Inspired by my new copy of The Food Lab that I got for Christmas, I've done a deep clean of my pantry. Here are the essentials I can't live without beyond flour/sugar/salt. Thanks, @thefoodlab for the good reading so far (and the best creamy Mac and Cheese ever, for which my boyfriend is eternally grateful).
  1. Olive Oil (I like Lucini brand)
  2. Canned Tomatoes (the Cento cherry tomatoes are next level)
  3. Red Pepper Flakes
  4. Aleppo Pepper
  5. Black Peppercorns (sensing a trend?)
  6. Smoked Paprika
  7. Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste (love seeing little flecks of vanilla bean!)
  8. Medaglia D'Oro Espresso Powder
  9. Dijon Mustard (and usually another French kind with green peppercorns, or grainy mustard, if we're mixing it up)
  10. Sumac
  11. Ground Cumin
  12. Ground Cinnamon
  13. Ground Nutmeg
  14. Sriracha
  15. Chipotles in Adobo
  16. Pastina (star shape, please)
  17. Parmesan
  18. Pecorino
  19. A well-chilled bottle of champagne. You never know!