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Mar 15

The Frugal Chef

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The grocery bill is one of the biggest weekly expenses we make. Especially if we have a large family.  It is also an area where we waste so much, either due to a busy schedule resulting in planned meals going south, or simply because the days ran away with us.

The very best meals are those that can be cooked for dinner, shared by the family and then kept in the fridge and eaten cold, with a delicious salad dressing, for lunch.  Pasta and rice dishes are fantastic for this and most families will have one of these ingredients in their pantry.  Not only do they make a very filling meal, they are also really quick to make.  Pasta tastes as delicious with a little garlic and olive oil as it does with more complicated flavours so, we have got you a great little recipe which is good for the kids, healthy for you and most importantly, really good value.  If you want some more brilliant ideas you can check out How to Save Money: Top 102 Money Saving Tips & Ideas to get loads of inspiration.

Packed with loads of carbs to keep up their energy and full of brilliant vegetables.  Very few kids will be disappointed with this Antipasti Penne.  And at $2.81 per serving, it’s a brilliant value meal.  You can also use the leftovers for a great lunchbox snack the next day.

 

12 ounces whole-grain penne

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 ounces soppressata or salami, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

One 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, strained and quartered

6 stuffed Spanish queen olives, halved, plus 2 tablespoons brine

One 14-ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes

4 to 5 fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish

1/2 cup of 1/2-inch chunks fresh mozzarella

 

Boil up a medium pan of water and add your pasta.  If you have quick cook this will take no more than 5 minute.  Keep a little bite for an authentic italian feel.  Once cooked, drain but keep a little of the liquid.

 

Heat some olive oil in a large non stick pan.  You want a medium heat.  Throw in your salami and cook until the oil turns colour.  Add the artichoke hearts and olives, stirring to coat.  Finally throw in the tomatoes, basil, all the pasta and a few tablespoons of olive bring.  Simmer and cook until the sauce slightly thickens.  You can serve with mozzarella or parmesan whichever you prefer.  Delicious!

 

You can twist this recipe a thousand different ways.  Adding chicken and cream or making your own delicious pesto, full of tasty green leaves and delicious pine nuts.  You could also replace the pasta for rice and make a delicious twist on the complicated risotto.

 

The italians are fantastic at quick, delicious, good value food.  Plus they use plenty of olive oil which is packed full of omega 3 fatty acids.  Vital for your health and the health of your children.  So check out other Italian recipes and be inspired by these culinary kings.

 

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