How much does it cost? This cost me less than 50p per person.
What are the benefits? From this dish you’ll get two of your five a day and plenty of fibre, not to mention it is vegetarian-friendly as long as you double check the pesto!
This recipe is a perfect example of how just a few simple ingredients can be turned into a nutritious, robust, colourful, exciting meal for the whole family (although in my house I’m the only one who eats tomatoes. Never mind – more for me! 😋)
This idea was inspired by a day of spring cleaning (yes, that does happen from time to time!) I spent the morning clearing out our kitchen and came across some leftover bits tiptoeing dangerously close to their expiry dates and thought I’d better rescue them! We had an unopened jar of pesto 🌿 the last squeeze in a tube of tomato purée 🍅 and obviously heaps of pasta because, you know, we love carbs 🍝
What I love about is recipe that it really is what #ThisGirlEats is all about. It’s cheap – around 44p per person (ingredients bought from ASDA) – with really basic, accessible ingredients that give a fresh, flavoursome taste on a budget. And, of course, it’s good for you too – vegetables, wholewheat pasta and a splash of light pesto, that’s really all there is to it!
140g Wholewheat Pasta
1 Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
1 Onion, Chopped
2 Fresh Tomatoes, Chopped
15g (or 1 heaped tbsp) Light Green Pesto
5g (or 1 tsp) Tomato Purée
As always with pasta, season the saucepan of water with salt to give it some flavour. When the onions are cooking, throw in some dried garlic (or fresh, if you’ve got it) and, to the tomato sauce, add a good helping of dried basil and dried oregano, as well as a pinch of salt and pepper.
So, this is how I did it…
1. Cook pasta in a pan of boiling water according to packet instructions, which usually takes somewhere between 10 – 15 minutes.
2. Fry the onions in a frying pan with cooking spray or a drop of oil for around 5 minutes, until they begin to soften.
3. Add the tin of tomatoes, fresh tomatoes and tomato purée to the frying pan, season and simmer for around 10 minutes. If you’ve got any to hand, you could always add a teaspoon of sugar here to make it a little less acidic, but it’s not a necessity.
4. Stir the pesto into the sauce. Drain the pasta, combine with the tomato sauce and serve, with a sprinkle of cheese on top if you fancy.
Tips & Tricks!
- Any leftovers from the family dinner can be packed up and reheated for lunch tomorrow. Don’t let it go to waste!
- There’s always flexibility with pasta dishes, and this one is no different! Bulk it out with even more vegetables, it’s a great way of using up any veggies on their last legs.
- If you want to treat yourself, sprinkle some grated cheese on top to make the dish extra tasty.