Empty Pantry Pasta Salad

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It had happened again. My husband and I stood in the kitchen, with every last cabinet door flung open and there was nothing to eat, nothing to fix. We sighed heavily, looked tired, and succumbed to arguing about bills and menu plans while the kids whined loudly in the background about how hungry they were.

There was no money with which to eat out, so a quick grocery store run was also out of the question. What to do? I stared again into the cabinets, making a mental inventory of what was left: One box of bow-tie noodles, one small can of sliced black olives intended and never used for some other recipe. Anything else? A box of croutons, one can of diced tomatoes, and one can of red beans. “Hey”, I interrupted my husband, “I think I may be on to something here.” I’m not a really good cook, but I am a great planner and my enthusiasm spread as I began pulling out the ingredients. My husband, a really good cook but a terrible planner, began hunting up herbs, lemon juice, and olive oil for a dressing.

We had a very satisfying dinner that evening, made all the more fun by our sudden burst of creativity. “We should write this one down”, I said with my mouth full of pasta and beans. And “Empty Pantry Pasta Salad” was born (pretty photo coming).

Empty Pantry Pasta Salad

1 box of bow-tie noodles

1 8oz can diced tomatoes

1 4oz can diced or sliced black olives

1 8-10oz can Red beans

2-3 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. Dill

1 tsp. Oregano

Drizzle of Olive oil

Optional: Bacon pieces, croutons, Parmesan cheese, favorite dressing

Cook noodles till tender, drain. Drain red beans, drain tomatoes. Combine all ingredients in a 2-quart or larger bowl and stir till well-mixed. Eat and enjoy, but don’t talk with your mouth full (like I did).


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