When the going gets tough, the tough get going! Or in my case, I get creative and cook! Here’s what you’ll need to make this special “Italian” dish:
- ½ to 1 (16oz.) can of garbanzo beans or chick peas
- 1 (14.5oz.) can of diced tomatoes
- ½ box of penne dry pasta
- At least 1 cup of mixed frozen vegetables. Some sort of vegetable mixture whether it’s fresh, frozen, or canned to make it Primavera!
- Olive Oil
- Chopped or minced jarred garlic
- Salted butter
- Spices: Salt and pepper, crushed oregano or some sort of italian spice, crushed red pepper, ground cayenne pepper.
- Some sort of grated cheese. Depending on your budget, you can use good old Parmesan from Kraft or real Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano.
- A little meat. Could be chicken, pork, or fish. A can of solid white tuna can also be used in this dish if you’re meatless in the house. I used a leftover grilled chicken breast from the night before to make this dish.
Let’s cook. You’ll need a pot to boil the penne pasta and a large frying pan for the rest. Fully cook your penne pasta and drain water. Drizzle olive oil and salt over the cooked penne and stir it around a bit. While the pasta is cooking, nuke the frozen vegetables (if frozen).
Turning your attention to your frying pan, warm it up and coat the bottom with olive oil. Add a generous amount of chopped or minced garlic and some salted butter. As the garlic butter is cooking, add your dry spices listed above. Add the garbanzo beans (chick peas) and diced tomatoes. Cut up whatever meat you have and add it in (If it was raw and not a leftover you have to cook it first!). Now you can slowly mix in the vegetables. Sprinkle a generous amount of grated cheese to the mixture. Finally, start to mix in the cooked penne. And voila - dinner is done.
Plate it up and sprinkle with more grated cheese. If you really want to make this dish extra ”fancy”, pair it with a Sauvignon Blanc, Fume Blanc, or Italian Pinot Grigio. If you prefer a red wine here’s one for you – Negroamaro. It’s an Italian red grape from southern Italy, grown in Puglia and Salento. Add candlelight and that’s amore!
Salute fellow Poor Chefs!