I have a tendency to find myself in a certain dinner predicament: Needing to whip up a delicious and healthy meal for me and big Jack… And FAST. He’s a hungry one! Since I totally forgot to hit the grocery store, I had to make “something out of nothing” in a sense. So I dug through my pantry and this is what happened…
What I found in my house:
*two chicken breasts
*Half a tomato(if you have more than that, use it. It just boils down to sauce.)
*half of a red onion
*1 can tomato paste
*1 can Stewed tomatoes (because I didn’t have enough real tomato)
*shaker Parmesan cheese
*olive oil in my pantry
*garlic salt/garlic in my fridge door
*a bag of uncooked pasta
side note: cook what you have. Not much of a measuring thing here. You’re hungry, you eat what you got, baby. This is pretty fool proof. 1 tomato? 3? Use whatever tomato you got! And if all else fails, olive oil and garlic makes a mean pasta dressing. Eyeball how much you’ll need for your sauce. 6 real tomatoes makes a good amount of sauce, but what I did here does too. I’ll give you my non emergency home made sauce recipe later. Watch your seasonings of course.
-In a large frying pan on low heat pour 1/4 cup olive oil and add 1/4 stick of butter
-add 1 teaspoon of minced garlic or half a teaspoon of garlic powder, and chopped red onion
-Fill a pot halfway with water, bring water to a boil (adding a pinch of salt makes it boil faster. Sodium chloride mixed with the h2o causes a reaction-causing the molecules to move faster, creating friction, equalling HEAT. I’m not a scientist, but I like to think I’m a jack of all trades…)
-whenever that water is boiling, plop your pasta in and follow the directions on the box of whatever pasta you have! If you aren’t sure, 8-12 minutes usually cooks all pasta. Test it CAREFULLY by taking out a piece and letting it cool. Eat it…Obviously. Good for you? Great, me too.
IN THE MEANTIME…
-Cut up whatever tomato, cherry tomatoes, whatever you have tomato wise. Mine came out to about a cup of real tomato. Bring to a medium heat. Cook it down till it’s almost a chunky sauce.
-Add stewed tomatoes and tomato paste
-keep adding olive oil, pepper, Italian seasoning, salt until you like it. Italians TASTE as they go. If you don’t, you may find yourself looking like a puffer fish the next morning from too much salt! Or worse, you may have a really bad case of garlic breath. Let simmer on low. Add olive oil if it starts to dry out.
-while doing all this- cook your chicken quickly like this: put a splash of olive oil and garlic salt in another frying pan. Wash then cut the chicken into 1 inch square chunks with a knife or go straight redneck and cut it with CLEAN scissors over the pan. Cook on medium/high heat for about 10 minutes stirring constantly. It should sizzle the whole time.
-Now this may sound so strange, but it changed the game taste wise and gave the chicken a beautiful golden color: halfway through cooking, surprise your chicken with a SPLASH ( like two teaspoons) of SOY SAUCE. Mind:blown.
-I timed my dinner like this:
Start sauce, keep it simmering the whole time
start to boil water
wash and cut chicken, start that
throw pasta in
finish chicken and sauce
have all your ingredients cut and prepped before you begin
strain pasta, let it sit there for a second while you pour sauce and chicken into the pot you cooked the pasta in. Then put the strained pasta back in.
Stir it all around until it’s mixed up and serve. Sprinkle with cheese and enjoy!!!
TIP: A stocked spice rack will also save your butt in the worst conditions. Most important in my cabinet is basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, red pepper, turmeric and cilantro.