2011 Hunger Challenge Day 4: Come to Umami!

I’m taking the San Francisco Food Bank’s Hunger Challenge for the fourth year – trying to feed my husband (the Bottomless Pit) and myself for just $4.72 each per day. In past years, my Hunger Challenge meals have often been less than satisfying. A lot of that was due to cheap ingredients – bacon and cheese, for example – that just didn’t have the deep flavor of quality ingredients. This year, I decided to buy the kinds of ingredients I normally use – but on a much more limited scale. I’m relying on whole wheat pasta (organic, no less, at just $1.39/lb) to fill us up. And when I shopped, I looked for ingredients that packed a lot of umami. Tonight’s dinner was a real umami bomb, as Jean-Georges Vongerichten would say. (I’m smiling, imagining what Jean-Georges would think of a $4.72 food budget!)

This Paltrow pasta is a real umami bomb!

Speaking of star power, the recipe I made was Gwyneth Paltrow’s Roasted Tomato and Anchovy Oreganata Pasta, from Bon Appetit. I wish that woman would pick a career and stick to it – but I have to say, her pasta is pretty darn good. It calls for both roasted cherry tomatoes and a toasted topping made with bread crumbs, herbs and anchovies. I used only dried herbs, lost the fresh parsley and put in just one tin of anchovies. And I only used 8 oz. of whole wheat spaghetti, as opposed to the 12 oz. in the recipe, to make 2 servings (as opposed to Gwyneth’s 4). It’s a fairly quick dish, aside from the fact that the tomatoes have to roast for at least 3 hours. Easy for me, since I work from home – but less easy for someone working a couple of jobs. So, this year, I feel like I’ve had dinners that were pretty satisfying – something to look forward to throughout the day. But they were really repetitive, with lots of tomatoes and pasta, but very little meat. Am I turning into an Italian peasant? GET INVOLVED! ♥ Take the Hunger Challenge yourself. Sign up here. ♥ Read blogs by people taking the Hunger Challenge. There’s a blogroll here. ♥ Follow the Hunger Challengers on Twitter. There’s a listing here, or search for the hashtag #HungerChallenge. ♥ Learn more about the San Francisco Food Bank – and make a donation. For every $1 donated the food bank can supply hungry people with $6 worth of food! ♥ Follow the San Francisco Food Bank on Twitter or visit their Facebook page to see how they’re fighting hunger every day.


2 Responses to 2011 Hunger Challenge Day 4: Come to Umami!

  1. Amy Sherman September 15, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    The don’t call it “cucina povera” for nothing!

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