Monday, September 12, 2011

Basil Alfredo

Cheap Eat Challenge, Part 2: Watch as our family of 6 eats on less than $10/day.

I love a good pesto sauce. Unfortunately, Kip does not. Oh sure, he'll eat it if it's what winds up on his plate, but he'd much rather eat his noodles with something red or cheesy. Still, I had some pesto and I was itching to use it. The good news for Kip is that I also had some cream. And that when I looked in my refrigerator at that pesto sitting next to that cream, a little idea popped into my head. It was a good idea. A very good idea. Although I'm not really sure how Jenny Craig would feel about it. Let' just not ask her, okay.

If you still feel a little guilty eating something comprised so largely of cream, know this: this recipe accepts lots of vegetables lovingly into its arms. Even vegetables that might normally not be extremely welcome in your abode. We served ours with sauteed yellow squash mixed in. Yellow squash and Kip aren't exactly BFF, but he didn't mind it one little bit mixed in with all that creamy goodness. I threw some tomatoes on mine as well. And today when we eat the leftovers I plan to whip out a chicken breast.

Basil Alfredo
Serves 4
Cook time: 10 minutes
Cost: $3.00
cream: 1.89, Parmesan: 1.00, pesto: who knows, let's say .11 to keep things easy

Note: If you don't have pesto, you can use regular basil. You'll want to chop it as finely as you can. Also, if just using basil, you'll want to add some salt to this recipe. My pesto is already salted and adds enough salt for my needs.

Note on Parmesan: You need shredded or block Parmesan. The powdery kind won't incorporate very well.

2 C cream
1 C shredded Parmesan cheese
dash black pepper
1-4 Tbsp pesto or one handful basil, chopped up as small as you can get it with a good knife

Pour cream in saucepan. Bring it to the simmering point and let it simmer for about 8 minutes. It will thicken and reduce just a bit. Whisk in Parmesan cheese until it's melted (or mostly melted). Add pepper. Add pesto. Start with 1 Tbsp and taste (try not to drink it up, eh). Different people have different tolerances for basil. I settled at about 2 or 2 1/2 Tbsp since I was serving this to Kip.


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