If you're new to my frugal foreigner posts, read all about what we're doing in india here! You can read all previous posts in the series here.
The first night I made dinner in India, I made pasta with bottled sauce and fresh steamed green beans. Sounds pretty frugal right?
Wrong. We went shopping our first day and picked up a few basics to get us by. Including a $7 jar of pasta sauce. That's right, $7. The prices weren't listed on the shelves, as they are in the US, and I hadn't yet figured out how to read the stamped Rupee price that is on everything, much less the labels on imported goods. We actually bought two jars of the pasta sauce – and returned one after looking at the receipt. In contrast, the green beans were about 8 cents.
The good news: I haven't made that mistake again since. I make sure I know the price I'm paying for something ahead of time. Even if it's overpriced, at least I know what I'm paying. The bad news: dry pasta and jarred sauce is still not a frugal meal. Picture above is packaged pasta (imported from Italy) for $2.44, and Ragu (imported from US) for $5.00. Obviously, $5 for a bottle of Ragu is NOT a good deal, but it is cheaper than the first jar I bought, and nearly twice as large besides.
I am planning to learn how to make my own spaghetti sauce and homemade pasta. But the point of pasta and Ragu, to me, is a quick, easy, inexpensive meal to have on hand.
Here's another one:
This is Maggie eating breakfast this morning. Brand name cereal. Not on sale. Rip-off even in the States. Imported: $6. Sigh.
If veggies aren’t expensive, you could always buy some tomatoes, let them ripe and then make a quick marinara sauce to go with the pasta. My neighbor (from Italy) sautees a chopped garlic in a little olive oil and would add crushed plum tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and let cook for 5-10 minutes. Toss with pasta. If canned tomatoes are also pricey, let the fresh ones ripe and you can chop and add. Won’t taste like spaghetti sauce but it’s a quick marinara sauce which is good too.
Susie Chadwick says
Thanks, Lucia. Tomatoes and garlic are actually two of the most expensive veggies here, but it’s still probably cheaper. Maybe a From Scratch Marinara Sauce from me soon.
There is a machine that the dough goes through and it comes out in noodles. But, you probably don’t have a machine. Good luck with making it–you can do it.
Ellie Mae says
I am loving your post. Just a quick note. Eggs, Flour, and Water mixed and rolled out and then sliced into long strips, ,let dry out on kitchen towel. You got homemade pasta. I like to cook mine with left over roast and the juices makes a great meal in itself. Never tried it with tomato sauce, but can’t see any difference in it.
Glad to hear you and yours is doing well over in India!!!
Just catching this blog. Love it!!
Maybe some people from the States can send you a care package of pasta!!! Yes, you can make your own, but you need a pasta machine and you can only make long noodles, not the short shapes that toddlers love.