Pantry Meals: Expecting the Unexpected

For days when our plans change and we need a speedy dinner, I have a few healthy recipes that can be made at any time using ingredients in my kitchen cabinet and freezer.

I’m going to add Chicken Puttanesca with Angel Hair Pasta to that list, which is from The New Way to Cook Light: Fresh Food and Bold Flavors for Today’s Home Cook. This dish is a mixture of tomatoes, garlic, sliced green olives, onions and chopped anchovy served over sauteed chicken breasts with a side of angel hair pasta. It’s based on puttanesca, a quickly made pasta sauce with the same ingredients.

Because tomatoes are not in season, I used canned diced tomatoes (drained) instead of fresh. I rinsed the capers and olives to reduce the sodium.

The sauce exploded with umami flavor. However, it was a little drier than I expected, probably because I had halved the recipe Next time, I’ll prepare the full amount of sauce without draining the tomatoes. The sodium was higher than I’d like, so I’ll use tomatoes with no salt added (or fresh, preferably). I might also reduce the number of olives but pit and chop a few intensely flavorful Sicilian oil-cured black olives.

This one’s a keeper and fits the bill when we need a speedy, healthy and delicious dinner.

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