Saturday, May 3, 2008

Dueling Dishes

Lists are my thing, I love them. I usually make a list of the week’s dinners the weekend before. But I never make a list for lunches, I should, but it never works out. So I’m always wondering what to have for lunch. That’s when I start flipping through magazines, cookbooks, printouts that are lying around pretty much everywhere in the kitchen.

Last week I was browsing through my copy of the Fine Cooking Annual and I got inspired. This book is full of tempting recipes and fun to know techniques. And the photography is gorgeous. Which is good, because that’s what inspires me. I saw a photo of a zucchini side dish and I got to thinking this would be perfect over pasta. With a few adjustments of my own, of course! As I was chopping and dicing, I realized this would be the perfect dish to enter in Ginny’s Dollar Dish Duel. Yes, our Ginny of Just Get Floury is hosting her first blogging event and I absolutely wanted to participate. The dish should not cost more than 5$ so I started mentally adding what I was using, approximating most of the prices though as I had everything in the fridge and pantry already, and I got my dueling dish! Yes! It did feed 2 people, as in me, again, on the next day! And it was delicious!

So here are my ingredients and prices:
2 zucchinis: 1.50
Rotini pasta, half of a 375g box: .50 (the whole box was 99 cents on sale)
4 oil-packed sun dried tomatoes: .50
1 red onion: .50
2 cloves garlic: .50
freshly grated parmesan cheese: .50
Salt, pepper and olive oil from the pantry

Again, I approximated the prices so a few of the ingredients could be more or less than 50 cents but not a lot and it was easier to add up this way. I wanted to use pine nuts and I totally forgot but they would have been soooo good with this. Also, if you want to go over 5$ a bit, you could toss in some leftover cooked chicken and it would be delicious. There you go Ginny, I can’t wait to see the round-up!

Zucchini and Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta
About 190 grams rotini pasta
Olive oil
2 zucchini squashes, quartered lengthwise, seeds removed and sliced on an angle
4 oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1 red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese for serving
Toasted pine nuts and cooked chicken, optional

Cook and drain the rotini pasta and set aside.

In a large sauté pan heat about a tbsp of olive oil, over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini, sun dried tomatoes and the onion. Sauté until the zucchini is golden and the onion is translucent. Add the garlic. At this point you can also add the chicken, if you wish. Toss together with the pasta, adding a little olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Serve with toasted pine nuts, if desired and some grated parmesan cheese.

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Elle said...

What a great $5 dish! It looks fantastic!

Ginny said...

I love it! Thank you so much for participating!!! You want to come make me lunch? :)

Jerry said...

Oh this is great! Love it!

RecipeGirl said...

Nice cheap eats!

grace said...

i would pay (and have paid) good money for this in a restaurant. when i see sun-dried tomatoes on a menu, my decision is made. nice contribution to the duel!

Anonymous said...

This looks like it would be a great summer lunch...yum! Great idea.

Nic said...

I am a list maker too.
Great dish, I LOVE pasta in every way!

Mama Mia said...

Im a list person too! haha. Your budget friendly dish looks lovely~

Helene said...

A full belly and a full pocket book: I'll take it! It looks wonderful!

LyB said...

Elle - Thank you!

Ginny - I had fun with this event, and I'd gladly make you lunch any day! :)

Jerry - Thank you!

Recipegirl - Thanks! :)

Grace - When we eat out, I sometimes wonder how much a dish would cost to make at home. Often it's just a fraction of the price.

Amy - It's very quick!

Nic - Pasta is just wonderful, add anything to it and you've got lunch! :)

Lina - Thank you!

Helen - It is very easy on the wallet and delicious!

Patricia Scarpin said...

LyB, that looks delish! I love pasta with vegetables.

Anonymous said...

Wow - tasty and inexpensive. These are great!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Congratulations on coming up with a thrifty, delicious dish!

Elle said...

You've been tagged--see my blog, please. Feel free to play or pass, it's up to you. ;)

Swati said...

Lovely posts and brilliant ideas...Loved being here!!

Anonymous said...

Dishes like this make me so happy! Simple, hearty, (cheap) and tasty!
I'm a new reader to your blog and am enjoying it quite a bit! Love your photos!
Thanks & Cheers!