Thursday, 4 September 2014

Fast, Cheap and Easy Meal Ideas: Spinach and Tomato Pasta

A quick pasta dish full of flavour.
At one point in time, our family had fresh organic product delivered once a week.  We didn't get to decide what went into our box and  sometimes we'd end up with something we'd never seen before.  One week there was some leafy green thing, I can't remember its name, but it was pretty close to spinach.  There was a little flyer in the box with a recipe for a pasta dish that used the greens and the sweet little cherry tomatoes.  We'd only really done pasta with red or white sauces before, so this was a big change and a really good one!  It was like something that we'd get at a restaurant!


I guess you figured out that we don't follow the recipe to a tee seeing as I can't even remember the name of one of the ingredients.  Fresh spinach, tomatoes and garlic work best but we have used canned tomatoes, frozen spinach and garlic powder when in a pinch.  We also like baby spinach better than the regular kind but it works too and is so much cheaper.  We've also just done straight pasta without any tomatoes or spinach.  Any shape of pasta will do, but spaghetti and penne are our favorites for this recipe.

I'm not gonna lie, by the time the pasta made it on the table, there was a block of cheese next to it to be grated on top.  I think it's fine plain, but DH is a bit of a cheese-aholic and likes cheese on most everything, so I've added it in the cost breakdown below.  The little miss had a top up and the Mr. and I had several servings and there was some leftovers, so I decided this would serve four...


How Cheap Is This Pasta?


1lb. Pasta: $0.44
Tomato: $0.50
Baby Spinach: $1.50
Olive Oil, Garlic, Salt, Pepper: $0.35
Cheese: $1.00
Total: $3.79

That's $0.95 per person!  Less without cheese!


The Recipe (for maybe 4?)

  1. Boil pasta until cooked the way you like it, drain and set aside.
  2. Heat up some olive oil in a pan over medium heat. (or use the pot if you want less dishes)
  3. Add crushed garlic (half a head), salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Stir the pasta around until coated.
  5. Add a chopped up tomato.
  6. After a minute or two when the tomatoes have started heating up, add the spinach.
  7. In another minute or two the spinach will start to wilt and the pasta is done!


* UPDATE *


So I did a long post here describing how I came up with $0.35 for olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.  While writing I also came across an actual receipt were I bought two roma tomatoes for $0.43.  So the cost for the meal was actually closer to:

1lb. Pasta: $0.44
Tomato: $0.22
Baby Spinach: $1.50
Olive Oil, Garlic, Salt, Pepper: $0.35
Cheese: $1.00
Total: $3.51

Only $0.88 per person!


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