Paltry Pantry Pasta (aka, Chopped: College Edition)

My kitchen is a sad place right now. The dinner table shakes under the weight of heavy textbooks and flashcards for Arabic conjugations. The floor has not been Swiffered for longer than I care to take responsibility for and the dishes in the sink threaten to topple over, covering any innocent bystanders in a volatile combination of ketchup, yogurt, and soggy tea leaves. However, the most depressing part of my kitchen is the refrigerator, which currently houses one applesauce cup, half an avocado, four packets of tuna fish, and apple butter. I know, I know; prisoners have better options than that. Unfortunately, the end of the semester is sometimes so full of studying (and procrastinating on Pinterest) and grocery shopping gets put on the back-burner. Plus, I don’t want to have to cart home food with me when I move out. Have you ever tried to travel with quarts of ice cream and shrimp? However, when I told my apartment mate that I had four servings of popcorn for dinner one night, I knew something had to change.

I decided that a creative, resourceful, and starving young lass like myself could make like Tim Gunn and make it work. I had spent a good portion of my semester watching Food Network and my mind flew to the challengers on Chopped. I took four different ingredients from my paltry pantry and vowed to make a delicious meal for myself. And let’s be honest, even if it wasn’t all that tasty, I’d probably still eat it. I was desperate.

I chose the avocado half, the apple butter, leftover bow tie pasta, and some sad little pistachios that I found hidden away in a nook on my cabinet. With the help of my Magic Bullet, I made a quick and thick sauce to go onto the pasta. The buttery flavor of the avocado blended well with the sweetness of the apple butter, fortunately, and the pistachios not only add to the green color but work in a similar fashion to a pine nut. I left the table feeling full and ready to take on these final two weeks, the only question remaining in my mind being, “But what are you going to eat tomorrow?”

Johanna Caruthers is a senior English major at McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She likes unicorns, baking, poetry, and roller skating.


Paltry Pantry Pasta
Serves one time-strapped almost-grad

1/2 cup bow tie pasta (or really any pleasing pasta)
One half avocado
10 to 15 pistachios
3 tablespoons apple butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Cook pasta according to the directions on the package.

Place avocado, pistachios, apple butter, and vegetable oil in a food processor and run until the mixture is a creamy consistency, with a slightly light green color. Mix sauce into pasta, plate, and enjoy. Then go finish studying.

Originally posted on Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

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