Summer supper under 10 bucks!

After a few weeks of chillier summer weather for California, we were back up to the low 80s today. Which unfortunately made my plan for cabbage soup tonight a no-go. Well, as luck would have it, I picked up a bunch of tomatoes this past week at the local farmer’s market.

One of my favorite go-to recipes this summer has been a modification of Martha Stewart’s Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce. (Surprise, I found it on Pinterest!) I love that it’s super light and refreshing, really quick to make, and approved by my Italian husband–which means it must be good! Here’s my version of it, which offers a just-as-yummy modification for our son’s allergies and for our personal taste. Enjoy!

The only modifications I made to make this allergy-free were substituting a quinoa and corn blend spaghetti for wheat spaghetti, and nutritional yeast for Parmesan cheese. I also added red onions, just because. Dinner total: under 10 bucks!

Summer Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato Sauce

Servings: 6
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 20 mins


  • 2 pounds tomatoes
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon garlic (about two cloves)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound spaghetti [I use Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta. It’s organic and gluten free.]
  • Grated Parmesan cheese or alternative* for serving (optional)
  • A loaf of whatever bread strikes your fancy (optional)


1. Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot.

2. While that’s heating up, throw the tomatoes, onion, basil, parsley, garlic, and oil in a food processor and pulse until it reaches the desired consistency. If you don’t have a food processor, you can chop your ingredients and mix in a bowl with the olive oil.

3. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain, and toss in a bowl with the sauce. If desired, drizzle with oil and top with grated cheese or cheese alternative.


  • If you’re using a food processor, you may want to roughly chop the tomatoes, onion, and garlic so that you don’t get runny tomatoes or a big chunk of garlic. I cannot confirm nor deny that this has happened to me.
  • *If you have a dairy allergy, try Bragg Nutritional Yeast Seasoning in place of Parmesan. It gives you that cheesy taste without the dairy, gluten, sugar, or salt. Heck yes.
  • Because there’s only three of us, this recipe gives us two nights worth of dinners plus the bread for under 10 bucks each night! Bonus: I grow my own basil at home, so that was free. Also, if you have leftover sauce and bread, you can make a bruschetta appetizer, too.
  • Buy organic ingredients whenever possible. (My calculations were for all organic ingredients, too.)

Budget Breakdown

Tomatoes (at the Farmer’s Market): $3 (2 lb @ $1.50/lb)
Quinoa spaghetti: $5 (These were on sale–two 8 oz boxes for $5; regularly $3.19 each at Whole Foods)
Red onion, basil, parsley, and garlic: about $1 for the quantities used
Olive oil, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese/nutritional yeast: I consider these pantry/condiment items that most people have on hand
Total: about $9 for dinner! With an extra 99 cents, you can get a sourdough loaf at Trader Joe’s and still come in at about $10.


2 thoughts on “Summer supper under 10 bucks!

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