Thursday, April 10, 2014

Minimizing My Pantry: Grains and Pasta

Pasta in my pantry.
In this blog I'm describing a minimalist approach to my pantry regarding grains and pasta.

Grains in my pantry.
When it comes to grains I am pretty much right on.  I have a mixture of brown rice and basmati, arborio (for risotto), and bulghur wheat. Arborio is a high-starch, short-grained rice used for making risotto. Cooking arborio releases its starch, giving risotto its creamy consistency.  About the only time I would use white rice is if I were making rice pudding which I rarely do.  Missing was quinoa which I usually have on hand, so I've added that to my grocery list.
Adding quinoa to my grocery list.

But I have way too much pasta.  Lasagna, spaghetti (a whole wheat and a black bean spaghetti that I've never tried---and I know not why we have it. It must have been a spur of the moment purchase.), manicotti, orzo (2 packages both opened), ziti, pipette, and cannelloni.  I seem to be missing couscous, and I use that a lot. I suppose I used my last box and didn't replace it. 

After these are used I will pare down to spaghetti (whole wheat), orzo, lasagna, and perhaps one small elbow type pasta. Orzo is pasta in the shape of rice and it is one of our favorite pastas.  It's especially nice to add to soups.  And sometimes I will replace the lasagna with manicotti. Pasta is a nice comfort food and can be prepared quickly with any number of sauces (such as Nello's tomato sauce) for a quick meal.
Adding couscous to my grocery list.

I'll be sure to add couscous to my pasta shelf.  If you've never tried couscous here's a recipe for you. It's from The Barefoot Contessa.  Easy to make and makes a delicious side dish.  

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