Apr 26, 2010

Vegetarian: On The Cheap

Sorry I have been gone for so incredibly long.
There are no excuses just blatant blog neglect. I am contrite to your outrage and bring you a humble, healthy apology.
The cost for this meal is a lot up front when we talk about supplies if you don't keep Olive Oil on hand or vodka or wine. It is about $25-$30 if you do not already have this stuff on hand. If you do, it is about $11.00 for the whole shebang. This recipe feeds 4-6 people. Double down and you get 8-12 servings for about $15.00 total. Or roughly $1.25 per serving. Please make this food and feed a bunch of people a really healthy meal. Think of the children!!!

Vegetarian Pasta ( PS...must love tomatoes)

Shopping list:
Tomatoes- any kind will do, about 1.5- 2 pounds worth. To make this super special grab heirloom tomatoes cause holy pretty purple and green tomatoes! ( roughly $6 total depending where you buy them. farmers markets or co-ops have the least expensive highest quality 'maters)
Olive Oil- but you already have this on hand right? The green kind, not the yellow kind. This is important. ( you already have this so it is free. Or about $10 for a really good bottle.)
Penne- about a pound, maybe you want to grab the whole wheat kind? Nummers. ( $3.00 for the whole wheat, less for white flour)
Garlic- fresh. Make sure that bulb is good and tight before you buy it. ($.50)
Vodka- if you are adventurous, white wine if you are Lutheran, nothing at all if you prefer.
Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes. ( what ever you have is fine, if you are not a sloppy drunk like me, buy a bottle of Vodka for about $15.00 or wine for about $3.00- the 3 buck chuck chard from Trader Joe's is REALLY good)
Heavy cream, NOT half and half or similar. ($1.49, I <3 Market Pantry)
Fresh basil if you feel like it ( free from your herb garden, about $1.00 to buy the plant from a green house or about $3.00 if you buy fresh herbs at the grocery store. Grow your own already)
Parmesan cheese if you want it ( we call this shakey cheese in our house) ( $2.50)

So now we advance to cooking.
Grab a big old skillet/ saucier/ sauce pan
grab a jumbo pot for boiling your pasta
a sharp sharp sharp knife

1. Start large pot of water on to boil.
2. In saucier add about 1/4 + a smidge of olive oil
3. with sharp knife sliver or mince ( whatever you prefer) the garlic, about 4 cloves should do.
4. add to the olive oil on low heat.
5. cook garlic until aromatic ( it smells like garlic). Just about 1-2 minutes. Do not over cook the garlic. yuck.
6. While the garlic cooks cube and seed your tomatoes. This is gross. Do it any way. ( Note.... to seed a tomato, cut in half and either squeeze the seeds out or scoop with a spoon.)
7. when the garlic is done take your wine/ vodka and add to the mix. You want about 1/4 cup of either. Don't do both, sheesh.
8. let the boozey garlic mess simmer a bit till it reduces by half.
9.Toss your 'maters in with the garlic/ booze mix and let cook about 15 minutes. Maybe 20 if you use heirlooms since they are beefier.
10. Is your pasta boiled? Good.
11. add a splash of heavy cream to the tomato slop, heat through.
12. Toss the strained pasta into the sauce and coat.
13. Toss the pasta con sauce into a large bowl.
14. Sprinkle fresh basil on top.
15. Maybe a dash of shakey cheese to the top? Real parm works great too.

I hope you like this. It is a variant to vodka pasta from Williams Sonoma. This nukes really well and is delicioso. Enjoy this fresh, delicious, hearty and inexpensive dish.


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