One challenge right now is making easy, healthy meals at home. Due to the coronavirus, many of us are in our homes and maybe cooking more than we’re used to.
We talked with Dr. Jennifer Bolton, a registered dietitian at Project Wellness 365, and a professor at Metropolitan State University in Denver. She shared an easy recipe for “pantry pasta” that has ingredients to help boost your immune system.
- Kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 strips bacon, chopped
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced or 1 tsp of prepared garlic (jar or squeeze tube)
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced or ¼ cup diced yellow onion
- One 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (or any white bean available)
- One 14-ounce can artichokes hearts, drained and thinly(or mushrooms)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound orecchiette or small shells
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- Optional: add spinach at the end, add shrimp, add any leftover protein that is already cooked like chicken
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- In a large saute pan over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the bacon and cook until it just starts to get a little crispy, about 5 minutes. Add the crushed red pepper, garlic and shallot, and cook, stirring, until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the beans and artichokes to the pan and cook for another 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, cook the orecchiette in the boiling water for the amount of time specified on the box, minus 2 minutes. Reserve 3/4 cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta.
- Add the pasta to the pan with the artichokes and beans and toss over medium heat. Add the pasta water and continue to cook until the pasta achieves an al dente texture and the sauce is coating the pasta.
- Remove from the heat and add half of the Parmesan. Mix in the butter and half of the parsley (optional: add spinach or leftover protein now). Season with more salt (optional) and pepper. Transfer to a large serving bowl and garnish with the remaining Parmesan, parsley, and 2 tablespoons olive oil.