Sometimes I just want to make something quick, satisfying and healthy without having to run to the grocery store. A well stocked pantry makes this a possibility.
I always stock pastas, sauces, risotto, beans and soup stocks. With the addition of fresh produce you will always have the makings for a quick pasta dish or soup.
I live in a house built in the early 1920s. My kitchen is small but thankfully I have a closet right in the kitchen that I use for my pantry. Here is what I usually keep:
canned San Marzano tomatoes – whole or crushed for a quick marinara sauce
canned diced tomatoes – make a quick winter salsa, add to soups
dried pasta – a thin spaghetti and a thicker pasta like penne or farfalle
canned beans – black for salsa, cannellini for soups and spreads, garbanzo for salads and hummus
arborrio rice for risotto and rice pudding
chicken stock – for quick soups
dijon mustard for dressings and spreads
red wine vinegar for salad dressings
extra virgin olive oil
popcorn kernels for a quick snack
I keep a container of homemade taco seasoning (I find the packaged stuff too salty) and a container of a dried cumin and chili barbecue rub that I make and keep to use on grilled meats (I have even sprinkled it on pad Thai because it is sweet and spicy). I’ll put these recipes on my site soon!
dried herbs- cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, herbes de provence, garlic salt, oregano, basil, ground mustard, onion powder, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, all spice, ground cloves
panko bread crumbs
hot sauce (two kinds – a wing sauce and a tangy sauce to dash in just about anything from scrambled eggs to guacamole)
brown sugar (light and dark)
sugar in the raw
vanilla extract (good quality, not imitation)
spices: cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg (whole), all-spice, ground cloves