Clearing Out the Pantry

Pesach for me has always been about more than the actual week of the holiday. It starts several weeks before as I think about clearing out all the chametz from our pantry.

Here are a few of the recipes I’ve come up with over the years to use up pasta. During most of the year, I make pasta once or maybe twice a week. However in the last few weeks before Pesach, we might have pasta almost every night. We also usually have stockpiled several large jars of marinated artichokes as well as cans of beans and tomatoes.

Pasta with Mushrooms and Artichokes
8 ounces pasta
Red onion, chopped
Mushrooms, sliced (about 8 ounces)
Marinated artichoke hearts, sliced (save some of the marinade)
Optional – black olives, slivered

1. Cook the pasta al dente. Drain.
2. While the pasta is cooking: Sauté onion & mushrooms until the mushrooms are cooked and the water has cooked off (10-15 minutes). Add the artichoke hearts & olives, if using, and sauté a few minutes. Add the pasta with some of the reserved marinade and cook for another minute.
SERVE with grated Parmesan cheese.

Pasta with Artichoke and Cottage Cheese
8 ounces rotini pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, halved lengthwise and sliced
Liquid from artichoke marinade (6 tablespoons)
Marinated artichoke hearts, cut into bite-sized pieces (1 cup)
Basil, fresh or 1 teaspoon dried
Cottage cheese (¾ cup)
Sour cream (½ cup)

1. Cook pasta and drain.
2. Sauté onion in olive oil over medium heat until soft (5 to 8 minutes). Add the liquid from the artichokes. Add the artichokes & basil. Cook for 5 more minutes. Remove from the heat.
3. Stir in the cottage cheese & sour cream. Add the pasta to the skillet and stir until well coated.
SERVE with grated Parmesan cheese.

Pasta with Beans
8 ounces pasta
Olive oil
1-2 cloves minced garlic (½–1 tablespoon)
Red pepper flakes
I large can tomatoes, broken up or diced (about 28 ounces)
I can white beans, drained (about 15 ounces)

1. Cook the pasta al dente. Drain.
2. While the pasta is cooking: Heat the oil & add the garlic & pepper flakes; sauté for 1 minute.
3. Add the tomato with liquid and cook for 5 minutes to thicken. Add the beans and cook for 5 minutes. Add the pasta and cook for a minute or two to coat and blend the flavors.
SERVE with grated Parmesan cheese.

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