Are you sick of your recipe repertoire? Is the pandemic testing your kitchen skills? You can kick things up without having to buy all new ingredients at the grocery store.
You’ll notice that these recipes are highly adaptable. The phrase “if you have it” appears often and many ingredients have a range of possible substitutions.
There is a sophistication to this dish that belies its simple ingredients. This is pantry cooking at its best.
The spaghetti is boiled in salted water. Meanwhile chopped garlic is sautéed with lemon zest, lemon juice and then a cup of the salted pasta water. Boil the pasta until just al dente (meaning it’s not yet tender, but still has a “bite”) and then toss it in the skillet with the lemon sauce. Grated Parmesan cheese thickens the sauce and a sprinkling of black pepper and parsley (if you have it) finishes it off.
This highly-adaptable recipe uses bits and pieces you might have ignored in your refrigerator. Use up your leftovers by stir-frying some onions, any raw vegetables you have on hand, any bits of chopped cooked meat or poultry and an egg with leftover cooked rice and you’ve got a quick breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Serves 2 to 4.
*Any vegetable will work. Think small florets of broccoli, cauliflower, slices of carrot, celery, asparagus, zucchini, or greens like spinach, kale, mustard greens, beet greens, etc.
You can make this soup using frozen vegetables, fresh vegetables or virtually anything you have around. I made it with a few asparagus, a handful of spinach and beet greens, stock and a chunk of celery root or potato. But try it with frozen spinach or frozen peas or fresh greens of any kind. Adaptability is the name of the game.
Serves 4 to 6.
This is a slightly more complex soup: a miso broth with fresh ginger and greens, noodles and delicious, small ginger-spiked meatballs. If you don’t eat (or have any) meat, add 1 cup cubed tofu to the broth instead of the meatballs.
For the meatballs:
For the soup and ramen noodles:
Emiko Tamagawa produced and edited this interview for broadcast.
This article was originally published on WBUR.org.
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