Is there anyone right now who is not worried about their food budget? It just feel like everything is going up and up. I started looking at our food budget a couple of weeks ago and was wondering where I could make tweaks. I looked at everything from the stores I shop at to what I am buying. I started making adjustments. See I don’t use coupons so just sitting down cutting coupons is not going to do me any good. I don’t use many name brand products when I do buy anything packaged and usually there are not many coupons for the things I do buy. The day I see coupons for kale and carrots I’ll be thrilled.
So after making some adjustments to where I shop and where I buy what and even what store brands taste better I cut the grocery bill a little. Then something happened in our home that I need to cut more. It’s ok, it’s a challenge I’ll take. Thing is I need these dishes I cook to also not suck the day away cooking. This is where the convenience of packaged quick foods is so tempting. But in the end I know cooking with as many whole foods as I can is best. Fresh or frozen, veggies the point is to get the veggies in. Last week’s White Bean and Kale soup is a budget friendly meal. That worked out for very little per serving. It helps I also grow my own kale, and have plenty to eat for a few more weeks in the yard. You could switch that one out for bag of frozen kale. Just as nutritious and yummy.
So, continuing on with my budget friendly and simple recipe meals, I got to thinking about a recipe my son loves to have on the nights he has Cadets. It’s a breeze for me to cook up on rushed night. Many of the ingredients are frozen or kept in the pantry so it makes it great for an end of week menu plan. That dish is Chef’s Ramsay’s Farfalle with Bacon , Peas and Sage. Though I think in the cookbook I have it’s called something else. The fact his kids love it is what got me to try cooking it for my son a couple of years ago. It became a regular item on our menu. Maybe too much so.
Thing is when things become regular items on the menu you get bored with them. At least I do. Then I don’t want to make them as often, and I go about looking for new recipes or tweaking old ones to be different. Which is the case with the following recipe. Inspired by Chef Ramsay’s recipe and changed for my dairy sensitivity I come up with this. It’s simple and just as fast.
Prosciutto, Broccoli Pasta
1 package of whole wheat organic spaghetti (or your favorite shape of pasta)
1 bag of fresh organic broccoli florets
4 ozs of sliced prosciutto
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 cup of heavy cream (or almond milk or other milk alternative, I use almond)
Fresh parm, red pepper flakes and pepper to garnish- Nutritional yeast is a great sub for Parm.
In a large pot bring water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. About 3 mins before pasta is done toss in broccoli florets and finish cooking. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
While pasta is cooking over medium heat, heat a cast iron skillet or stainless steel fry pan large enough to hold everything at the end (meaning pasta and broccoli and sauce). In the heated skillet fry up the prosciutto like you would bacon. Place on a paper towel to drain and cool. It’s ok if the pan gets a little caramelized or brown. You want that.
When prosciutto is cool enough cut into thin slices. I use kitchen shears for this job.
When you have cooked all the prosciutto toss in the pine nuts and brown. Add a splash or so water and get all the lovely caramelized bits off the bottom of the pan. You should have a pretty brown liquid. Add in your cream and stir. Toss in your pasta and broccoli and mix till well coated. If the pasta is looking dry then add a little more water.
Serve with fresh parm or nutritional yeast for those with dairy concners, red pepper flakes and fresh ground pepper on the table for everyone to season their own. Enjoy!
Until next time,