Cut costs, not flavor

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Everyone's been affected by high food prices. But the good news is the more you cook at home, the more money you'll save.

With so many locally grown fruits and vegetables hitting farmers' markets and grocery stores right now, cooking on a budget is even easier. One way to keep grocery bills in check is to cook without meat. The following recipe makes it simple.


Makes 6 servings

Serve this with a mixed-green salad and garlic bread for a wonderful and inexpensive meal.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Arrange tomatoes, cut side down, in a baking dish. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and Italian seasoning. Roast 15 minutes. Turn tomatoes cut side up. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Roast until softened and beginning to brown in spots, about 30 minutes longer. Cool slightly.

Transfer tomatoes and any accumulated juices to a food processor. Pulse until pureed (do not overprocess or the sauce will turn pink).

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until almost tender. Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic. Saute until tender, about 3 minutes. Add tomato mixture. Bring to a simmer. Simmer gently while pasta finishes cooking. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid.

Add pasta to skillet with tomato sauce. Simmer until pasta is tender but still firm to bite and sauce is thickened, adding some of reserved cooking liquid if sauce looks dry. Transfer to a large bowl. Sprinkle with parmesan and serve.