I went a little fancy last night, but still without breaking the bank. I made some fettuccine while making other pasta, and Trader Joe's continues to be a good source for Gorgonzola at $5.79/lb. The local supermarket had sea scallops for $8/lb, which is a special treat for me, and asparagus for $2/lb. I won't pay for heavy cream, and I turned all my milk into yogurt, so I used yogurt in the sauce and it worked just fine.
Whole Wheat Fettuccine:
1 cup flour, 1 egg, 2 Tbsp milk
$0.50, 500 calories
1/3 lb Gorgonzola cheese - $2 - 500 calories
2 Tbsp butter - $0.19 - 200 calories
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp flour - $0.02 - 50 calories
1 cup plain yogurt - $0.37 (organic, homemade) - 80 calories
splash of lemon juice
splash of sake (or whatever white wine is lying around, optional)
8 sea scallops, 1/2 lb - $4 - 200 calories
1 Tbsp butter - $0.10 - 100 calories (not all consumed)
1/2 lb asparagus - $1 - 30 calories
1 Tbsp olive oil - $0.05 - 100 calories (not all consumed)
Read all this first. You'll be juggling around the stove. Start cooking the pasta, frying the asparagus in oil with pepper in a skillet, and frying the garlic in butter in a small pot. When the garlic is browned, whisk in the flour to make a garlicky roux. When the roux is foamy, whisk in the yogurt (cream, milk, whatever) and bring to a simmer.
Remember to drain the noodles when they're done, and set aside. Also set aside the asparagus when it is done. Toss a tablespoon of butter on the skillet when the asparagus is off, turn up the heat, and sear the scallops for about 2 minutes on each side. Crumble up the Gorgonzola and whisk it into the sauce until it melts. The scallops will have slightly crisp golden ends, and be so tender in the middle. I used Alton Brown's method, but I may go for longer time at a lower heat in the future. Do not use a non-stick skillet.
The pasta and sauce alone run under $3.50 and about 1400 calories. This whole decadent meal ran $8.50 and 1800 calories, or $4.50 and 900 calories per stuffed person. Even after breakfast, a hearty PB&J, and an apple in the afternoon, we come in comfortably at the average daily budget for someone receiving supplementary nutritional assistance.