December 5, 2023

While I enjoy cooking, so does my girlfriend, Kristi. It just so happens that she’s way better at it than I am. Of course, as a blogger, I can churn out content pretty darned fast, so I thought: why don’t I tell you about the meals she creates, how she does it and how much it costs?

Brilliant idea, right? Right. More food posts!

I had a long day covering winter weather for the best TV station in Oklahoma City, and I’m super lucky that I was able to navigate the roads to get home. Subaru magic, baby. Truth be told, if you drive slowly, you can make it (as long as the proverbial ‘other guy’ doesn’t drive like a bat out of hell). But I’m doubly lucky that I’ve got Kristi and that she enjoys cooking. Like I said at the outset, I enjoy it, too. You’ve seen that on my blog, so there’s at least some proof.

Tonight she made us pasta puttanesca, ‘puttanesca’ referring to the sauce, specifically one with tomatoes, garlic, olives and tomatoes. It’s common for folks to add capers and anchovies to the sauce as well. I love anchovies, but Kristi doesn’t love them as much as I do. She doesn’t hate them; she just doesn’t go out of her way to buy ’em.

The grocery list for this dish, as she made it, is as follows (the cost being the first figure, and the second being the estimated amount of product used for the dish):

  • Whole wheat pasta: $1 ($.50)
  • Veggie pasta: $1.48
  • Puttanesca sauce: $2.98 (x2)
  • Sliced green olives: $1.98 ($.75)
  • Black olives: $1.96 (for a 3.8 oz. can)
  • Carrots: $1.38 ($.75)
  • Celery: $1.58 ($.50)
  • Onion: $.79 ($.40)

Total cost: $16.13
Cost of product used: $12.30

We estimate that this dish makes 8 to 10 servings, which comes to between $1.23 and $1.53 per serving. You can’t beat that!

Making pasta puttanesca easily took less than 30 minutes, Kristi says.

Here’s how you do it:

Boil a big ol’ pot of water for the pasta, and add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to keep the pasta from sticking to the pan.


Chop your onion, carrots and celery and sautee them in olive oil and balsamic vinegar until the celery and carrots are kind of soft. Drain your olives and add those to the veggies. Add garlic salt to taste.


Note that, above, I included the cost of each ingredient along with the cost of what Kristi used, so in the case of the sliced green olives, it looks like she used about 40 percent of the can.

Warm your puttanesca sauce. Doesn’t get much easier.


Boil your pasta. Kristi likes her puttanesca with anything-but-spaghetti, and in this case, she chose whole wheat and veggie pastas. Thumbs up from me!

Mix it all together, and serve with a veggie. Kristi roasted some asparagus for us, and it was all delicious.



The bonus is that I’ve got lunch for Thursday, when once again the Oklahoma City area will be dealing with wintry precipitation and bad road conditions. This dish is delicious and easy, and if you’ve got a big crew to feed, it’s super inexpensive.

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