Sources of carbs, proteins, and vitamins and minerals all need to be present in my pantry stores so I have a balanced and healthy meal even when on a budget. There are amazingly cheap sources of all of these. Pasta and rice make for great cheap carb sources, beans and nuts are cheap proteins, and canned fruits and vegetables are great for vitamins, minerals, and health. Taking all of these and making them into a feasible dish may be hard, but it can be done!
This dish does exactly that - taking simple pantry stores and giving them a great twist. Cooking kidney beans into a spicy arrabiatta pasta sauce - one of my favorite tomato sauces of all time - and serving it with pasta makes a great, cheap, nutritious, and delicious meal!
Recipe serves 4 people.
400g or 1 pound pasta, any shape
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 medium white onion, finely chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tsp chili flakes
1/2 tbsp dried oregano
1/2 tbsp dried basil
Salt and pepper to season
1 cup water
Fresh Herbs to garnish (Oregano or basil)
1 tbsp olive oil
1) Place the pasta in salted boiling water and cook according to package instructions. Make the sauce while the pasta is cooking.
2) Add the olive oil to a sauce pan or large frying pan on medium high heat. Fry off the onions and garlic with salt and pepper to taste, and the chili flakes, dried basil, and dried oregano until they are sweated off, about 3-4 minutes.
3) Add in the kidney beans and fry off for another 2 minutes. Make a well in the center of the pan, and add in the tomato paste. Cook out for 30 seconds before stirring into the vegetables and beans.
4) Deglaze the pan with the crushed tomatoes and water, and bring up to a boil. Turn down to a simmer until the pasta is done cooking.
5) Drain the pasta, and mix into the sauce gently (with tongs as best). Plate, and garnish with fresh herbs.
This meal has a bit of heat, but the tomato offsets it with natural sweetness and acidity and makes for a great, balanced, and cheap meal! The only extra add-ons were some dried herbs and the chili flake. Everything else is ingredients that are easy to keep in a pantry (or in a garden, in the case of the herbs. Growing your own herbs is a great way to save money as a college student, by the way). This is an incredibly simple meal, but it packs a punch and gives you all the nutrients you need!
I hope you enjoyed this recipe! Let me know what you think and what you would change. If you make it at home, let me know how it turns out! Enjoy! =)