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Feast Under $5: White Wine Pasta

February 23, 2012

The current issue of Cook’s Illustrated includes a recipe for Spaghetti al Vino Bianco, their take on a traditional pasta simmered in wine. I was able to turn it into a Feast Under $5 with just one substitution – the ingredient costs are below and the video recipe is here:

White Wine Pasta
1 lb pasta (spaghetti or linguine): $1.79
4 oz pancetta: $5.49
1 bottle white wine: Yes, you can use a $3.99 bottle for this
1 cup parmesan cheese: $2.00
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted: $1.00 (check your grocer’s bulk bins)
1 5 oz container arugula: $3.99
1/3 cup heavy cream: $2.49
red pepper flakes (pantry staple)
garlic (pantry staple)
olive oil (pantry staple)
sugar (pantry staple)
Total Cost: $20.75
Per Person Cost (4): $5.18

Recipe Notes:
-This recipe calls for pine nuts, which are ridiculously expensive. I substituted slivered almonds, which you can find in the bulk bins at your grocery store – this saves you money because you can buy only what you need, plus almonds are just a lot cheaper. (Don’t use whole almonds, you don’t want big chunks of nuts in this, just a bit here and there). You could omit the nuts altogether, but they do provide a nice texture balance.
-I did not need to add sugar to my sauce, it will really depend on what type of white wine you use.
– The recipe calls for Romano cheese, but I substituted Parmesan for personal taste, not cost reasons. Your call.

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