Dinner Tonight: Pantry Pasta & Salad

September 17, 2012

Capers, sardines, garlic, lemon zest. All such wonderful flavor bombs, all things that good weeknight cooks need up their sleeves, or, even better, in their kitchen. A little bit of any one of these can transform a ho-hum plate of pasta/chicken/fish/whatever into a savory, bright treat. Put them all together, with a simple salad-and-pasta meal as their base, and you've got one boldly killer meal. A real midweek perker-upper, ready in just about an hour, of course. 

Click through on the photos or recipe titles below to see (and save and print) the full recipes, but we've also written you a handy game plan and grocery list.

The Menu

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April Bloomfield's Lemon Caper Dressing by Genius Recipes 

Linguine with Sardines, Fennel and Tomato by lastnightsdinner

The Grocery List (for 4)

Quite honestly, if you have a well-stocked pantry & fridge, you probably won't need to make a trip! The only things you may need to grab are: 

1 tin sardines packed in olive oil
1 small fennel bulb
Salad greens (your favorite)

But we're guessing you've got Dijon mustard, extra virgin olive oil, sugar, Maldon or another flaky sea salt, capers, lemons, linguine (or something similar), shallots, bread crumbs, canned tomatoes, chili flakes, and garlic. If, for whatever reason you don't have those things -- like, for example, you've never actually gone grocery shopping ever -- you'll need those, too! 

The Plan 

1. Much like the grocery list, this plan is quite straightforward. The dressing can just sit in the fridge waiting for the pasta, so make that first! 

2. Once the dressing is done, set a pot of water on the stove to boil. Prep your salad greens & set aside. 

3. Make the sardine-erific pasta sauce. When the water is ready, toss your pasta in. 

4. After you add the pasta to the sauce to finish cooking and absorb all that lovely sauce, dress your salad. 

5. Serve! Scarf. Dinner's really good, so you might need seconds, and that's okay.


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Miranda Rake

Written by: Miranda Rake

Miranda is a writer and editor in Portland, OR. She has a sweet, curious toddler, and is passionate about all of the usual things like farmers markets, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and swimming in the sea. She hates leaf blowers and writing in the third person. Until recently, she owned and operated a small jam company, as is typical for a Portland-based millennial like herself.