$3.00 Dinner for Four, Homegrown Tomatoes Included
If you’ve got a garden, you’re probably eating as many tomatoes as you can these days. We’ve had some every night this week, and I still have enough ripe ones to do some canning over the weekend. Sometimes, you may tire of fresh tomato salads. I decided to use mine in a pasta dish last night and was really pleased with the results. You should be able to do this entirely out of your pantry. From my pantry, I used white beans ($0.50), penne pasta ($1), and a cup of shredded cheese ($1.50).
- 2 TB olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 c onion
- 1/4 tsp. hot pepper
- 1 16 oz. can of Great Northern Beans
- 1 -2 lbs. ripe tomatoes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 TBs. fresh basil
- 1 lb. penne pasta
- 1 c. shredded italian or parmesan cheese
Bring water and salt to boil for the pasta. In a medium sauce pan, heat 2 TB of olive oil over medium. When warm, throw in garlic, onion, and hot pepper. Brown for three minutes, stirring occasionally. Rinse and drain the beans; then add them to the sauce pan and mash them up some. Stir frequently for a minute, then reduce to a simmer. While the beans simmer, cook the pasta and core and dice the tomatoes. Toss the tomatoes with the beans, and stir occasionally. The “sauce” should be fairly thick. To finish, add the basil, salt, and pepper to the sauce. Drain the pasta and combine with sauce and cheese.
I liked how the beans thickened things and added an inexpensive protein. The tomatoes were delightful. Since the sauce was ready when the pasta was, I didn’t have to plan ahead as much as you do with a traditional tomato sauce. I’m hoping to put up enough tomatoes over the weekend to be able to enjoy this meal with canned tomatoes through the winter. I also plan to freeze some pesto this weekend, so I’ll substitute that for the fresh basil when I make this in the winter. I hope you enjoy this quick, easy meal as much as we did.
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