So last week, I blended #meatlessmonday and the 2009 Nude & Eco-Cheap Cooking Initiative together. My goal: to provide eco-friendly, cheap (cheap as in less than $11.50 for a family of 4 cheap!) AND totally meatfree meals. It seemed to work, so we’re back with another edition! Tonight, I’ll be making:
Garlic Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes
I’ll be using the amazing Shawna Coronado‘s nude vegetables (that means no chemicals and pesticides!) to make a garlicky pasta dish with some nice oven roasted tomatoes.
The decision to make this pasta was was completely inspired by the ingredients. I love cherry tomatoes, especially after they have been roasted in the oven. They’re sweet like candy and have a great mild flavor. The minute I saw Shawna’s tomatoes, I knew I had to do something that would let them be the star. So I teamed them up with pasta to make a hearty meal, but in a way so that you wouldn’t miss the ‘maters.
Making Garlic Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes
This dish is very easy to make. You’re going to roast the tomatoes until they get shriveled up and ugly. But let me tell you, the uglier they are, the better they taste! In the oven, they get nice and sweet and delicious.
Also, as a serving note, you’re going to need something to with the meal to give it a little body. I went with garlic bread since it’s clasically Italian, cheap, and who doesn’t like garlic bread?
You will need:
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (free from Shawna’s Garden)
- Salt and Pepper (free for the challenge)
- 2 tablespoons dried basil (50 cents)
- 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoon olive oil (free for the challenge)
- 1 loaf Italian bread ($1.50)
- 3 cloves garlic (25 cents)
- 4 ounces butter (75 cents)
- 1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese, divided ($5)
- 1 16 ounce package spaghetti noodles ($2)
- 1 pinch red pepper flake (10 cents)
- Basil to Garnish (free from Shawna’s Garden!), sliced thin
Total: $10.10 (or less if you don’t us as much Parmesan. Still, if you can splurge, you should. It’s worth it!)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Step 1: The Tomatoes
Put the halved cherry tomatoes into a plastic bag with 2 teaspoons salt, 1 tablespoon pepper, the dried basil, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Shake to coat the tomatoes and roast for 25 minutes. Remove to cool.
Step 2: The Bread
While the tomatoes are baking, cut the Italian bread into 1 inch thick slices. Cut a clove of garlic in half and rub each slice of bread with the garlic. Then butter and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. You only have a cup of grated cheese for both the bread and the pasta, so how much cheese you add is up to you. I like my bread really cheesy and my pasta not so much, but a cup should be more than enough for both.
Bake until the butter melts (3-5 minutes) at 350 degrees right before you serve the meal.
Step 3: The Pasta
Also, while the tomatoes are baking, cook the pasta in salted water according to package directions.
Step 4: Bring it All Together
Once the tomatoes and pasta are done, mince all the garlic. Pour about two tablespoons from the 1/3 cup of olive oil into a skillet over medium heat and add the garlic and red pepper flake. Cook for about 15 seconds, then add the rest of the olive oil and the pasta. Stir until warm, then add the tomatoes. Again, stir until warm and then serve topped with the rest of Parmesan cheese and thinly sliced basil.
Step 5: Enjoy!
Need I say more?
Get healthy today and follow the “2009 Nude & Eco-Cheap Cooking Initiative” with Blog Well Done’s Chris Perrin and The Casual Gardener, Shawna Coronado
Thanks to Shawna Coronado for the picture.