Saturday, February 28, 2009

: frugal gourmet :

I am the ultimate frugal gourmet. I don't like waste, and if there is any leftover edible food in my fridge, I want to use it up. My parents follow the general food rule of "When in doubt - throw it out!". My own translation has always been, in fact: "When in doubt - smell, poke, prod, and then maybe throw it out."

That being said, ever since taking my Food Science course, I've been more diligent about tossing out questionable food (ie: when you buy a chicken carcass from Borough Market for 50p, it might be too good to be true).

A few weeks ago, I found a six-pack of mini V8 "shots" hiding in Christine's crisper. Neglected. Just begging to be used. So use I did. I decided that based on the concentrated, high sodium content of the drink, it would be interesting to see how it fared as the flavour base of a pasta sauce.

Two V8s, a tin of tomatoes, chicken breast and couple other flavour enhancers later, dinner was ready! Mixed in with some penne pasta, the total meal provides two daily servings of vegetables and a rich tomato sauce which is, frankly, pretty delicious.

An easy peasy dinner!

Serves 4:

2 x V8 Original Blend 1 Shot Dose (156ml)
1 x Tinned Tomatoes, diced (796ml)
1 x small red onion, diced
2 x garlic cloves, minced
3 x birds eye chilli, deseeded and minced (optional)
2 x chicken breast, cubed
1/2 cup of basil leaves, torn
2 T olive oil
6 cups penne pasta, cooked
Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Heat up a saucepan and add 1 T of olive oil. Saute chicken until cooked through and set chicken aside.
2. Add remaining olive oil to the same saucepan, and add diced red onions. Saute on medium-low heat until translucent (approx. 3 min), then add garlic and chilli. Stir through, taking care not to burn the vegetable.
3. When the garlic is fragrant, add the tinned tomatoes and V8. Bring sauce to a boil, and then lower heat to simmer. Let sauce simmer until it has reduced by 1/3 (or your desired consistency).
4. Add chicken and basil leaves, and stir through.
5. Toss with cooked penne pasta, and add salt and pepper to taste.

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