A Very Cheap, Completely Homemade Meal Even Beginners Can Do

cookingI really like eating pasta with meat and tomato sauce on top. I’ve discovered over time that I can literally make the entire meal at home from scratch (including the pasta!) and it only costs a dollar or two to feed the entire family. Even better, a person who prepares this for a date can really impress – just casually mention that the pasta was made from scratch. Here’s all you have to do.

What you need
4 cups flour
8 eggs
2 pounds tomatoes
1 small onion, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced (just cut it into near-paste)
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound ground beef or Italian sausage

You’ll also need a blender and a strainer with small enough holes so that tomato seeds won’t pass through it. A rolling pin is also needed.

Make the pasta Take the four cups of flour and pour it in a pile on the countertop. Make an indentation in the top of it so that the pile looks like a cup. Crack all eight eggs into the indentation. Mix this all together until it gets elastic and sticky throughout. Sit it off to the side and let it rest for half an hour. You can also color it if you like – add a couple teaspoons of your tomato sauce (made in the next step) to make some nice red-orange colored pasta.

Make the sauce Rinse the tomatoes off. Cut off the skin off of each. Put the tomatoes in a blender and puree them for just a bit so that it’s very juicy and pulpy. Run this through the strainer, and squeeze the pulpy part so that as much thick juice comes through the other side as possible without any seeds going through.

Cook the meat while putting the juice on to a boil. Before it reaches boiling, add the onion, the green pepper, the garlic mince, the oregano, and the salt to the juice. When the meat is finished, add it to the sauce and let it simmer.

Cook the pasta Toss a bit of flour on the table and roll the pasta dough out as flat as you’d like (I like it quite flat) and cut it into strips, whatever dimensions you like. You can also cut it into squares … let your imagination run wild with it. If you roll it really flat, you may have to roll only parts of it at a time.

Start a pot full of boiling water with a few healthy dashes of salt in it and a drop or two of vegetable oil (optional, but it helps with sticking). When the pasta is all cut up, pour it in and let it boil until it begins to float (about five minutes or so).

Put some pasta on a plate, put some sauce on top, and serve. Delicious pasta made completely from scratch in your own kitchen without that much work – and even better, it produces a big hearty meal for not much money.

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