tomatoes and white beans, olives, capers, a red onion and balsamic vinegar.
I made a quick pan sauce with the tomatoes, lots of olive oil and sliced garlic and onion. I added a glug of balsamic vinegar and a pinch of chile flake then tossed in the olives, capers and white beans. Red wine and some bread made it a meal, one enjoyed with my family. I am calling it pantry puttanesca, and I certainly will not wait until the next hurricane to make it again.
Tell me about some of the best meals you have made from the pantry.
(The photo above is for Real Simple’s Roasted Tomato Spaghetti recipe.)