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Coming back from vacation after March break, there was a storm in Montreal and our flight was delayed, so we ended up coming back home much later than we intended. Needles to say that, after so many hours of travelling, I did not feel like going to the grocery store and dinner that night was going to be either delivery or a bowl of cereals (? ). However, after scouring my pantry, I decided to make just a little extra effort and I am so glad I did! This meal will certainly be redone again and again.

Plus, in addition to being very good and very quick to prepare, it’s quite a healthy option and you can hardly find a recipe that is more frugal that this one (at around $1,50 a portion ?). I wish I had known to do this back when I was a student ?.

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Quick, easy and healthy pasta recipe for when you have nothing left in your fridge.

Credit: Julie Paillé


  • 8 oz penne (or other pasta of choice)
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • ½ cup mix of sliced green and black olives
  • 1 Tablespoon Capers
  • 1 28 oz can marinara sauce or crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (or more or omit- depending on your taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Teaspoon Salt
  • Parmesan for serving
  • Basil for garnish (optional- I obviously didn’t have any when I took the picture)


  1. In a large skillet, saute the onions and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Add all the other ingredients except the parmesan and basil (if you have any).
  2. Simmer about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the pastas according to package.
  4. Drain the pasta and mix with the sauce directly in the skillet.
  5. Serve with parmesan and basil.

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