Meals Under $15: Orecchiette with Slow Roasted Tomatoes and Baby Kale

Happy Monday! Today’s edition of “Meals under $15” is perfect for your Meatless Monday dinner plans. Coming in at just over $5, and full of flavor, you cannot go wrong with this dish. My tiniest one devoured it, and begged for more!

Lately I have done a terrible job of meal planning, so most meals end up being thrown together with whatever I can find in the fridge. It’s my least favorite way to cook, and it’s hardly ever economical. But this piece of work … it was delicious, used up ingredients in my fridge, and still managed to cost us very little money.

I love orecchiette pasta – they look like little hats and they are so fun to eat! They have little ridges on them too, so they soak up whatever sauce you put on them amazingly. You could use any other pasta as well, this just happened to be what was in my pantry.

You can also edit it a little by adding spinach or arugula instead of baby kale, and if you don’t have cherry tomatoes on hand, or you don’t want to slow roast your own, you can substitute sun-dried tomatoes.

2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.25)
2 cloves garlic, minced ($0.10)
1/3 lb cherry tomatoes, slow-roasted ($1.50)
3 Tbsp dry white wine ($0.54)
1 Tbsp salt
3/4 lb Orecchiette pasta (or other pasta of your choice) ($1.50)
2 cups baby kale ($1.50)
small pinch of red pepper flakes

TOTAL COST: $5.39 – Are you serious?! This eating healthy thing can be cheap ya’ll!

Bring a large pot of water to boil. While the water is heating, heat the olive oil in a saute’ pan. Add the garlic and cook until light golden brown. Add the tomatoes and the wine, bring to a boil, and let simmer for just a couple of minutes. After 1-2 minutes, remove the pan from the heat.

Add the 1 Tbsp salt and the orecchiette to the boiling water. Cook for one minute less than the package instructions call for. When there are two minutes left, add the kale to the water with the pasta. Just before the pasta is done, carefully ladle 2 Tbsp of the cooking water into the pan with the tomatoes. Add a small pinch of red pepper flakes (or more if you like things spicy).

Drain the pasta and kale in a colander and add it back to your pasta pot. Pour the sauce over the pasta and kale and mix well. Toss over medium heat for about 30 seconds, until the pasta is nicely coated.

Serve with parmesan or pecorino cheese on the side.