I wanted to share a quick budget recipe with you. First, I have to admit that I have a very serious problem - a cookbook buying problem. I love them. And unfortunately most of them are e-books which means I can't resell them. Often I purchase them, read them, and never make anything out of them. Secondly, I have to confess that I have another very serious problem - an addiction to the Real Housewives series. Yes it's true...and those two problems are how I came into possession of Teresa Giudice's cookbook - Skinny Italian. I decided that since I had paid good money for the thing I needed to make at least one recipe from it.
Surprisingly the recipe I chose turned out to be really good AND also a really flexible recipe. I used items I had in the house but even if you were to purchase each one it would be really inexpensive. I think it's a great vehicle for leftovers and used it that way myself - I added some leftover ham. The original recipe is vegetarian but we like meat in this house :) . Here's my version of the recipe:
1 lb farfalle pasta
1 tbsp exra virgin olive oil
1/2 a large onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1 cup fresh or thawed frozen peas
1/3 of a cup light cream
1/4 of a teaspoon salt
1/8 of a teaspoon pepper
1 cup diced ham
Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil, add salt and pepper while it's cooking
Add the ham and peas and continue to cook over low heat while boiling the pasta
When the pasta has started boiling but isn't quite ready add the cream to the veggies and ham and heat through, let it boil a bit as it will thicken the cream some
Drain the pasta when ready, reserve a small amount of cooking water
Toss the pasta with the veggies/ham and cream until the pasta is coated
Grate some fresh parmesan over top and stir
If the sauce is too thick add the reserved pasta water a little at a time until it loosens and covers the pasta well
Easy right? And so pretty with the butterfly pasta, green peas, and ham.
I started thinking of a ton of variations:
Instead of ham and peas how about leftover chicken and asparagus? or turkey and broccoli florets?
If you don't have any leftover meat you could add a can of tuna or bake some chicken breasts and serve the meatless version on the side. If you don't have farfalle you could use any pasta you have on hand. Don't have the cream? How about a little butter and parmesan cheese with a few splashes of milk?
Too hot for warm meal? How about cooking the pasta and rinsing it in cold water and adding the peas, ham and diced onion along with some italian dressing for a quick pasta salad?
I really think this a great recipe to know so that you can use it in a variety of ways. The cost is really minimal for the basics:
Pasta from your pantry or from the dollar store - $1
Leftover meat or even buying a small ham steak for about - $3
Frozen peas - $1
Cream - $2
an onion - less than a dollar
garlic - less than a dollar
I don't know about you but I usually have most of these ingredients on hand - pasta, an onion or garlic, and some frozen veggies.
What's your favorite go to budget recipe?