This recipe is budget friendly and a definite crowd pleaser for possible dinner get-togethers. The recipe shown below averages out to less than $5.00 for multiple servings. Keep in mind that if you have to buy all of these ingredients your grocery bill will come out to more. The amount you use of each ingredient will come out to less than 5 dollars. Whatever you have left after this recipe you are free to use in your future cooking endeavors. The seasons will be especially useful and though they may seem pricey at check out, you won’t have to re-buy them for a very long time making them a great investment.
Estimate Cook Time: 1 hour
Estimate cost per serving: $1.06
Estimate Total Cost: $4.24
1 Large Tomato
1/2 an Eggplant
1/2 lb. of fettuccine
1/3 cup of water
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of flour
3/4 cup of milk
Seasonings: Basil, Oregano, Salt, Pepper, Garlic, Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, and Nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 350˚ Fahrenheit. Cut half of an eggplant into thin slices and remove the skin. Spray down a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray and place the sliced eggplant on to it. Season them lightly with with salt pepper and garlic. Then place in the oven for 15 minutes or until the vegetable is soft and cooked through.
While the eggplant is cooking, dice the large tomato into medium size chunks. In a medium to large size skillet add 1/3 cup of water. Turn the stove on a medium to medium high heat and add the tomatoes to the water once it’s simmering. Season the tomatoes with basil, oregano and crushed red pepper flakes.
(Add these seasonings according to your personal preference. You will be the one eating it, so season it to your discretion. If you don’t particularly like one of the seasonings listed under ingredients simply omit it or substitute it with a seasoning you like more. The red pepper flakes are added to give this dish a bit of a kick. If you aren’t a fan of spicy food use a minimal amount of this seasoning or eliminate it all together.)
Let the tomatoes reduce down in the pan with the seasonings. The eggplant should be ready to be removed from the oven not long after you add the tomatoes to the heat. Remove the slices from the baking sheet and add them to a blender. Keep an eye on the tomatoes while you are preparing the eggplant. Add 1/4 of a cup of milk to the blender and mix until it is a puree. Remove the puree from the blender and add them to the tomatoes. Stir the mixture evenly into the tomatoes.
When the tomatoes are cooked down into smaller chunks, set them aside on low heat and let them simmer. Be sure to check on them while working on the other components of the dish.
In a large pot, boil water on high for the fettuccine. (You may use another type of pasta if you prefer.) While the pot of water is heating up begin to prepare the cream sauce. On low heat melt a tablespoon of butter in a small pot. Once melted down add a tablespoon of all purpose flour to create a roux. After these ingredients are combined turn the stove onto a medium heat and add a 1/2 of a cup of milk. Stir together and add 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese. Mix thoroughly until the sauce is thickened.
Add 1/2 lb. of pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente. Pasta is usually ready after about 8 minutes. Always test it to make sure it is cooked through. One method of testing is removing a strand from the boiling water with a utensil and throwing it at a wall. If it sticks, then the pot is ready to be drained. Though it’s not as fun, tasting it works fine as well.
As the pasta is cooking add the cream sauce in with the tomatoes/eggplant mixture and stir together thoroughly. Once the pasta is drained, poor it into a large bowl with the sauce. Mix the sauce through the fettuccine or the pasta of your choice until it is coated evenly. Garnish the top with parmesan, as well as some basil and serve.
(Original Recipe By: Kristyn Sobel)