Monday, December 8, 2008

Welcome to the Weekly PennyPinching Challenge!

I've been given my marching orders: trim the fat from my weekly grocery bill. By nature, I'm no penny pincher when it comes to grocery shopping (or, I'm as I'm sure my husband would love to interject here, in any of my other shopping either), but this tough economy has forced our family to minimize spending where we can.

This is an interesting challenge for me, a self confessed "foodie". I cook for my family most every evening, and since I love to use the freshest ingredients, I make a trip to Sendiks nearly every time I cook. Truth be told, (* gasp! *) I almost never look at the price of an item that I need to make a particular dish. But because I am a team player, I followed my husband's miserly orders and had a look at the weekly sale ad before I made my menu and shopping list this morning.

You wouldn't believe the great items that are on sale! Immediately I thought, this budget shopping could totally work for me. Tonight we're having the most decadent pasta dish - a luscious brie and fresh tomato pasta, made almost entirely out of sale ingredients!

Have a look at this recipe, and make it for your family this week. Sale items are BOLD.

Adapted from The Silver Palate Cookbook
Serves: 6

Cost Per Serving: $3.65 Per Diner *, including Garden Salad (see below)

4 ripe stem tomatoes (1.29/lb) cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 pound Flanager d'Affinos Double Cream Brie (13.99/lb) rind removed, torn into irregular pieces
1 cup cleaned fresh basil leaves, cut into strips
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
3/4 cup best quality olive oil **
salt to taste
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 pound Creamette Fettucini (5/5.00)
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

1. Combine tomatoes, brie, basil, garlic, 3/4 cup olive oil, salt and pepper in a large serving bowl. Prepare at least 2 hours before serving and set aside, covered, at room temperature

2. Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add the fettucine and boil until al dente, about 10 minutes.

3. Drain pasta and immediately toss with the tomato sauce. Serve immediately.

* Note: This is assuming there is olive oil in your pantry at home.
** Note: since this is a 'raw sauce' it's important to use the best quality olive oil you can afford.

Pair this pasta dish with a GARDEN SALAD made from Head Lettuce (.89/head), Fresh Cucumbers (2/1.00), and an extra Stem Tomato (1.29/lb). Toss the salad with your choice of Olde Cape Cod Dressings (1.89).

Dinner is for another PennyPinching Challenge Meal tomorrow!

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