Now that Fall is here, it is time to get the pantry stocked. I always like to have items in the pantry I can use to whip up a quick meal or snack, or, for a quick Sunday supper on the fly. And, especially when the weather is so yukky you just can’t make yourself run to the grocery store…what do you do? You go to your pantry.
I just cannot survive the Winter without a fully stocked pantry. Here are the very basics in my pantry:
Flour - Sugar - Brown Sugar – Shortening – Evaporated Milk – Canned Fruits – Canned Tomatoes – Canned Beans (variety) – Jarred or Canned Mushrooms - Jams and Jellies – Pastas – Rice – Dried Fruits – Dried Beans - Canned Soups – Canned Tuna, Salmon, Sardines, Chicken – Canned Vegetables – Oatmeal – Yeast
The extra stuff can make the difference between a good pantry meal and a great pantry meal:
Cocoa Mix - Marshmallows – Maraschino Cherries – Chocolate Chips – Crackers – Olives – Teas – Coffee – Chicken and Beef Stock – Cake Mix – Jello – Nuts – Graham Crackers – Bread Crumbs – Pancake Syrup – Cereals – Chocolate in any form
This list is not all inclusive. But it should give you an idea. I try to pick up an extra item here and there in preparation for Winter. I also put lots of goodies in the pantry for the grandkids. They love nothing better than to go to the pantry, open the doors, and just stand there looking for something: individual boxes of cereal and chips, granola bars, and Twizzlers.
This soup recipe is made from items from the pantry, except for the Italian Sausage which was in the freezer. Don’t forget the freezer to stock a few items that are staples.
Italian Pantry Soup
• 1 pound Italian sausage, bulk or link with casings removed
• Extra Virgin Olive Oil, as needed • 1 large onion, chopped coarsely
Brown sausage in a heavy pan or Dutch oven over medium/high heat. Breaking up sausage as it cooks. Add onions just as the sausage is turning gray. Add a bit of Extra Virgin Olive Oil if needed. After completely browned and cooked, add the following:
• 1 14-15 oz. can beef stock plus 1 can of water
• 1 14-15 oz. can of Cannelini beans, drained
• 2 14-15 oz. cans diced tomatoes, not drained
• 1 4 oz. can sliced mushrooms, drained (optional)
• 1 2 oz. jar diced pimientos, drained (optional)
• 2 teaspoon minced garlic
• 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
• 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional, omit if you use hot Italian sausage)
• 2 handfuls of shell pasta or any other small pasta you like
Simmer on med/lo heat for 15-20 minutes until the pasta has cooked. Top with shavings of parmagiano reggiano and serve. Makes about 6 servings.