I was talking with a friend a few days ago about how frustrated I've been with not being able to post as often as I'd like to this blog, because I'm trying to stick to a budget. The Catch 22, I explained to her, is that I have a ton of food in my kitchen, but nothing that I can cook for the blog, so I keep having to run out and buy fresh food to make, which costs a lot of money. Her (very reasonable) response was pretty much, "what on earth do you have in your pantry that you can't cook?" Well, rice and beans and pasta, I said. No one wants to see how I cook those. Well *I* do, she replied. And thus, this idea was born. For vegetarians on a budget, or those who simply have well-stocked kitchens and don't want to buy a ton of ingredients every time they cook, I'm starting a new instalment on this blog called "From the Pantry." If this phrase appears in the subject of a post, then the post will either be a recipe made with whatever I have lying around, or a dish made with leftovers from a previously-posted recipe.
This week's recipe is another attempt at "mommy pasta" blown all to hell. Mommy pasta is my name for spaghetti with cheddar cheese, sour cream, mushrooms, and onions, which was a favourite as a kid. You may recall my last variation with canned mushrooms and broccoli, and this time I actually did intend to do straight mommy pasta, but then I realised I had all these leftovers in the fridge from the quinoa cakes last weekend. So I threw together this variation. I chopped up half an onion and minced some garlic, and sauteed those in olive oil until soft while my half package of linguine boiled. Along with the onions and garlic, I tossed in half a package of cherry tomatoes (some of them halved until I got impatient), a handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley, about a cup of shredded mozzarella, and a few tablespoons of sour cream. It was oh-so yummy. The tomatoes and parsley give it a nice fresh taste, and the onions and cheese enough of the "mm fried food" guilty pleasure to make it not too healthy.