Thursday, October 8, 2009

Weekly Dinner Challenge - Week 2

Well I actually didn't make anything "new and different" last night as I thought I would. BUT I did make a recipe from scratch and for pretty cheap. James has been asking me for pesto again lately, I usually only make it about 4 times per year so it was good timing this week since we are going out of town again for the 3rd weekend in a row!

I have made this recipe many times before, I even wrote about it once already this year on a different site but I wanted to share how I did it and for how much. A few of the ingredients I already had and didn't need to spend money on were: olive oil, pine nuts and garlic. The recipe doesnt call for much so when I do buy the supplies they last for quite a few batches.

The things I did buy for last night's dinner were:

-I bought a basil plant for $2.99 at Trader Joe's last week. I do have a plant already but it has not re-grown since my last pesto batch and I am trying to make sure it doesn't die.

-I bought 6 oz of parmesan cheese flakes for $2.99 but only used about about a 1/4 of the container so I will use this in many other meals.

-Pasta, I had a coupon for Barilla Piccolini pasta and got that for $1.00

-Chicken, Manager's special on 2 yummy pre-seasoned/marinated breasts $1.89

TOTAL: $8.87 - Not super cheap and the cost would be higher if you have to buy the other 3 ingredients but it was a delicious and large meal for under $10 this time around.

Here is how I made it:
- 2 packed cups of fresh basil leaves

- 3 fresh cloves of garlic, depending on how much you like garlic (I put in 3 large cloves)

- 1/4 cup of pine nuts (Walnuts will work as a substitute but I think the pine nuts give it a good bite.)

- 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese - I crumble up a fresh block or you can buy fresh shredded, don't use the dried stuff.

- Olive Oil! 1/2 cup should do the trick, but you may need to add a tiny bit more if it's looking dry.

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and make sure you do a taste test before you take it out. Most of the time I end up adding more basil and parm to mellow out the garlic just a bit. One very important thing - do not heat up the pesto! Toss it with hot pasta and the heat from the pasta will warm the pesto. I also cubed and cooked the chicken and tossed that with the pasta and pesto and added a few extra flakes of parm to complete the meal. You should have plenty of left overs to eat cold the next day as well!
What recipe did you try this week? Comment PLEASE!!


  1. I've never made pesto, but this doesn't look too hard. Thanks for sharing on our Recipe Swap!

  2. Yummy! I love pesto!!! Making this!