This upcoming Valentine’s day might be best known as a day for extravagant and expensive dates. Every restaurant in town will be filled with couples and the streets a-buzz with romance. If you are looking for a way to avoid all of the traffic and save your money, we might have a solution for you.
A simple at home spaghetti dinner says more than any night on the town could. By taking the time to make something and spend time with your significant other you can express more of those romantic vibes plus, it will cost you less than ten dollars for dinner.
You will need a few basic ingredients; Spaghetti noodles, jar of pre-made tomato sauce, and frozen garlic bread. Of course you can add other things like cheese and meat as you like, but keep in mind that budget.
Pasta noodles should not cost more than one dollar, at max two. Pre-made sauce has a wide range of prices and spices, so pick the best one for your tastes. The sauce can cost as little as $2.50 or less depending on sales. The frozen garlic bread can range in price depending on the bread slice sizes and form. Plan on spending around three to four dollars on garlic bread. Now that you have the ingredients that final thing you need to do is cook.
Before you even start boiling water make sure you have your pots and pan ready. You should set your colander in the sink ready to strain the pasta later. this will help you keep organized so you can focus on preparing the food, not trying to find a lid while the food goes unsupervised.
The first step is to preheat the oven to the temperature that is on the garlic bread box. If you are making homemade garlic bread you have to follow the same process just with a few extra preparation steps. This would include slicing bread, melting butter and seasonings (garlic and parsley), and spreading the melted butter one the exposed bread, then bake.
Next, fill your large pot with water and place it on a burner on a high heat setting until the water is brought to a rolling boil.
While that is started pour your pre-made sauce into a small pot and put it on a very low heat. If you heat the sauce too quickly it will bubble and splatter everywhere causing a huge mess. To prevent this just keep it on no more than a 2 heat setting.
Once your water is ready pour half the box of raw pasta into it. You can pour the whole box if you want plenty of leftovers. Stir the pasta at regular intervals to prevent the noodles from sticking to the pot.
By now your oven should be fully heated and ready to bake. Place your garlic bread on a pan and place it in the oven to cook. Be wary! Garlic bread cooks fast, so keep a close eye on it or it is likely to burn. As soon as the bread is a crisp golden brown remove it from the oven. This process can take 5-7 minutes and can easily be forgotten without a timer keeping track of time.
Test a noodle, If it is tender to the bite then it is ready to strain. Gently pour the water and noodles into the colander over the kitchen sink. There will be a plume of steam, so keep your face and other extremities clear.
Now that all of your cooking is complete you can proceed with plating and serving. Assemble your spaghetti on your plates in moderate portions, it is supposed to be a date, not an all you can eat buffet. For some added atmosphere you can light a candle or two at the dinner table and fold your napkins. Perhaps even use nicer glasses for your ice water or soda. Each personal touch to the setting will create a more complete dinner date experience for you and your significant other.