Day 1 – Lunch

Thin Spaghetti with Tomato Concassee (and Cream – optional) 

Tomato Concassee

servings 6   

1 large can diced tomatoes – $3.28 (I use Muir Glen organic and you can find it on sale for 2 for $4.  If you have some extra $$ at that time, it’s a good time to stock up)
1 oz onions, minced – $0.08
1 tbsp Olive oil $0.29
3 cloves Garlic, minced $0.15
1 tbsp tomato paste $0.08
a celery segment (if I have it around, I usually do) ) $0.10
Thyme, oregano, parsley, salt, pepper, and sugar to taste $0.15

Total @ 1/3 cup serving – $0.69
Calories: 56   Fat: 2.3  Protein: 0

Heat olive oil in a sauce pan.
Add minced onions and sweat to soften, mixing with a wooden spoon. 
Do not let the onions burn. 
Add the tomato paste and combine.
Add the garlic, chopped tomatoes, spices, and celery segment.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
Cover with a round piece of parchment paper or splatter guard and cook until the water has completely evaporated. 
Remove celery.   

This sauce is fine as is, but typically, I take out 1/3 cup of this sauce, and put it in a pan, and freeze the rest for later use.  Then I make Tomato Concassee with Cream by adding 1 1/2 tsp cream, stirring, and heating until thickened to the desired consistency.This brings the total for the sauce to – 

Total @ 1/3 cup serving – $0.76
Calories: 81   Fat: 5.3  Protein: 0

If you want a more complex basic marinara and have some extra time:

Basic Marinara  

servings 6  

2 oz onion – $0.16
1 oz carrot – $0.10
3/4 tsp garlic $0.08
1 tbsp olive oil $0.29
Oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, basil to taste $0.10 (dried is fine.  Fresh is better, but pricey, unless you grow your own)

Total @ 1/3 cup serving – $0.81
Calories: 86   Fat: 4.6  Protein: 0             

Sweat the onion, carrot, and garlic in the oil until tender.
Add the tomato concassee and spices. 
Simmer for about 1 hour or until the desired consistency is reached.
Puree.
Adjust seasonings.

Pasta

I typically just buy boxed pasta

Serving – 2 ounces dry

Total per serving- $0.18
Calories: 200   Fat: 1  Protein: 7 

You can read the side of the box, but here’s my take.  

Bring 4-6 quarts of water to a roiling boil. Even if you’re only doing 1 serving, still boil a couple of quarts. The pasta needs room to move or it will clump and/or boil over. Better safe than clumpy.
Salt to taste if desired. You desire. Believe me, you desire. This is your only window to seasoned pasta and if you slam it shut, it’s gone forever. You want to add about 1 tsp per pint of water, or until it tastes like sea water. Yes, you should taste it. A word about Salt.
Add pasta to boiling water and stir gently.
Return to a boil and cook for the prescribed time on the package. For fresh pasta, it could be 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Just keep checking it.
Drain. Do not rinse.
Apply sauce o’ choice. Serve.If you have an extra hour, and want to make your own pasta, I highly encourage that.  Here’s how –

Basic Pasta Dough

1 lb fresh pasta – 8 servings

3/4 tsp salt – $.01
10 oz flour $0.50
4 eggs $0.43 – $1.60 (depending on the eggs)
1/2 Tbsp olive oil (optional) $0.15

Total for recipe – $1.09 – $2.26 or $0.13 – $0.28 a serving
Calories: 162   Fat: 4  Protein: 6 

Mix flour and salt. Place the flour in a mound in the center of a large cutting board. Make a well in the middle of the flour.  Whip the eggs (with the olive oil if using). Pour the egg mixture into the well, and gradually incorporate the flour starting with the inner rim of the well. As you blend the eggs, repair the outer sides of the well. Blend until the dough is tacky and workable and then begin to knead.

Add the leftover flour from the edges as needed.  Once the dough is still a little sticky but starting to become elastic, pick up the dough, and brush the remaining flour over the board lightly, keeping any leftover on the side just in case. Knead for 3 more minutes. The dough should be just little sticky. Continue to knead for another 3 minutes. Flour the board when necessary. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside for 20 minutes at room temperature. Roll and form as desired.  There are recipes that just call for water, flour, and oil but if you’re going to take the trouble of doing it yourself, you might as well make it with as much flavor as possible.  However, the pasta without eggs you can leave out to dry and save for a while.  It is lower in fat and cheaper.  Here’s how:

Basic Eggless Pasta Dough

1 lb fresh pasta – 8 servings

12.5 oz unbleached all-purpose flour – $0.63
a pinch of salt – $0.01
1 cup of cold water
2 teaspoons of olive oil – $0.19

Total for recipe – $0.83 or $0.10 a serving
Calories: 152 Fat: 1.5 Protein: 4

Use same procedure as egg pasta.

This can be dried and stored, but when I’m taking the trouble, I do mine with eggs.Assuming that you bought pasta, and made it with the creamy tomato concassee** – here are the totals:___________________________________________________________________________________

Totals for lunch

Total for recipe – $0.94
Calories: 281
Fat: 6.3 (20%)
Protein: 7 (10%)

**I also sometimes add a pinch of parmesan.  Not even enough to count.

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