day thirteen

(Click here for an explanation of the project.)

Here’s what we ate for $3.05 yesterday, January 14, 2011.


whole grapefruit $0.25
2 hard boiled eggs $0.34


whole wheat bagel $0.42
4 tablespoons hummus $0.24
3 clementines $0.66


1 cup green beans (frozen) $0.26
generous portion homemade potato gnocchi with tomato-porcini sauce $0.70
fresh grated parmesan $0.14

6 ounces stovetop espresso with 1 tablespoon markdown cream $0.04
(We keep sucking at snacks – we are going to try harder to plan and fit in enough snacks.)

total $3.05

We have been talking about making homemade gnocchi for awhile, but I finally got inspired one day when I started watching CHOW’s charming Cooking with Grandma videos. The Cooking with Grandma Paola video had her and her granddaughter making gnocchi together complete with homemade sauce.

I thought perhaps buying porcini mushrooms would break the bank. I headed downtown to Buck’s in search of mushrooms. God, I just love that place. There is always something amazing to discover. Not only did they have my mushrooms, but they showed me all these dried mushroom powders you can buy to add flavor to dishes and threw in a free sample of the espresso salt I was oohing and ahhing over. Can’t wait to try that!

The porcinis were the most expensive thing I’ve bought since we started this, but the $6.30 was for a triple batch of sauce, so after a momentary “Whoa!” I realized everything would be okay. It is funny how quickly my perspective of what is expensive for food has dramatically changed.

I knew this recipe was going to be cheap, but I can’t believe how cheap it turned out. We are now almost through that $1.98 10-pound bag of potatoes. I think the richness of this cheap meal comes from all the time and love that goes into making it, and those amazing porcini mushrooms. Even if you buy gnocchi, I highly recommend making that sauce.



4 pounds russet potatoes $0.79
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour $0.50
2 cups Tomato-Porcini Sauce $2.74
2 tablespoons unsalted butter $0.16

We froze half the gnocchi (uncooked) for another night, and split the other half between the 3 of us.

total = $4.19
for the half we ate = $2.10
split between 3 people = $0.70 each


2 cups loosely packed dried porcini mushrooms $6.30
1/2 bunch Italian parsley $0.50
6 large garlic cloves $0.06
1/2 small yellow onion $0.10
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil $0.52
2 tablespoons unsalted butter $0.16
2 (6-ounce) cans tomato paste $0.60

total $8.24
makes 6 cups
$1.37 per cup

washing the mushrooms

chopping the Italian parsley, onion, and garlic

ricing the potatoes

adding flour


the hardest part = rolling out, cutting, and shaping the dough

when they are almost done, they pop up and float on the top

Now to plan another dinner featuring the sauce, since we have 5 more cups!


Filed under food

2 responses to “day thirteen

  1. Your Tomato Porcini Sauce sounds amazing (and easy). I can’t wait to try it!

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