This is my favorite way to prepare pasta from scratch. You can make it with shrimp, chicken, or tofu (I suppose). Tonight I made it with shrimp. Aldi sells several types of frozen shrimp. I usually choose what looks like the least work for me and the least inexpensive. This week that happened to be a 16 ounce bag of medium, peeled, and deveined for $3.69.
Necessary Ingredients: Protein of choice (Shrimp tonight), Whole Wheat Penne Pasta, 5 roma tomatoes (or other tomatoes that equal the size of 5 romas), chopped fresh basil or dry basil (Aldi sells dry), a collection of vegetables (left over red and orange peppers, onion, frozen broccoli florets), 1/4 of an onion, 2 cloves garlic, garlic salt, olive oil, white wine (optional…although it pains me to say that), balsamic vinegar, black pepper
Thaw the shrimp. Sprinkle basil over shrimp and let them chill out together for a bit. Boil 1/2 box of Aldi’s Whole Wheat Penne Pasta (LOVE this stuff!), Chop up the tomatoes, random collection of vegetables, and 1/4 of an onion. Warm several hefty rounds of olive oil in a pan at medium high heat. Add 2 cloves of minced garlic. Add the onion. Saute for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes. Saute for a few minutes. Add the additional collection of vegetables. Saute for a few minutes. Open a bottle of Winking Owl Chardonnay. Pour a glass for yourself and take a few sips. Pour a small round of Winking Owl in the pan. Add a few drops of balsamic vinegar. Saute a few minutes. Sprinkle on a bit of black pepper and garlic salt. Add the shrimp and basil mixture. Saute. Add the cooked penne. Saute. Taste and add more garlic salt if needed. Serve. Enjoy!
Aldi Price Breakdown: Shrimp- $3.69, Penne-45 cents, tomatoes- 75cents, random vegetables, rounds, and sprinkles-$1 tops= $5.89 for a family of four. FOR SHRIMP!!! PLUS, my husband and I both have lunch tomorrow. If you made this with 2 chicken breasts instead, the cost would only be $3.89! ***VERY important note: If you happen to finish the bottle of chardonnay, then the price sky rockets to $8.89. However, it may be worth a try!
At left: A beautiful collection of Aldi Roma tomatoes. 9 for $1.49. Not bad for the middle of winter in the middle of the U.S.A.
At right: The random collection of vegetables that made it into the pasta tonight. Too pretty to not share!