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Easy Gourmet Vegetarian Pasta Dinner

Updated on March 30, 2011
$2.50 for the main ingredients
$2.50 for the main ingredients
before the pasta
before the pasta
Dollar store pasta is complete
Dollar store pasta is complete

Best of all, Everything came from the Dollar Store

You don't need to spend a small fortune to eat a very savory meal. I think it was actually the Dollar Tree where I planned this meal. My youngest son and I were just perusing the food aisle and we came across these three gems.

Mind you- not every one dollar food purchase at these stores is a bargain.

  • 12 oz. jar of sun dried tomatoes in olive oil
  • 10 oz. jar of Italian seasoned mushrooms
  • 12 oz. package of dry penne pasta
  • 1 small to medium onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 12 to 15 fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup of fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • pepper to taste

This is so easy.

Boil the penne to the package directions. I recommend al-dente. While the pasta is cooking...

Dump the oil from the tomatoes into a large skillet. pull the tomatoes out of the jar and chop into bite size pieces and place in the skillet. Dice the onion and place in the pan also. Drain the mushrooms, discard the juice, and quarter the little fellows. Into the pan they go! Mash the garlic into a paste with the flat edge of your chefs knife - into the pan it goes.

When the pasta is done and draining, turn the heat up to medium on the tomato mixture and sauté for about 8 minutes or until the onions start to get translucent. Now add your cooked penne pasta, a bit of pepper and toss until thoroughly mixed. Top with fresh, or even canned, Parmesan cheese . Serve pronto with warm crunchy crusted bread and a fresh salad.

Cost:

  • 12 oz. jar of sun dried tomatoes in olive oil... $1.00
  • 10 oz. jar of Italian seasoned mushrooms... $1.00
  • 12 oz. package of dry penne pasta... 50¢
  • Onion... from our garden
  • Basil... from our garden
  • Garlic and pepper I always have on hand
  • The cheese I did pay a small fortune for. Imported from Italy. I bought it from igourmet.com. You gotta splurge once in awhile.

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    • italianoliveoil profile image

      italianoliveoil 8 years ago from London/Dubrovnik/Barcelona

      Wow, thats amazing al the things you can get for so cheap, i gotta give it a go

      http://www.italianoliveoilblog.com/

    • Eric Patnoe profile image
      Author

      Eric Patnoe 8 years ago from The Prairies of South Western MN, USA

      I love the place. The nice thing is you can throw about anything in with pasta.

    • Julie McM profile image

      Julie McM 8 years ago from Southern California

      It is amazing what you can find at the dollar store. Your penne pasta sounds delicious.