Tomatoes are easily one of my favorite things! I love fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes, tomato salads, soups and sauces! Recently uncooked tomatoes have been giving me some sort of weird heartburn, so I have been cooking my tomatoes in different ways so I still get my “fix”. Since I also love pasta, an easy roasted tomato marinara seemed like just what I needed to make.
This is a super affordable post which is surprising given that we’re using ten fresh tomatoes, and while you can definitely buy cans of tomato sauce for cheaper, but honestly this was so delicious that it felt fully worth the extra money. I also used a can of tomato sauce to make my roasted tomatoes go further so keep that option in mind as well!
$0.92 per serving or $5.50 for six
Ten tomatoes (five romas and 5 vine ripened) – $2.93
680ml Tomato Sauce -$1
1/2 an onion- $0.40
1 package (900 gr) of spaghetti – $1.17
Pantry: 2 parmesan rind pieces, 3 garlic cloves, dried basil, dried Italian seasoning, crushed red chili flakes, balsamic vinegar, 1 rosemary sprig or dried rosemary
The first step of this is to set your oven to preheat to 415 degrees on bake. Then wash all of your tomatoes and cut them in half.Take your half onion and rough chop it, as well as lightly smash your garlic cloves and/or cut them in half/quarters. I oiled my pan with olive oil to help keep my tomatoes from sticking.
Next, roast your tomatoes until they get soft and caramelized (mine took 20 minutes). Pull them out and let them cool until you can handle them to peel the skin off as best you can, depositing the flesh into a blender along with the roasted and onions. Blend the tomatoes, garlic and onions until smooth, then pour the mixture into a sauce pot along with one tin of general purpose tomato sauce. Add in 1-2 Parmesan rind pieces (depending on their size) and a sprig of rosemary. Simmer this mixture for 45 minutes.
Once you’ve simmered away for 45 minutes, remove your rosemary sprig and Parmesan rinds and make your spaghetti! I dished up my plate with a healthy amount of grated Parmesan as well.
I wanted to do a quick post about how I make my chicken stock for zero dollars! This sounds crazy, I know, but I take rotisserie chicken carcasses from family members and friends, herbs from mine and my mum’s herb gardens, the ends of my veggies (I freeze them when I chop them up) and regular pantry staples. Even if you don’t have access to free chicken carcasses or herbs, keep in mind that chicken carcasses are food waste you’d throw out otherwise. A rotisserie chicken is often cheaper than a roaster chicken! Not only do you get 4 meals (or so) from it, you can make stock which can be the base of other meals as well.
I like to make my stock in my crock pot. I love that I can turn it on and (mostly) forget about it. I put it on high for 4-6 hours after I get home from work, using a thawed chicken carcass (usually I pop them in the freezer until I’m ready to make stock) in my 6 quart slow cooker from Hamilton Beach. I add thyme, sage, bay leaf, salt, red peppers, whole peppercorns, garlic, rosemary and carrots, asparagus ends, leeks, and onions. Once it has cooked for 4-6 hours and tastes great, to save space I try to reduce the stock by half. This takes time but is worth it if you don’t have a ton of freezer room.
Once you have reduced your stock, you’ll want to cool it down quite quickly to get it into the fridge. I usually start by half filling my sink with water and a whole tray of ice, then setting the pot in there. I think you’ll be surprised how fast the ice melts! I then drain the water and refill the sink repeatedly until the sink water no longer rapidly rises in temperature, the side of the pot is cool to the touch and the stock isn’t steaming. Then, ladle it into freezer safe containers and pop them into the fridge without their lids on for a couple of hours or overnight. Once they’re fridge cold, pop the lids on an put them in the freezer until you need some stock!
I hope this gives you an idea of how to make easy chicken stock for very little money! Save those chicken carcasses and veggie bits and you are well on your way.
Have a great day!