When you get down to the basics you can still make a hearty meal without having to run to the store. Easy pasta recipes can help you make the most of the little that you already have on hand. As long as you have a box of pasta in the house, you are ready to get cooking.

With a little ingenuity you can pull a treasure trove of ingredients from your cabinet and refrigerator. Take an inventory of the dried spices and herbs in your cabinet. Check the produce bins for fresh veggies and mushrooms that you can use as flavorful additions. Also take out jars of green olives or artichoke hearts.

The best type of pasta for a recipe that incorporates all of the goodies that are on hand is usually a spiral shaped short pasta or even elbow macaroni. You can experiment with what you have, because the idea is to implement those items that are in the house already. Whichever your selection it should be boiled in a large pot of water until it reaches the desired tenderness, then drained and set aside.

There are numerous ways to dress the pasta up. Simple palates might up for a bit of melted butter and a light dusting of a grated hard cheese. Pasta is without a doubt a great way to make use of the last bits of everything after your household has demolished the groceries.

Jars that have nearly run empty, or the last bits of dry salami do not have to go in the trash. A touch of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, or a simple vinaigrette salad dressing can be added to just about any diced mixture of remaining produce, cheese or other items. The stand alone tomato, the last of the mushrooms, green onions, green olives or hard salami can be chopped finely, drizzled with dressing and added to the cooled pasta for a quick, easy pasta salad.

If it is chilly outside and you want to serve something hot within you can make traditional macaroni and cheese with very little on hand. Melt two to three tablespoons of butter over medium heat. As it melts, sprinkle several tablespoons of flower into the pan. Allow the flower to slowly brown and then whisk one half cup of milk into the mixture. Add crushed garlic, salt and if you like it black pepper. Stir until the mixture is at a constant boil, and has a texture that is thick and smooth. Slowly add cubed, shredded, grated or sliced cheese in, whisking continuously until it has melted.

The greater of the variety of cheese that is used, the more unique the final flavor will be. By slow toasting the last piece or heal of the bread, you can create your own bread crumbs. Mix the cheese sauce with the pasta, top with bread crumbs and slow bake in a medium temperature oven for twenty minutes. You can garnish as you please and serve with cracked black pepper.

Source by Andrew Goligher

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