For college students branching out on a budget, both money and time-wise, it is tempting to opt for processed, prepackaged microwave meals--I'd encourage you to steer clear except on rare occasions when things have simply gotten too busy.
Evidence suggests that cooking with fresh ingredients is cheaper, healthier, more environmentally friendly, and above all, tastier. You don't need to be a chef, but a few kitchen skills and ingredients will take you a long way.
Today's recipe is great for having friends over. I personally like this recipe with garlic and red pepper flakes. Try it out this week. Total approximate cost: $12-15 for 2-4 servings. (Adapted from a rarely disappointing blog site: www.alexandracooks.com recipes)
5-quart sauce pan for boiling pasta
Slotted spoon, optional (just drain meat in bowl with paper towel)
1 lb of elbow or penne pasta
1 lb ground beef
1 1/2 -2 cups onion, diced
2-3 Tbls extra-virgin olive oil
Oregano, dried or fresh
1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
1 Tbls ketchup
2 tsp tomato paste (I recommend getting it in a tube so that you have a way to easily store it)
15 oz tomato sauce (Hunt's is recommended)
Salt & Pepper
Red pepper flakes (optional)
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1. Wash your hands and read the recipe.
2. In a sauce pan, boil pasta, drain, and set aside.
10. Remove skillet from heat and add your cheeses. Combine well.
11. If your skillet is not large enough to add cooked pasta, use a large mixing bowl to combine the two.
12. Add some garlic bread and a salad.
13. Let everyone dig in and enjoy a homecooked meal with great conversation.
14. Remember your childhood.