Budget-friendly Bacon, mushroom & spinach pasta
Now I know this doesn’t sound budget friendly AT ALL. Bacon is ridiculously expensive and mushrooms aren’t exactly the cheapest vegetable out there. But for 4, this is actually a really reasonable dish. And it helps that it tastes so good. This is the one dish that will debunk all the myths that budget cooking has to be boring and bland. The sauce has plenty of bacon and veg and it’s absolutely silky and creamy (without adding any cream!).
Usually I would add 250ml cream and loads of cheese to this which obviously ups the calorie content as well as the price so this is a win-win situation. Once again, adding things like garlic, onions and spices adds a lot of depth and flavour without adding too much to the overall cost of the dish.
If you wanted to bulk this up even more (not that you would need to) you could add some garlic bread and a salad (for instance if you’re having guests over etc.). However, I really don’t think it’s necessary to serve anything with this other than maybe a nice glass of wine (and you get some REALLY nice wines for R20 a bottle let me tell you!)
The cost of this per person (it serves 4) is R13.50. This price does not include the spices, lemon juice and maizena which all add maybe R0.50 to the price per porsion as you’ll be using so little.
250g Bacon, Chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped
250g Mushrooms, Sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
200g Spinach, Trimmed and chopped
500ml Milk mixed with 1tbsn Maizena
Pinch of Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Paprika
Squeeze of lemon juice
Salt & Pepper to taste
500g Cooked Pasta of your choice
- In a large saucepan, fry the onion and bacon together until the onion is translucent and the bacon is starting to crisp up.
- Add the mushrooms and garlic and fry for another 3-5 minutes until the mushrooms are almost cooked.
- Add the spinach, and sautè until the spinach is wilted.
- Add the milk mixture along with the spiced and allow to come to a gentle simmer. Allow to simmer until the sauce is thickened. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper and serve on cooked pasta.