Pantry essentials: pasta

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Pantry essentials: pasta

With the bare minimum of added ingredients, those half-opened packets of spaghetti or noodles in your grocery cupboard can be whipped up into a meal in minutes. Provided, of course, you stocked up on the good stuff.

Wholewheat linguine doesn’t deserve its bad rap of being too chewy or grainy if you get your hands on a good brand, like Woolies’ organic version. Take a page from Nigella’s book and play up the pasta’s toothy texture by tossing it with crisp cubes of roast pancetta emulsified with a dash of pasta water, and a scattering of fresh parsley to cut through the richness.

Yes, we all dream of being the kind of virtuous overachievers who always make our own egg tagliatelle, but life is hard and sometimes we just need to cut ourselves a little slack with the store-bought variety. Make yourself feel better by whipping up a home-made sauce – something creamy that’ll cling to the flat strands, like The Cousins in Cape Town’s one, which is made with mushrooms, garlic, cream, thyme and Parmesan.

If wheat intolerance regularly curbs your pasta enthusiasm, a bowl of silky rice noodles offers that same toothsome fix without the bellyaching. For one of the the easiest (and most delicious) dinners ever, toss the cooked translucent ribbons in a ginger-spring onion dressing (thinly sliced spring onions, minced fresh ginger, grapeseed oil, sherry vinegar and light soya sauce) à la New York’s Momofuku.

Why should you get excited about Khorasan Kamut spaghetti? Well, apart from the fact that it’s rather trendy at the mo’ (it’s made from an organically grown, ancient grain hailing from the Middle East), it has a sweet, nutty flavour and a smooth texture that needs minimum embellishment. Go the classic aglio, olio e peperoncino (garlic, olive oil and chilli) route and see for yourself.

It’s hard to get enough of cuttlefish-ink spaghetti’s dramatic appeal, whether tossed with a seafood-studded, chilli-spiked marinara sauce or nestled among some roast peppers, basil and peppery olive oil.

If you treat ’em right, instant noodles don’t have to taste of penury and despair. Just ask godfather of the food trucks Roy Choi, who swears by his doctored version. Cook a packet of instant noodles and its accompanying flavouring according to instructions, take off the heat and carefully crack an egg into the hot broth. Let the egg poach for a minute, transfer to a bowl and finish off with butter, a slice of processed cheese, toasted sesame seeds and sliced spring onion.

Did you know Woolworths’ luxury bronze die- cut rigatoni, linguine, conchiglie and fiorelli are made from 100% durum wheat (as is all Woolies’ pasta) and have a slightly rougher texture, which means more sauce clings to them – and that’s always a good thing.

Discover more pasta recipes here.

TASTE Article by: TASTE

The TASTE team is a happy bunch of keen cooks and writers, always on the look out for the next food trend or the next piece of cake.

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