Mary Anne here. This past weekend I hit the jackpot when I went grocery shopping at my local Stop & Shop (a.k.a. Peapod online). I went with the intent of creating a couple of meals that would carry me through the week, but I went shopping with just a vague idea about a pasta dinner and a hankering for Salade Nicoise.
I totally lucked out when I walked through the automatic doors – I started in produce and finished less than 30 minutes later, I believe this is a world record. The store had discounted so many usually pricey items that I was inspired to mentally create both a pasta and salad main course as I cruised the aisles! I’ve been enjoying the leftovers this week, and gloriously, I haven’t been bored with my menu or hassled with cooking when I walk in the door after work. It’s a spring miracle.
Penne with Spinach and Prosciutto
Serves 4 (generously)
13.5 oz. whole wheat penne – (on sale at my store) $1.50
1 6-oz bag of baby spinach, coarsely chopped – $4.88
¼ lb sliced prosciutto coarsely chopped (have the Deli person slice it a bit thicker than the usual paper-thin cut) – (on sale) $3.30
½ teaspoon lemon Juice – $0.33
1 cup shredded Parmesan Reggiano – (on sale) $2.22
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil – stock
1 (plus) cup reserved cooking water from pasta
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes – stock
Salt and pepper to taste – stock
Grand Total Assuming Stocked Pantry: $12.23
Per Serving: $3.06
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and then pour in about 1 Tablespoon olive oil.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Using a soup ladle, reserve at least one cup of the cooking water, and drain the pasta in a colander.
3. Transfer pasta back into cooking pot, toss in raw spinach, parmesan, prosciutto, lemon juice, Red Pepper Flakes, salt and pepper.
4. Toss with olive oil. The hot pasta will wilt the spinach.
5. Over low flame, gradually pour in the hot cooking water until pasta is moistened to your own taste. (I used 1+ cups of water, as I knew I would be reheating the dish for leftovers. Also, I don’t care for dry pasta!). It’s that simple! The whole meal takes about 15 minutes to prepare, and served with a simple green salad, it’s a dinner in a flash that keeps on giving during the week. Hallelujah!