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Cook This Meal in 10 Minutes for $10

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As a single mom of two boys and a lover of entertaining, I'm always developing fast, yet fashionable meals that fit within my family's budget.

fettucine rigate with cannellini beans and zesty tomatoes

Susannah Locketti: This recipe has just five main ingredients, yet packs a ton of flavor and is even elegant enough for company! My favorite part is that it feeds at least four, whips up in ten minutes and costs well under ten bucks! Not to mention that it -- like all of my weekly menus -- is made with everyday ingredients found in any grocery store!

Fettuccine Rigate with Cannellini Beans & Zesty Tomatoes
Recipe courtesy Susannah Locketti
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

14 oz. box Barilla Fettuccine Rigate

1 15.5 oz. can drained and rinsed Goya cannellini beans

2 14.5 oz. cans drained Del Monte Petite Cut Diced Tomatoes with Garlic & Olive Oil

1/2 cup Ken's Lite Italian Dressing

1/4 cup grated Parmesan-Romano cheese


Gameplan:

While the pasta is boiling in salted water (this type of pasta boils in 8-9 minutes), combine beans, tomatoes and dressing in a microwave-safe bowl and stir. In the last few minutes of the pasta's boiling, microwave the tomato-bean mixture on high for three minutes or until hot. Drain pasta but do not rinse it. Divide the pasta equally among four to six plates and top each plate with equal amounts of the hot tomato-bean mixture. Garnish with equal amounts of grated cheese and serve. Season with pepper if you choose.

Susannah's Money- & Time-Saving Solutions: 

I recommend that you grow your own herbs to save money this year. I've garnished this plate with baby oregano from an indoor plant to give it a sophisticated look -- and saved myself almost two bucks in fresh herbs. Or, feel free to top with a sprinkle of dried Italian seasoning if you have it on hand. I saved $1.61 by using my store card for sale items. 

Using seasoned canned tomatoes and a flavorful dressing eliminates the need for seasonings and flavor-enhancers that add up. I saved an additional five cents off my order by bringing a reusable store bag for my order. (Check with your store to see if they have this incentive in place.)

This recipe is made using nonperishable shelf staples, which makes it a perfect last-minute meal when you're in an unexpected time-crunch. The lines in the pasta help the tomato liquid soak in, so don't drain the pasta! Always prep other things while the pasta boils to minimize your time in the kitchen. Opt for quicker-cooking pastas to save on time.

Pantry Pluses: Feel free to add black olives, cooked chicken or canned, quartered artichokes if you have them in the pantry.

Cost Breakdown:

Fettuccine Rigate: $1.00 on sale

Cannellini beans:  $0.67 on sale

Tomatoes: $2.67 on sale

Cheese blend: $1.59

Italian Dressing: $1.00 on sale

Herbs: Free (on hand)

Total Cost: $6.93


Copyright 2010 by Susannah Locketti


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5 comments so far | Post a comment now
Elle March 15, 2010, 6:11 AM

Awesome ideas for simple and low cost meals..,keep them coming! :)

smilinggreenmom March 21, 2010, 2:07 PM

Great idea! I would love to make this using our family favorite pasta made with Kamut Khorasan Wheat! It is so nutritional and has a great texture. Yummy :)

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