As many of us are making fewer grocery store trips and often finding our favorite ingredients to be out of stock when we do go, a little innovation in the kitchen is needed now more than ever.
On the latest episode of PEOPLE's Pantry, I show you how to make three super easy (seriously—I don't use that word lightly) pastas dishes using affordable pantry staples, and give you my favorite pasta cooking hacks along the way.
Watch the preview above and see the full episode on PeopleTV, then follow the recipes below to make them at home.
White Bean Fettuccine Alfredo
12 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 lb. fettuccine
1 (15-oz.) can cannellini beans, drained
2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place garlic cloves on a sheet of aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap tightly in foil and roast in the oven directly on the rack for about 40 minutes.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season generously with salt. Cook fettuccine in boiling water until it's just slightly undercooked (it will finish cooking in the sauce.) Reserve 2 cups of the pasta water and drain the rest.
3. In a blender, add roasted garlic, cannellini beans, 2 tsp. salt and 1 cup reserved pasta water. Blend for 2 minutes, until very smooth.
4. In a large, straight-sided skillet over medium low, add the bean sauce and bring to a simmer, then add cooked fettuccine. Let them simmer together, adding more pasta water 1/4 cup at a time as necessary.
5. Remove from heat and stir in black pepper and parmesan, if using. Serve with an extra drizzle of olive oil.
Spicy Peanut Noodles
1 lb. spaghetti
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp. sriracha, sambal oelek, or other hot sauce
1 tbsp. rice vinegar or white vinegar
1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil or light olive oil
Toasted peanuts, sliced scallions and sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)
1. Cook spaghetti in a large pot of salted water. Reserve 2 cups of the pasta water before draining.
2. In a bowl, add peanut butter, soy sauce, sriracha, vinegar and sesame oil. (Note: You can also mix this all in the peanut butter jar and shake it together, as shown in the video). Whisk in 1 cup of the hot pasta water until combined, then toss in the spaghetti. Add more pasta water if it seems dry.
3. Serve hot, room temperature or cold, topped with desired garnishes.
Creamiest-Ever Mac and Cheese
1 lb. short pasta, like elbows or cavatappi
1 (12-oz.) can evaporated milk
3 oz. American cheese (or other processed cheese like spreadable cheese wedges or Velveeta)
2 1/2 cups grated cheddar or jack cheese
1 cup breadcrumbs or crushed crackers (optional)
2 tbsp. oil or melted butter (optional)
1. Add pasta to a cold pot and cover with cold water by about 1 inch. Bring to a boil on high heat, stirring frequently.
2. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and let continue to simmer until noodles are almost cooked through. Drain about half of the water off and add the evaporated milk and let simmer for an additional two minutes. Remove from heat and add cheeses, stirring constantly until thickened and creamy. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools slightly.
3. If you want a crunchy topping, transfer to a casserole dish. Toss breadcrumbs with oil or butter and spread evenly over the top. Pop under your broiler for 5-7 minutes, until browned on top and bubbly.
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