Recipes from a depleted store cupboard

If you have any recipes which don’t require a very full store cupboard, you might like to share them here.

Having talked about pasta (which is best made with very fine flour) in another post, let me kick off with a lovely pasta equivalent that can be made just with potatoes, plain (general purpose) flour (in the ratio 3:1) and seasoning. I’m NOT saying this will win you masterchef. :smile:

Not Gnocchi

Approximate ingredients (based on 500 grams of peeled potatoes)
500 g (1/2 pound) unpeeled potatoes
170 g (3 oz) plain or general purpase flour (wholemeal might also work - not sure)
Seasoning (I use salt and white pepper)

Boil potatoes in their skins in lots of salted water for 20+ minutes
When they are cool enough to handle, remove skins (should be easy)
Weigh the peeled potatoes and put a third of this weight of flour on to a board
Mash the tatties completley (wit a ricer, if you have it)
Add to flour and work together until you have a smooth dough.
Divide dough in two and roll each half into long cylinders of 1 cm / 0.5 in diameter
Cut cylinders into 2 cm / 1 in lengths and, if you’re feeling creative, shape these with the tines of a fork.
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and lower the gnocchi into it with a slotted spoon (a few at a time is you’ve done lots)
After a couple or 3 minutes, the gnocchi should rise one by one to the surface at which time they can be removed.
I think these go well with a basilly tomato sauce or most sauces that go with other pastas or even just melted butter and seasoning.

@gisella-albertini Please, PLEASE don’t show this to any other Italians. :laughing:


You’re don’t want em to steal your secret recipe? :smiley:
Now we want the photos!

Do you find semolina flour ( thicker durum flour) at all? There’s a different kind of gnocchi we call “alla Romana” you can do with it.
Or semolina soup and “semolino dolce” (pudding) both classic here in Piedmont!

By the way, not sure how this fact is known outside Italy: durum pasta is from the South.
“Standard” wheat flour, and eggs, is normally used for making pasta in the North!


Thanks! I’ve been wondering about making my own pasta and not sure what ingredients to look for.

What pasta would you like to do?
Now I’m curious - and actually if you choose, maybe I can send you more specific details! :wink:

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I would particularly like to be able to make lasagna noodles (or whatever the correct term would be…). I’ve done some experimenting. If I can make them more easily than my experiments that would be great! And I might then branch out into other kinds of noodles.

Ok. Let’s start from the beginning:
in Italy we call “noodles” any type rice/soy/wheat spaghetti-like “pasta” in oriental cuisine and recipes.
So doesn’t really match with Lasagna, in my mind! :sweat_smile:

But let’s assume it’s Italian classic Lasagne we’re talking about.
Like most Italian classics, there’s about a million variations - one per household, more or less.
Which can be confusing at first but it means you can try different recipes until you find your favorite (for taste and preparation). :wink:

As basic ingredients you almost always have:

  • flat rectangles of pasta (made of “standard” wheat flour + eggs)
  • sauce (most common: tomato)
  • cheese (most common: parmesan)

Then most famous are “alla bolognese”, which also include:

  • béchamel
  • minced meat (beef and pork mix)

But there are very common and classic vegetarian variations (like with just basil pesto + cheese or spinach in the pasta and + ricotta cheese & spinach in the sauce).

And a bit less classic, but nonetheless very tasty fish-sauce based versions too.

Which one(s) would you like?

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You’re right - I should have called it pasta! And of course there are about a million variations! :laughing:

I have made a somewhat home-grown version of lasagna for years, using store-bought lasagna pasta which comes (dried) as strips about 2" wide with ruffled edges. But I can no longer eat those because of an “enrichment” ingredient that the manufacturers here put into it. So I started looking for pasta recipies to use for my lasagna. As I mentioned, I have experimented but not very often. My main question about the pasta is what the correct ingredients (and amounts of each) would be. And should it be a single sheet, the whole size of the pan, per layer!? Cool!

My usual lasagna is similar to “alla bolognese” but with a few different ingredients.

Speaking of the pasta, the recipe is based on the “pasta all’uovo” type - which is used also for tagliatelle, and filled pasta.
Standard ingredients:

  • 00 wheat flour (preferably “weak” - basically NOT the one advertised as good for pizza if you’ve got a choice, because that’s going to drive you crazy to flatten it)
  • fresh eggs
  • a bit of salt
    That’s all!

For proportions, it mostly depends on eggs size, preferences and also on day/room humidity (serious! - but not as relevant as the first two).
As a general rule (sorry, I can’t remember UK/US sizes but I guess you can convert them as you prefer):
1 egg for each 100 grams of flour.
About half teaspoon of salt every 400-500 grams

But always keep eggs in the USA are usually bigger than Italian ones, so I would start, for example with 400 grams + 3 eggs, and keep extra flour and egg ready to adjust if it’s to dry (it looks a bit like crumbles, not smooth) or too wet (more like a paste than a pasta, and you can’t flatten it).

I can look for a video on the web, but fact is that all you need to do is put flour in a bowl, then add eggs and salt, mix them all with a fork (first) and then with hands until you can make a ball with it.
Let it rest for a few minutes, covered.
All pretty easy, so far, then comes the tricky part:
making it flat, down to about 1,5 - 2 mm.

Lasagna is usually not one large sheet of pasta. It’s made of approximately 8 x 16 cms sheets of pasta that you “assemble” in layers along with sauce and other ingredients.

Therefore it’s easier if you cut the pasta ball in parts and then flatten each one separately cause the larger the surface, the more likely it is to break it.

You can use a rolling pin, of course, or the most common gadget for pasta making in Italy :grin::

Let me know if it’s clear enough, if you have questions or if you’d like me to find a video somewhere on the web for you!
Then we’ll go on! :wink:


I bought my pasta maker from the Trentino. It has given me and Maureen hours of innocent fun except when the bl#### handle falls out.

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Really? It falls out while she uses it? :thinking:
Isn’t she too vigorous in her rolling and whirling maybe? :laughing:

Yes. using the machine (Marcato Allipia?) is the only job we do together in the kitchen. For everything else, she keeps well out of the way to avoid the bad language and chaos. I make the pasta (using 00 flour and eggs) and she winds the machine and adjusts the thickness while I feed the pasta in and out trying to avoid clumping. We then hang it on a pasta tree and either dry or eat it straight away.

The handle is moved according to which type of pasta we’re producing so it is not fixed (I guess that is the same for all machines). She’s slow and tentative but the b*****r still slips out at crucial times. :rage:


While I’m here, does anyone else have any other “survivalist” recipe - ie when you’re down to the last of your quinoa and avocado. :grinning:

Yeah the handle is never fixed in those machines.
But it’s not “Imperia”, right? Let’s blame it on the brand! :wink:

And I agree than 90% of the time it’s better for couples NOT to cook together - for the same reasons anywhere in the world (although I’m sure each individual gets mad for different reasons). :laughing:

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Quinoa (cooked) - cheese - canned beans - tomato sauce - onions casserole?
With avocado-onion-tomato dip?


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Thanks, @gisella-albertini! I think I need to work on getting just the right consistency in mixing the ingredients. When I’ve tried to make it before, it was pretty stiff when I tried to roll it out. Have considered getting a roller (I was using a rolling pin) but not sure it is worth it since I only make lasagna every few months. (And, unfortunately, my husband is now trying to cut back on carbohydrates…)

Interesting that small rectangular sheets is how it is “properly” done for lasagna! I like that idea a lot more!

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Some chefs have addressed the issue of what to do when supplies go short. Here’s a BBC link
Chefs’ top tips for when supplies run low

If anyone is interested but can’t access this page, let me know and I’ll try to send you a pdf.

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These are great -


Warning - Chris uses the F word in this. He’s also an epic code-switcher.

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Ooh, I have a few i can share! First:

Pasta e ceci

Easy if you were lucky enough to find chickpeas before they disappeared off the face of the earth. Before the chickpea shortage I would always have all of these things in my cupboard so could make this whenever I had nothing else.

You need:

  • Chickpeas! I tend to go for a can per person (either straight from a can or soaked and cooked dry ones)
  • Pasta! I’ve seen some recipes using tagliatelle but I’ve always had it with short pasta myself (examples: ditali, conchiglie, pasta mista) you can even use spaghetti and snap them into small pieces before throwing them in (spaghetti spezzati!)
  • The concentrated tomato stuff (that you can find in tubes or tins) or just a bit of passata
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Chili flakes/powder/whatever
  • Rosemary (dried or frozen, preferably a whole sprig but doesn’t matter)
  • Salt and pepper obviously

You can leave out the chili flakes if you don’t have/want them. But everything else if very important. The dish has a pretty subtle flavour already and leaving anything out will make it too bland

How to make it:

Bit of oil in a saucepan and throw in a whole clove of garlic, a whole sprig of rosemary, some of the tomato stuff and some chili flakes. Let them flavour the oil for a little bit and then throw in the chickpeas, some water to barely cover the chickpeas and some salt.

Let this boil for a bit so the chickpeas get a bit softer.

If you want the sauce extra creamy (which you do) take a bit less than half of the chickpeas out with some of the liquid and blend them with a stick blender before adding them back in.

Taste the liquid and chickpeas at this point, you’ll probably need to add a bit more salt.

After this you’re ready to add in your pasta, so try to pick out the rosemary sprig (if you had it, ignore this otherwise) and garlic and just throw your dry pasta in with the chickpeas. The time they take to cook varies a lot but just taste them every now and then and it’s ready when they’re al dente. Please don’t overcook the pasta or I will cry :smile:

Final taste for salt and add some pepper on top. If you want to garnish you can use some olive oil and rosemary.


Excellent, pasta e ceci is great! :slight_smile:

My personal favourite choice for pasta in this dish goes to pasta all’uovo and especially “maltagliati” (naming them, since we’ve been talking of home-made pasta in this thread, in case someone has run out of short pasta and wants to make some themselfes). :wink:

By the way one thing I enjoy of this, just like with pasta e fagioli (pasta and pinto beans that’s another big classic in Piedmont) is the fact depending on preference and season:
it can be more like a classic pasta, or more like a soup (and more or less thick) or even as a cold pasta dish.

Are people hoarding chickpeas over there? Still enough in my cupboard luckily!

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