Chef Jim’s pantry recipe is a pasta dish for two using common on-hand ingredients.
During the week, I avoid making unnecessary trips to the grocery store by preparing a meal using ingredients I already have, also known as a pantry recipe. I enjoy the challenge of combining bits to create a satisfying meal of leftover ingredients that would have otherwise been tossed during a fridge purge. This time my mental survey of what was in the fridge and pantry revealed: ½ package of pasta and zucchini.
The resulting recipe was pasta with spiralized green and yellow zucchini, roasted tomato puree, crispy prosciutto, parsley, Parmesan and garnished with mozzarella and olive oil.
I discovered the spiralizer a few months ago, a handy kitchen gadget that can turn your vegetables into “noodles.” In my case, I immediately started using it to produce skinny zucchini noodles that I would then toss with a variety of sauces. It’s a great tool especially for those that enjoy Meatless Mondays or follow a low carb diet. However in our household — we are truly pasta lovers — and while zucchini noodle dish is a fantastic option they could never totally replace pasta in our meals! So while driving home from a client’s home I created a plan in my head to spiralize a green and yellow zucchini from the fridge and mix them with the ½ package of fettuccine in the pantry. I could also create a quick sauce by pureeing the last of the roasted Roma tomatoes and the last two slices of Prosciutto. And I could top it off with a slice of mozzarella left over from a pizza project.
Good plan in theory, except when I got home that ½ package of pasta turned out to be pappardelle — the widest, most flat and arguably unwieldy of the pasta noodles! A skinny pasta noodle with skinny zucchini noodles would have been much better for texture. As you can see in the pictures I went ahead with the plan, but honestly a spaghetti, linguine, or fettuccine would have been a much better! Hope your pantry recipe adventures with pasta or spiralizer turn out more fork-friendly.
Eat Well… Be Well!
About the Chef
Chef Jim Huff is the brain behind the Traveling Culinary Artist, a NYC based personal chef service which has been known to cause the welcome side effects of improved healthy eating habits, more quality ‘family time’, and fast food withdrawal syndrome in some people. The mission of the Traveling Culinary Artist is to provide services that will support and benefit individuals and families by creating tasty mealtime solutions for today’s busy households with all the savory flavors of home. Chef Huff is also a longtime MasterCook user and collects table pieces for entertaining at home. To find out more about Chef Jim, visit his website: Traveling Culinary Artist. His MasterCook e-book will be available in the MasterCook Cookbook store soon.
Pasta with Spiralized Zucchini & Roasted Tomato Sauce
By Chef Jim Huff,
This pasta dish for two can easily be expanded with many ingredients on hand, depending on preference. To finish meal, just add a good loaf of bread and a fresh, green salad.
– 4 oz – Spaghetti, Linguine, or Fettuccine
– 1½ – Green Zucchini, spiralized
– 1½ – Yellow Zucchini (or yellow squash), spiralized
– 1 ½ cups – Roasted Plum Tomatoes, skinned (see notes)
– 1 clove – Garlic, peeled & lightly smashed
– 1 tablespoon – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– 2 slices – Prosciutto, chopped (see notes
– 2 tablespoons – Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped
– 2 tablespoons – Parmesan, grated
– 2 slices – Mozzarella (best fresh)
– Salt, Ground Black Pepper & Crushed Red Pepper
1. Cook the pasta in salted water until al dente, reserving 1½ cup pasta water. 2. Saute the prosciutto in olive oil until crispy, drain on paper towel and set aside. 3. Add the garlic clove and cook until lightly browned remove and discard. 4. Add the Zucchini, a pinch of Kosher Salt, and red pepper flakes to taste, toss in hot oil for 1 minute add tomato puree stir until heated through. 5. Add cooked pasta and 1½ cup reserved pasta water. 6. Stir in Prosciutto, Parmesan and 1½ of the parsley. 7. Divide into two pasta bowls and garnish with sliced mozzarella drizzled with Olive Oil and sprinkle on more parsley and freshly ground black pepper.
Notes: Roasted Plum Tomatoes – Mine were halved seasoned with kosher salt, ground black pepper, fresh oregano and olive oil and slow roasted in 250º oven for 4 hours. For this application, I used 6 halves skinned and roughly chopped/pureed in the food processor. I like the resulting sauce to be a little thicker but you can puree until completely smooth if preferred. Prosciutto – I’ve actually purchased cubed Prosciutto or Pancetta from the grocery store and kept it in the freezer pulling out a few tablespoons as needed for a sauce base.
- 4 oz – Spaghetti, Linguine, or Fettuccine
- ½ – Green Zucchini, spiralized
- ½ – Yellow Zucchini (or yellow squash), spiralized
- 1 ½ cups – Roasted Plum Tomatoes, skinned (see notes)
- 1 clove – Garlic, peeled & lightly smashed
- 1 tablespoon – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 slices – Prosciutto, chopped (see notes)
- 2 tablespoons – Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons – Parmesan, grated
- 2 slices – Mozzarella (best fresh)
- Season to taste with Salt, Ground Black Pepper, & Crushed Red Pepper
- Cook the pasta in salted water until al dente, reserving ½ cup pasta water.
- Sauté the prosciutto in olive oil until crispy, drain on paper towel and set aside.
- Add the garlic clove and cook until lightly browned remove and discard.
- Add the Zucchini, a pinch of Kosher Salt, and red pepper flakes to taste, toss in hot oil for 1 minute add tomato puree stir until heated through.
- Add cooked pasta and ½ cup reserved pasta water.
- Stir in Prosciutto, Parmesan and ½ of the parsley.
- Divide into two pasta bowls and garnish with sliced mozzarella drizzled with Olive Oil and sprinkle on more parsley and freshly ground black pepper.