Neeta and I are leaving for Guyana on Thursday to visit her family. As a result, she is doing a lot of preparing away from home. We are taking the allotted 100 pounds of luggage filled with clothing, gadgets, toys and food for the folks back home. As a result of all this preparing, I am spending Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights in "bachelor mode". I have also not done any food shopping because I don't want any perishables in my refrigerator for the 10 days we are away. Which leads me to the purpose of this post, grasshoppers.I am always telling all who will listen to my ravings to shop for and prepare meals using the Your Italian Grandma method, ie. BUY WHAT IS SEASONAL, FRESH AND CHEAP AND PREPARE THAT USING YOUR PANTRY TO MAKE DIFFERENT MEALS. Most grasshoppers ignore that advice preferring to spend their time reading the latest blogs and cookbooks or watching Miss Ray for ideas, then going out and buying all the ingredients for that one recipe. That is why we throw out so much food my dears. So, this recipe isn't a recipe at all. Instead, it's a meal preparation using my pantry and the few perishables I had on hand. Anyone can do this if you keep a well stocked pantry. Here is how the meal came about.
Perishables on hand : Garlic--one clove, sliced
Refrigerated : Lemon--half, zested and juiced
Olives-- about 10, pitted and sliced
Sun dried tomatoes in oil-- about a TBS.
Capers-- 2-3 tsp. rinsed
Grated cheese to taste
Freezer items: Pine nuts, 2-3 tsp., toasted
One boneless chicken thigh, defrosted and sliced
Dry Pasta: Left over spinach and chive pasta from the Primavera I made a few days ago
Other: Red pepper flakes
Put the water on to boil. The linguine only takes 4 -5 minutes, so I started by browning the chicken in olive oil. (just enough to color it)
Remove the chicken to a plate. In the same pan, toss in the garlic and red pepper flakes. As soon as the garlic starts to color, add the olives and capers. Meanwhile, start the pasta.
Add the pine nuts, lemon zest and lemon juice to deglaze the pan. At this point, things started to get a little smoky, so I added a little pasta water to the pan too.
Now, I added the sun dried tomatoes along with a little oil from the jar. It's starting to look like something now, isn't it?
The pasta was almost ready so I put the chicken back in the pan, added a little more water, and...
tossed the pasta in, stirring to combine. After 42 & 1/2 seconds, I plated the Pasta and Chicken ala Joe's Pantry. Really, this was so easy, the proverbial caveman could have done it.