Like many folks these days I’m trying to save money whenever I can. For some reason moving costs a lot of money… I’m definitely stressed out that I won’t have enough to pay all my rent and the moving truck and the gas and all that jazz. So this issue is why I love local farmers markets. Contrary to some beliefs, fresh, local, and organic produce is ridiculously cheap. Even more so now that many farmers markets are accepting food stamps (hells yes fresh veggies to those who need them the most!) So when I snapped up some items at the farmers market this week, I decided to see how far it could go. For $9 thus far I’ve eaten a rockin’ tomato sandwich (I’m not including pantry items in the cost). Today I went the pasta route. And I’ve still got a ton left over!
This meal cost approximately $5 to make and can easily feed a family of 4. I used half a bunch of broccoli greens ($2), 1 zucchini (50 cents), 1 large bunch of basil ($1), and some pasta, pecans, olive oil, and garlic I had sitting around. The pantry items I’ve listed–olive oil, garlic, pasta, pecans–can be modified per budget. Plus I didn’t use much of everything. I used 1/3 box of pasta, 2/3 cup oil (sure, why not use veggie oil if it’s all you have?), 3 cloves of garlic, and 1/2 cup of pecans. That doesn’t add up to much food-wise, and the ingredients aren’t super hard to find.
And how does it taste? Deliciously, fillingly green! I love the extra chew of the orecchiette (it takes longer to cook and always seems a little al dente to me) and the spicy, nutiness of the pesto. And I can’t ever get enough of broccoli greens. They’re like collards, only sweeter! And while some aren’t a fan of the watery factor of zucchini, I thought it added freshness to the dish. Oh, and what’s not to love about something that took only 15 minutes or so to make? Plus I only used 1/2 the pesto recipe, more to love!
Green Like Summer Orecchiette
1 c orecchiette (or any pasta of your choosing)
2 c fresh basil
1/2 c pecans, toasted and cooled
2/3 c olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1/2 bunch broccoli greens (or any green leafy thing), chopped into bite sized pieces
1 zucchini, sliced into 1/2″ rounds
Throw a pinch of salt into a half-way filled medium pot of water. Bring to boil. Add the orecchiette. Boil for ~12 minutes, stirring every now and then to seperate the pasta, until soft but slightly al dente. Take off heat, drain water, rinse pasta with cold water, set aside.
Meanwhile, in a food processor blend the basil, pecans, olive oil, garlic, and salt to taste. Set aside.
In a large skillet/saucepan, sauté the broccoli greens and zucchini rounds for 1 minute over medium heat. Add 1/3 cup of water and place a lid on top. Let steam for 6-7 minutes or until the tender.
Toss together the pasta, half the pesto recipe, and the vegetables in a large bowl. Serves 4.