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Linguine alla Carbonara

Posted by Renae under Italian, Pasta, Pork, Sauce

linguine alla Carbonara

I once saw Tyler Florence make Carbonara on Food911. It looked so delicious and rather easy for such a beautiful dish, I just had to try it.

Now, I know pancetta is probably more traditional for this meal, but I’m watching costs here. So, I made some modifications and substituted Pancetta with Bacon ends. Besides. Who doesn’t love bacon? OK, my daughter doesn’t like bacon as much and me and her daddy, but she still enjoyed this dish. I just promised to make it with Pancetta next time. Just to compare. As for me and my hubby, this was PERFECT! Bacon good!!!

Linguine alla Carbonara:

1 lb dry Linguine – $1.59
2 Tbsps olive oil – pantry
4 ounces bacon ends or thick sliced (finely cube or slice into very small strips) – $1.50
1-2 Tbsps garlic, finely minced or crushed ( – pantry
2 large eggs – $.66
1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese (fresh is best) – $1.75
1 tsp pepper – pantry
handful or so of fresh chopped parsley – $.25

COST: $5.75

Begin preparing your carbonara sauce while the linguine is cooking. You must time this dish so that your pasta is hot and done cooking when the sauce is ready to be finished. It’s the heat of the pasta that actually cooks the raw eggs in the sauce.

When boiling your pasta, cook it “al dente.” Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water. You’ll need it!

Meanwhile, cook bacon until it’s crisp and the fat is fully rendered. Add in olive oil and garlic and saute for about a minute to soften.

Drain your hot linguine and add to the bacon mixture. Toss for 2 minutes to coat the strands in the fat. Beat your eggs and Parmesan together in a bowl. Remove the pasta and bacon from heat and pour the egg/cheese mixture into the pasta and whisk quickly until the eggs thicken. You’ll need to add about 1/4 cup of your reserved pasta water as you whisk. This will help your sauce remain smooth and not too thick. Careful not to scramble (this is why this process is done off the heat).

You may need to thin out the sauce a bit more. Use your reserved pasta water. Season the carbonara with ground black pepper and garnish with fresh chopped parsley and some additional Parmesan.

We had steamed broccoli ($2.00) as our side dish, but you could do just about any veggie or salad. Just remember, this dish is best served immediately. Nice and hot and wonderfully creamy.


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Sausage Stuffed Peppers and Baked Potato

Stuffed bell peppers come in many flavors. From mostly rice, to mostly tomato base to mostly meats. I’d classify this recipe as a good combo of all of them! Lots of yummy meats and flavors with some rice and a good amount of cheese to hold the stuffing together. So, if you like meat, cheese and rice, you will LOVE this dish!

Sausage Stuffed Bell Pepper:

4 large bell pepper with tops cut and seed removed – $2.00 (on sale, 2 for $1)
3/4 lb ground chicken – $2.18
1/2 lb Jimmy Dean or similar sausage – $1.00
1/2 Large yellow onion, diced – $.25
1 can tomato sauce (8 ozs) – $.20
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, powdered – $.75
1 cup cooked white rice – $.25
2 Tbsp dried parsley, fresh or dried – pantry
1 Tbsp minced garlic – pantry
1 1/2 tsp salt – pantry
1 1/2 tsp pepper – pantry

COST: $6.63

In a large skillet, cook sausage and set aside. In same skillet, cook ground chicken and season with 1/2 tsp salt and pepper. When done, add onion and cook for 2 more mins. Then add parsley and garlic, stir and cook for a few more mins. Add cooked sausage back to pan and add a can of tomato sauce. Simmer for 10 mins. Remove from heat and add parmesan cheese, 1 tsp of salt and pepper and cooked rice. Stir and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 and prepare bell peppers by cutting away stem and removing seeds. Stuff peppers. Don’t be afraid to really stuff them tight. Next, sprinkle with a little parmesan, if you choose. Top with cut stems and cover with foil. Bake 25 mins, then remove foil and return to oven for 10 more mins. I use my leftover foil to hold my microwaved baked potato and leave them in the oven during that 10 mins to keep them warm.

Once they are nicely browned, you’re ready to serve! Add some grated cheese and butter to the potatoes and enjoy! Due to the amount of meat in each pepper, you will NOT need more than 1 a piece, unless you’re a sumo wrestler. So all Sumo wrestlers, please double the recipe.

COST of BAKED POTATO: $2.00, at most, for the potatoes and $.50 for cheese


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