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Works for Me Wednesday: Panic Pantry Pasta

December 5, 2007

Works for Me Wednesday

So, it’s dinner time. You need food fast, but you don’t have any idea what to fix. I always fall back on my favorite staple: Panic Pantry Pasta. It’s super quick, and it only requires you have a few easy-to-stock items on hand. This is dinner in under 20 minutes.

You’ll need:

1 onion, diced

1 or 2 cloves of garlic, minced, if you like garlic. Leave it out if you don’t.

1 jar Alfredo Sauce (I like Classico)

Pasta, any type, enough for your family

1 16 oz. bag of frozen mixed vegetables, such as California Mix (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots) OR 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained

Protein, such as chopped up leftover chicken or pork or a can of tuna or some frozen shrimp if you have it. (I usually pick only one source of protein I make chicken pasta OR tuna pasta – I do not recommend mixing them all together.)

Here are the easy steps.

Put the water on to boil for the pasta. While the water is heating, dice your onion. Put some butter or oil in the skillet and saute the onion until it softens but does not brown. If you like garlic, add it here. (If you’re REALLY pressed, you can use garlic powder, but really, fresh is so much better, and you can buy it in convenient jars!)

Then add to the skillet either the frozen veggies or the tomatoes. I don’t usually mix them together, but you could. It would be tasty.

Cook the pasta according to package directions. While that’s cooking, add just enough jarred alfredo sauce to the pan to make a nice thick sauce. For 2 adults and 1 toddler, we usually use about half a jar. But you can use as much or as little as looks good to you. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper.

Right before the pasta is done, add your chopped protein to the sauce. You add the cooked chicken last so that it just heats through and doesn’t over cook.

Drain and plate the pasta; top with the sauce. I usually add a little sprinkle of cheese. Voila! You have dinner.

The beauty of this recipe is that you can pretty much add whatever you want and make it your own. I’ve made it with tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach instead of the mixed veggies. I’ve made it with chopped artichoke hearts and shrimp, when I’m feeling flush. It is so adaptable, everyone can make it so that they’ll like it. Get creative!

(If you keep some pre-sliced Garlic Toasts in the freezer you could bake them up too – then you have pasta and bread. Yum.)

That’s what works for me! Check out Rocks in My Dryer for more quick recipe tips.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 5, 2007 10:31 am

    Sounds yummy. My veggie version of this is a box of whole-wheat rotini pasta, a can of diced tomatoes with jalapenos, a can of well-rinsed black beans, and a bag of frozen peppers and onions. Melted, grated cheese and red pepper flakes on top are optional, but yummy. It’s my standard I-don’t-feel-like-cooking cooking.

  2. writmm permalink
    December 5, 2007 12:27 pm

    This sounds yummy! And so does the variation in the comment section! I have found all kinds of new recipes today!

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