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Friday, May 18, 2012

When there's not enough pasta to make dinner

You know what I mean.  You have pasta planned for dinner.  You're in the process of making a sauce of some sort.  You open the cupboard to get out the pasta, only to discover you only have about half of what you need. You have a couple of choices here.  You can jump in the car and drive out to get more pasta.  You can call Dominos and order a pizza.  Or, you can make a frugal substitution.

Frugal pasta substitutions
  • cooked rice -- this is a great addition to elbow macaroni in homemade mac and cheese, or for pouring a spaghetti sauce over penne or ziti.  After pasta cooks and is drained, mix in some leftover, cooked rice (or other cooked grain, like barley or quinoa).
        (These next two I especially like, as I'm getting one more vegetable into all of us.)
  • julienne carrots -- this works well with spaghetti or linguini. Peel one carrot, cut in half and julienne into 3-inch long strips. Add pieces of carrot along with pasta to cooking water.
  • zucchini or eggplant slices -- I like this in lasagna, slice the vegetable about 1/8-1/4-inch thick and use several slices, placed closely, instead of one of the layers of lasagna noodles.
Tuck this little info in the back of your mind somewhere.  The next time you find yourself short a bit of pasta, give it a try.

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