Ina Garten Shares Her Favorite Budget-Friendly Recipe Ideas

Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten enjoys cooking for her husband Jeffrey as well as throwing impressive dinner parties, but not everything she picks up is complicated or expensive. In a recent interview, she shared some of her favorite budget-friendly recipe ideas that are simple and inexpensive but still unique.

Ina Garten and Seth Meyers on Late Night With Seth Meyers
Ina Garten and Seth Meyers Lloyd Bishop / NBCU / NBCUniversal Photo Bank via Getty Images

Barefoot Contessa shares her favorite cheap food ideas

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), many people are financially hard hit, so keeping food costs down is a priority. In an interview on NPR’s 1AGarten was asked, “Any suggestions for some friendly holiday food?”

“Of course you can make mac and cheese and it’s just delicious if you do the real thing, not out of a box,” Garten replied. “You’ll be amazed at how special something like that is.”

She continued, “Pasta of any kind is very reasonable. Make tinned tomatoes and all kinds of spices and you make arrabbiata pasta, something like that, very reasonable. ”

“My chicken is parmesan, which I make with parmesan hooks and bread and just freeze it and serve it with a salad with lemon vinaigrette on top. It’s very cheap food… and it’s just great, ”she said.

Ina Garten penne arrabbiata recipe is budget friendly and full of flavor

Garten mentioned pasta arrabiata as one cheap option for fine dining. It is full of ingredients that make a delicious fresh pasta flavor with red sauce.


  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup whole cloves garlic cloves (24 cloves)
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans of all San Marzano tomatoes peel
  • 2 teaspoons whole, chopped fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup dry red wine, such as Chianti
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh julienned basil leaves, plus to serve
  • Stuth penne tioram 1 pound
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese, to serve

Peel the garlic by first soaking it in boiling water for 15 seconds “and then you can see the skins just dripping off,” she looked at the Contessa barefooted cookery demonstration.

Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a pot, then add the garlic and cook for 10 minutes, until soft and lightly browned.

Drain the tomatoes and send them to a food processor, crushing them until they are coarsely chopped. Add the garlic after removing from the oil with a slotted spoon and pull it to cut it. Add the tomato mixture to the oil, then add the fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, red wine, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Bring to a boil, then rub over low heat for 30 minutes. Stir in the basil leaves.

Boil the pasta according to the package instructions, but remove it from the water when there are two minutes of cooking time left, adding the sauce to continue cooking. Add ¼ a cup of the pasta water to the sauce and rub for two or three minutes until the pasta is done. Garten explained how the pasta water dries the sauce, although you would think it would “water it. ”

Serve the pasta with basil and parmesan cheese.

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