Hello friends, this is a first post in a new section on my blog called “Taste Test” which is essentially where I plan to try recipes and report on how they turned out. Each recipe will be found on the internet or shared by one of you. I often tell my husband, “Pinterest feeds us.” So true. Almost every new recipe I try is found originally on Pinterest. “Sun dried tomato and mushroom pasta in a garlic and basil sauce” is the recipe I’m sharing today, and it is from Julia’s Album, a great food blog with lots of yummy recipes. Yes, I just said “yummy.” Anyways, I’m happy to report: we loved it.
I chose this recipe because it doesn’t have meat but looked hearty, and one of the best ways to save money on groceries is to go meatless. However, my husband needs a lot to keep him full, and I thought this recipe would do the trick.
First thing you’ll need is to go find this recipe here on Julia’s Album. I won’t share the recipe card on here to make sure you check out her awesome site.
You should all know that I am not really into rules when it comes to cooking, so I almost always make modifications based on what Ryan and I like and based on what I have on hand. I made the following modifications: added 1 small onion to step one, doubled the amount of mushrooms, used a cup of half & half instead of ½ cup of half & half and ½ cup of heavy cream, added 2 TBS of cream cheese to the sauce (I always add cream cheese to pasta sauces. Make sure it’s softened), used spinach fettucine instead of regular.
Okay, let’s cook. So first, I sautéed all the vegetables in fantastic cooking oil (Crisco’s cooking solutions). I’m new to pics of food, so feel free to laugh at my amateur photos. I did. Then, I followed that with adding the liquids just like Julia instructs. I was kind of nervous that this didn’t have a roux (butter and flour starter), but it worked just fine and was healthier I’m sure! By the way, I made all of this in my dutch oven and it worked great.
The most hilarious thing in this whole process was trying to get some decent pictures for you all while the steam was rising off the pan. Picture me with my oven vent fan cranked waving my arm while holding my phone dangerously close to a hot dutch oven. You get the idea.
Moment of truth was when I finally put the dish on the table after it’s modelling session. Ryan and I spent 7 hours doing remodeling work at someone’s house today so we were STARVING by 6pm when I got this on the table. We prayed and dug in, and Ryan was about hallway through his plate before he took a breath. I asked him if he was wolfing because it was so good or because he was hungry, and he wasn’t sure. “Let me take another bite to decide.” So after his decisive taste (which ended up being 3 bites and another serving), he decided that is was great. He still said it would be great with chicken or Italian sausage (I agree), but he said it was plenty filling on its own.
So if you’re looking for a cheap meal to fill you up, this one’s definitely a winner.
I already had dried basil, cream cheese, chicken bouillon, olive oil, garlic, parmesan cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and pasta on hand. I am super into buying things on sale when prices are crazy low then having things on hand. However, I’ll list the prices for what I bought and give guestimates for what I already had on hand.
- Mushrooms: $2.38
- Sundried Tomatoes: $1.50 (only half a jar)
- Pasta: $1.50
- 1 Cup Half & Half: $1.00
- ½ Cup Parmesan Cheese: $0.50
- Total Cost: About $7.88
We had enough for 6 servings (we like big servings). Great price! Great Meal! Even if you added a couple chicken breasts, this is still a $10 or less dinner for 6. Fantastic!
I hope you enjoyed this review and will try this great, budget-friendly recipe. If you have suggestions for recipes I should sample, please let me know!