COVID-19 has affected our lives in so many ways. We're particularly conscience of how we spend our money during these trying times. It's difficult to use coupons, since stores are often out of popular brands. When grocery shopping, it's hard to find the exact products I'm used to using in a recipe. This has forced me to try off brands and generics. On the positive side, I've made some pleasant discoveries when it comes to trying new products. For this recipe, I used Newman's Own fire roasted tomato and garlic pasta sauce as a base. It was flavored with garlic and mild notes of Italian spices. The pasta sauce was delicious, and it was less expensive than the brand I normally buy. So I learned it can save to shop around a little before grabbing your go to brands.
Although some ingredients can easily be switched, others ingredients, such as meat, is more challenging to substitute. In our area, meats are expensive and hard to find, making food budgeting difficult. I found this meat cost calculator from a site called Calculator.me to be very beneficial when determining how much meat to buy for the servings you are making. It's easy to use. Just type in the type of meat you're using and how many people in your family you're feeding. It will tell you how much meat to buy for your recipe and the cost per pound, so you don't over spend.
Having a meal budget and a solid idea of what we're going to spend at the store makes shopping less stressful during quarantine. It's also much faster to shop, so we aren't in the store any longer than necessary. I plan on posting more simple money saving recipes in the weeks to come, so be on the lookout for easy dinners and desserts made with minimal ingredients.
I hope you and your family are safe and healthy! Here's my recipe for Simple Spaghetti with Ground Pork:
Ingredients: One pound spaghetti noodles; two 24 ounce jars garlic flavored pasta sauce; 1/2 tablespoon basil; 2 tsp. oregano; 1 tsp. parsley; one tablespoon brown sugar; 3 tablespoons red wine; 1/4 tsp. pepper; one large diced white onion; one diced red bell pepper; 2 tablespoons olive oil
Directions: Fill a large heavy saucepan with water and allow it to boil over high heat. Lower heat to medium setting. In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and red pepper. Use a spatula to stir the vegetables, cooking until they are tender. Set the vegetables aside in a dish. Add the ground pork to the skillet. Use a spatula to break up the pork as is cooks. When meat is crumbled and no longer pink, add the onion and pepper back into the skillet. In a small sauce pan, add the sauces and the red wine. Simmer over medium-low heat, for about 10 minutes. Add the brown sugar, basil, and oregano. Add sauce to the skillet. Drain the noodles and add to the skillet. Stir to combine. Garnish with the parsley.
Hi, I'm Jennifer-the creator of What's Baking, Babycakes? Here you'll find easy to make desserts, frozen treats, healthy salads, and hearty casseroles. I love baking, and spending time with my family and two Papillions! Find out more in the "about section." Happy baking!