Tonight’s Budget Chef: Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes and Pine Nuts

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Living on a budget can be tough. Your dinner choices, however, don’t have to be! Keep it fresh and funky in the kitchen by cooking with a mix of prepackaged ingredients and fresh veggies and spices.

When you’re shopping for the week and working hard to stay on par with your budget, one super tip we have is buying in bulk! So many super centers (Wal*Mart, SAM’s BJ’s, Costco, Trader Joe’s, etc…) have cost-effective bulk products that give you a little bit more for your buck! Often, buying fruits and veggies in bulk also help keep costs down. Spices, veggies, packaged foods and frozen meats are often cheaper when they’re purchased in bulk. And always keep an eye out for great deals and coupons!

With that in mind… let’s cook some dinner!

THE MENU: Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes and Pine Nuts

THE INGREDIENTS:

Angel Hair Pasta (or any other pasta you prefer)
2 Tomatoes, diced (feel free to substitute canned diced tomatoes – just make sure to drain them prior to use)
1 Garlic Clove, minced (you save money if you buy garlic in bulk at any grocery store)
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Pine Nuts (feel free to substitute toasted pine nuts – or if this doesn’t work with your budget, omit them entirely!)
Salt and Pepper to taste

THE METHOD:

1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
2. Add diced tomatoes, garlic and oil in a large separate bowl. Let stand until ready to use.
3. When pasta is finished cooking, add pasta to tomato, garlic and oil mixture.
4. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Pair with your favorite vino and enjoy!!

FEEL FREE TO ADD:

Chicken, fish, scallops, italian sausage, pancetta, shrimp, canned tuna, tempeh or tofu (depending on your preferences!). Also consider adding more fresh veggies to really amp up your ingredients! Broccoli, green beans, peas, cauliflower, zucchini, summer squash and even brussel sprouts would all be great additions to your meal.

[Lead Image Courtesy of MarthaStewart.com]

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