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Quick Fix: Use up foods from your cupboard for this easy pasta recipe

Linda Gassenheimer, Tribune News Service on

Published in Quick Fix

When I saw the name of this pasta recipe, Cheapskate Pasta, I wondered what it was. It’s in Francine Segan’s new book, "Pasta Modern: New & Inspired Recipes from Italy." In a recent interview she told me that it’s a recipe to use up foods from your cupboard. It’s also an easy vegetarian recipe. I’ve adapted her recipe for this quick dinner.

The recipe calls for raisins and walnuts. You can use any dried fruits or nuts you have on hand. Just use this recipe as a guide for amounts.

Helpful Hints:

— You can use any short cup pasta such as corkscrew, fusilli or butterfly.


— Place water for pasta on to boil.

— Prepare the ingredients.

— Make the sauce while the pasta cooks.

Shopping List:

To buy: 1 box rotini pasta, 1 small container walnuts, 1 small container raisins, 1 jar dried oregano, 1 bottle capers, 1 container pitted black olives, 2 large tomatoes, 1 bunch parsley.

Staples: olive oil, garlic, salt and black peppercorns.



By Linda Gassenheimer

1/4 pound rotini (about 1 1/2 cups)


2 teaspoons olive oil

1 sliced garlic clove

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

2 tablespoons raisins

2 large tomatoes, cut into small cubes (about 1/2- to 1-inch cubes, 3 1/2 cups)

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon rinsed capers

4 pitted black olives, cut in half

2 tablespoons chopped parsley, divided use

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large saucepan 3/4 filled with water to a boil. Add the rotini and boil 8 minutes or according to package instructions. Meanwhile, heat the oil and garlic in a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat until garlic is golden, about 2 minutes. Add the walnuts and raisins and saute for 2 minutes. Stir the tomatoes into the skillet. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the oregano, capers, olives and 1 tablespoon parsley. Remove 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water and add to the skillet. Drain the pasta, add to the skillet and toss in the sauce. Mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Divide between 2 dinner plates and sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon of parsley on top.

Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 544 calories (42% from fat), 25.6 g fat (2.1 g saturated, 7.9 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 18.54 g protein, 66.8 g carbohydrates, 8.8 g fiber, 188 mg sodium.

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