Week 2 Of Pantry-Friendly Meal Ideas From Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Another week, another set of quarantine restrictions. With everyone staying at home more, we received an overwhelming amount of support for the bundle of pantry-friendly recipes Julia Busuttil Nishimura gave us in one drop last week.

So, today she returns again, this time armed with a week’s worth of rich, tomato-heavy pasta and Japanese inspired dishes. Each of these seven recipes is designed to be economical, making use of basic pantry items in lots of different ways, with a fair few options for leftovers. Download the attachable shopping list at the end of the piece for a speedy and efficient supermarket shop!


Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Tagliatelle with Beef Short-Rib Ragu. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Tagliatelle with Beef Short-Rib Ragu. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Photo – Eve Wilson.

Julia Busuttil Nishimura’s Seasonal Flavours: Spring Greens with Ricotta. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Julia Busuttil Nishimura’s Seasonal Flavours: Spring Greens with Ricotta. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Photo – Julia Busuttil Nishimura.

Ricotta Gnocchi in a Light Summer Sauce. Photo – Armelle Habib.

Ricotta Gnocchi in a Light Summer Sauce. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Slow Braised Ribs with Italian Slaw. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Julia’s Weeknight Pasta Trapanese. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Julia’s Brown Rice And Salmon Bowl. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Julia Busuttil Nishimura
3rd of April 2020

Wow, things have changed a lot since I wrote up the first week of recipes for you all. We have moved to a stage of isolation where only essential services are staying open, and people are urged to stay home as much as possible (although, the messaging could surely be clearer!).

As much as it has been a huge shift in the way we normally live our lives, it’s definitely for the best, and a necessary approach that we all need to get on board with. In saying this though, that doesn’t mean that it’s easy. We’ve seen a huge amount of job losses these past few weeks – especially in the hospitality sector – something that has personally affected my family. My husband, Nori, is a chef and with the new government measures last week, he found himself without a job. 2020 is definitely making us a resilient bunch that’s for sure! My four-year-old has been home from kindergarten, which has been mostly lovely but also, of course, challenging at times.

I’ve been staying positive though, video calling lots of friends and family every day and seeing it as a time to maybe do some things I wouldn’t usually have the time for. I’m back baking sourdough and making video tutorials of different recipes on my Instagram which I am enjoying. I’m also loving all of the home delivery options, something I always saw as indulgent (I also really love grocery shopping) but is now a great way to support small local businesses.

I do really miss seeing people though, having friends over for dinner and meeting up with them for a coffee or a drink. I’m giving myself permission to be a bit sad about it sometimes, but also focusing on the good things and reminding myself that it’s just temporary. Meals punctuate our day, and I’m putting more effort into them than usual. I’m cooking A LOT, especially comfort food like the recipes for short ribs that require hours on the stove, and plenty of pasta because everyone knows that pasta is a synonym for comfort! If you have never made gnocchi before, these ricotta gnocchi are practically foolproof and a great way to start. They are also a great project to make with kids, and are simple enough even for the littlest ones to get involved. I hope you enjoy!

Ricotta Gnocchi in a Light Summer Sauce

The glory of rolling out these pillows ricotta dough is they’re just as satisfying to make as to eat!

Link to recipe here.

Julia’s Weeknight Pasta Trapanese

You can use any pasta you like for this simple recipe, and it’s good for using up any overripe tomoatoes!

Link to recipe here.

Spring Greens with Ricotta

The best kind of food to cook is the easy-to-make, but still-looks-a-bit-impressive kind. This is one of those recipes.

Link to recipe here.

Slow Braised Ribs with Italian Slaw

It’s sure starting to  feel chilly in Melbourne, and slow braising is the perfect activity for long, cold wintery days.

Link to recipe here.

Tagliatelle with Beef Short-Rib Ragu

Taking time to slow down and pay attention to the way food changes as it cooks is one of the best things about having more time on your hands.

Link to recipe here.

Spring Soba Noodle Salad

Mix up the week’s flavour profile with this refreshing Japanese salad full of fresh veg.

Link to recipe here.

Brown Rice And Salmon Bowl

Use up the rest of the soy, tahini and mirin from the soba noodle salad by marinating salmon in it the next day!

Link to recipe here.

Like the look of all this? Download Julia’s shopping list for everything you need for all seven meals here, or head to the link under each heading for individual ingredients lists.

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