Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bargain recipe
--Spaghetti with Bacon, Onion, and Red Pepper

Spaghetti with Bacon, Onion, and Red Pepper
365 Ways to Cook Pasta Copyright 1988

4 slices bacon, cut into ¼-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, quartered and cut into thin lengthwise slices
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 jar (7 ounces) roasted peppers, rinsed, drained and cut into thin strips
2 tablespoons pitted and coarsely chopped imported black olives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, or other herbs to taste (optional)
1 pound spaghetti I used Smart Taste which comes in a 14.5 ounce box and I held back some to serve to my son with sauce - it was still plenty
Coarsely ground black pepper
Grated Parmesan cheese

1. Cook bacon in a medium skillet over low heat until lightly browned; drain off most of the fat. Add olive oil. Sauté onion over low heat until golden, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add the red peppers, olives and parsley or herbs, if using. Stir over medium heat 2 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente, or firm to the bite, about 6 minutes. Drain. Toss with the red pepper mixture. Sprinkle with black pepper. Serve with plenty of grated Parmesan cheese.

I've been trying to work with what I have in the freezer. I had some bacon I picked up on clearance but it's hard to find relatively healthy recipes that use bacon but this one fit the bill. It doesn't use much bacon, I used Smart Taste pasta and it doesn't call for any cream or eggs. I wasn't sure how my husband would feel about it but he didn't leave me any leftovers .

This is a bargain, especially if you use regular pasta (the Smart Taste is a bit more expensive). It wasn't spectacular but like I said, there weren't any leftovers. I used Kalamata olives because that's what I have but I would have preferred a different olive. We don't have olive bars in our local grocery stores so my options are limited. Even the jarred olive selection is limited - green, black and Kalamata are all that I can get locally. Although I haven't checked out Wal-Mart's selection. Wal-Mart has been a surprisingly good source of rare (to this area) groceries.

Question of the Day: What is one of your favorite bargain recipes? I may have asked that before, but refresh my memory.


ThursdayNext said...

Tuna noodle casserole. Its so inexpensive to make.

Anonymous said...

I have a pasta recipe with canned garbanzo beans, canned tomatoes, dried basil and Parmesan cheese that is my inexpensive (and easy!) recipe.

Jennifer said...

My favorite cheap meal is breakfast for dinner... okay, that's not exactly a recipe!

I also like to make quiche with whatever I have on hand. I vary the crust, either using thinly sliced potatoes, crescent roll dough, or, last time, I made a pie crust that used canola oil and you pressed it into the pan, rather than roll out. I use a quiche recipe from a betty crocker cookbook for the ratio of eggs and 1/2 and 1/2, but vary the rest of the ingredients. For my favorite, I saute a diced onion, a couple of cloves of garlic, some fresh spinach and then add some diced tomato and feta cheese for a greek inspired quiche.
Occasionally we have a meatless meal, too, that usually consists of either rice or biscuits, 2 veggies and a fruit. My kids don't seem to miss the meat.

Anonymous said...

A variation on a recipe from Bob's Big Boy where I used to work many years ago. Spaghetti with some chili on top (cheap canned stuff works) with maybe some grated cheese or onions. Quick. Easy. Cheap. And it brings back memories of my Grandpa (he used to love to come visit me at work and order their version).

Anonymous said...

You may have asked this question before and I'm sure I gave the same answer before LOL... enchilada casserole. Layer corn tortillas, enchilada sauce, ground meat w/onion, cheese, refried beans however you like (I usually divide it up to make a couple layers of each). Cheap and reheats well. A good one to make ahead for the freezer too.

Heather (momof4as) - blogger won't let me log in for some reason

Cyndi said...

This is our favorite cheap-o meal:

Four-taste Pasta

12 ounces thin spaghetti or angel hair pasta
2 cans tomato paste
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
¼ cup dried parsley
¼-⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cook pasta in boiling water till tender. While pasta is cooking, combine tomato paste, garlic, olive oil, red pepper, and parsley in a large bowl. Add drained, but still hot pasta to tomato paste mixture. Use two forks to combine the mixture with the pasta. Add Parmesan, combine, and serve immediately.

Sometimes I have to zap it in the microwave to get it hot again. This is meant to be a thick pasta–it’s not a sauce, but more like a coating. You can add more red pepper flakes if you decide you want it spicier.