Five Pantry Items to keep on Hand

Thursday Jun 18th, 2020


Here are a few items that store well that you might want to keep stocked for those occasions when you forget to buy something special for dinner.

· Dried Penne Pasta - This is a fantastic replacement for elbow macaroni in mac and cheese. It can also serve as a starch component in any casserole. If you've got cooked penne in the fridge, you can add it to leftover veggies, toss the mixture with a little Italian dressing, and serve it as pasta salad.

· Canned Beans - Beans are great for chili, stews, and soups, and they make a nice addition to salad. They also make a quick appetizer. A can of cannellini beans (drained) mixed with olive oil, garlic, chopped tomato, and any fresh or dried herbs you have on hand makes a great topping for grilled bread.

· Canned Tuna (packed in olive oil) - Tuna is the key ingredient of a Salad Nicoise or an authentic Italian tuna panini. Canned tuna can also be used in a great pasta sauce: Toss the tuna into warm pasta, with capers, cherry tomatoes, parsley, and olive oil.

· Canned Chicken Stock - Having stock on hand allows you to whip up a quick gravy for any meat dish. It's also a great base for many soups. Simply simmer one pound of vegetables, like carrots or cauliflower, in 4 to 6 cups of stock for 10 minutes. Process or blend until smooth, season with salt and pepper, and finish with a touch of cream.

· Canned "San Marzano" Tomatoes (chopped and whole) - Imported form San Marzano, Italy, these are two of the best canned products on the market. Unless you have tomatoes growing in your backyard, you can't do much better, especially when it comes to making a great marinara sauce. They also make a fantastic tomato soup.


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