With all this time spent at home recently, Ryan and I have been doing so much cooking show watching. My favorite is the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen gang cooking from their homes while sheltering in place. I’ve never been a huge pasta eater but watching their episode on pantry pasta had me inspired to get into the kitchen and make my own. Pantry pasta is just that, whatever you have in the pantry. I didn’t go into this project with high hopes but it’s turned out so well each time I’ve made this that I had to share.
What usually turns me off about pasta is the usual tomato or cream base, I’m just not a big fan of either. I’m not a huge dairy eater so creamy pasta usually grosses me out with all its cream. What I learned from this Bon Appetit episode is that with one simple ingredient you can get a deliciously creamy pasta without cream and a ton of cheese. YES, you read that right! Now maybe this isn’t some big secret to you, but it was to me and I feel like I just need to share the wealth in case you also didn’t know. So what’s the secret??? Pasta water. Yes, it’s that simple to get a creamy pasta without loads of cream and cheese.
So after learning that one trick, I went to town in the kitchen to create a pasta that I love and that isn’t super unhealthy. I use chickpea pasta because I’m gluten-free and Banza pasta tastes just as good as a gluten-free pasta but with healthier ingredients.
- Box of pasta, I use Banza chickpea pasta
- 5 cloves garlic
- 2 shallots
- 3 tomatoes
- 2 cups mushrooms
- 3-4 heaping hands of spinach
- Chicken stock, a few pours throughout cooking
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- 1-2 tablespoons butter
- A wedge of fresh parmesan
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup of pasta water saved from pasta
- Cook pasta per instructions on the box, make sure to save 1 cup of the water after it’s done cooking
- In a separate pan, sauté the garlic and shallots in olive oil on medium heat
- Add a pinch or two of salt while sauteing
- Add a touch more olive oil
- Add in mushrooms to sauté
- Add pinch or two of salt
- Pour in 3 splashes of chicken stock to loosen any veggies stuck to the bottom of the pan
- Once the chicken stock has mostly burned off add in handfuls of spinach
- Add in pinch or two of salt
- Cook spinach down
- Add 3 more splashes of chicken stock
- Add in tomatoes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Keep cooking until most of the liquid is gone
- Add pasta and stir gently
- Add butter and stir gently until melted
- Add pasta water and stir
- Add in grated parmesan cheese stir– I use about 1/3 of the wedge of parmesan
- Add in more spinach so that there is some a bit more al dente and not as cooked down
- Add in lemon juice (I use about half the lemon) and zest and stir all together
The best thing about this pasta is that you can put in as much or as little of all the ingredients as you want! Another tip that we’ve found while cooking so much recently is to lightly salt while you’re cooking, not just at the end. It makes a huge difference in taste.
Hopefully you enjoy this creamy pasta as much as I’ve have!