Pantry cooking is easy on the budget and ideal for weeknights. Combine staples like olive oil, red chili flake, dried pasta, and canned tomatoes with freezer essentials like raw shrimp and chopped bacon and you’ve got a quick and effortless dinner. To get a head start on this meal, start boiling the pasta water the moment you step in the kitchen. While the water comes to temperature, you can prep the ingredients and cook the sauce.
The how to…
Recipe inspired by Laura Vitale
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 slices bacon, chopped
5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp red chili flake
1 28 oz can San Marzano peeled whole tomatoes
1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
pinch black pepper
handful chopped fresh parsley, for topping
- Boil pasta water. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Crush tomatoes. Empty canned tomatoes into a large bowl, crush with hands and set aside.
- Prepare sauce. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until fat is rendered. Add onions and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and chili flake, stirring frequently, about 1 minute. Add canned tomatoes, salt, and black pepper. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Cook pasta. Meanwhile, cook pasta (until al dente) according to package instructions. Drain the pasta and set aside, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water.
- Finish. Remove lid, add reserved pasta water to sauce and cook uncovered for 5 minutes. Add shrimp and cook until shrimp are opaque, about 5 minutes. Add drained pasta to sauce and toss. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve immediately.