Discount Dinner for Two

I had dinner with an old friend on Friday. Typically, when we meet up, we’ll go get sushi or have a few glasses of wine somewhere. However, I’m still in save mode, so I opted to cook a homemade meal­—pasta with onion and bacon and a green salad.  I have to say that this is actually one of my favorite dishes anyway, so it is even better that it’s so inexpensive to make.

Here’s the recipe:

½ c. pancetta or good bacon

1 onion, minced

1 28 oz. can whole plum tomatoes, drained and crushed

1 tsp. crushed red pepper or more (optional)

1 lb. pasta (I prefer penne, but linguine is also good)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Parmesan cheese


Boil salted water for the pasta.

Cook the bacon or pancetta in a skillet over medium heat until done. Remove the meat, and turn off the heat for a minute or two to let the oil cool down a bit. Turn the oil back on, add the onion, and cook it until it browns. Crush and add the tomatoes and the red pepper to the onion mixture (I think it’s easiest to crush them with my hands, but you can also use a fork). Turn the heat up to medium high. Cook, stirring occasionally until the mixture becomes saucy (about 10-15 minutes). Crush the bacon into bits and stir back into the sauce before serving.

Top pasta with sauce and Parmesan and viola! It makes 4 servings at about $2.50 per serving. Fast, cheap, and delicious.







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