Sundried Tomato Pasta

One of the goals my roommate and I came up with for our in-dorm meals was that everything should include at least one vegetable. We were in Russian class between 9 and 13.5 hours a week, plus another 9 hours of electives, homework, and organized excursions. We couldn’t afford to not be eating well – and on top of all the mental work, those excursions often involved a lot of walking. So we were concerned about running out of fuel, but not particularly worried about calorie consumption.

Which is one of the reasons that, when the first time I found sundried tomatoes in Russia they were in a jar with oil, I snapped them up. I might be used to, well, drier sundried tomatoes, but they’re deliciously intensely flavored and T doesn’t like them here at home, so I went for it. Because I had sundried tomatoes, I didn’t want to overwhelm them with sauce, so dinner was, again, pretty simple.

Ingredients:

  • pasta
  • ground chicken
  • sundried tomatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • olives and capers

I made this a couple times. With the olives and capers, it’s proper pasta alla puttanesca – well, minus the garlic.

I added a bit of the oil to the pan with the ground chicken, because it’s low fat and the pan wasn’t non-stick. I browned the meat while I started the kettle and then made the pasta in our other pot. While those were going, I cut up the sundried tomatoes into little bite-sized pieces. The chicken finished before the pasta, so I added the sundried tomatoes (and whatever else) to the chicken and stirred that all together so the flavors mixed. When the pasta was done, I added that to the sauce, then served.

How servings worked was this: an entire pound of ground chicken, and entire jar of sundried tomatoes, half a jar of capers and an entire can of olives if I was using them, paired with a small bag of pasta to serve four. If you’ve got a vegetarian, skip the chicken – but in that case definitely use the olives and capers. If you’re only feeding a couple of people, change nothing but the pasta quantity, because who the Hell wants to buy food storage containers for a measly five week stay? If you’re only serving two, a generous handful of pasta works, and it just ends up being way heavier on the other stuff, but still delicious, and tremendously filling.