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Budget recipes: Cook 3 delicious meals with just £12 – carbonara, gnocchi and French toast


Ben Ebrell and the orzo carbonara

Recipe: Budget money-saving meals – three cheap recipes you can make for £2 a portion (Image: GETTY/SORTEDFOOD)

For just £12, SortedFood will show you how to buy ingredients to make six meals with absolutely nothing leftover. With their app, Sidekick, the food experts will allow Britons to save at least 30 percent on their food bills.

Below are three meals which can be made for £12 leaving no food waste.

Orzo Carbonara (serves two)

Ingredients

  • 70 g diced pancetta
  • Two tbsp olive oil
  • 200 g orzo
  • Three large egg(s)
  • 50 g hard Italian cheese
  • 100 g fresh spinach

Fry it up

Chuck 70g (2.5oz) of pancetta into a medium frying pan and tip in two tbsp of oil.

Place the pan over a medium heat, allow the fat to melt from the pancetta, and fry for a further four to five minutes, until golden.

Simmer

Once the pancetta is golden, tip in 200g (7.1oz) of orzo and 500ml (16.9floz) of water. Season with a small pinch of salt.

Bring everything up to a boil, stir, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for nine to 11 minutes, until the orzo is soft but still has a slight bite and the liquid has reduced to a starchy glaze that coats the orzo grains. Stir every minute or so.

While you wait for the orzo, separate three eggs, and chuck the yolks into a small mixing bowl – we don’t need the whites for this recipe but save them for making amazing meringues.

Finely grate 50g (1.8oz) of cheese into the bowl of yolks and beat everything together along with a good grind of black pepper.

Serve

Once the orzo is ready, chuck in 100g (3.5oz) of spinach. Allow the spinach to wilt, then take the pan off the heat.

Beat the cheesy yolk mix into the orzo, loosening the mix with a splash of warm water if it starts to look a little claggy.

Divide the orzo between bowls and tuck in!

READ MORE: Gordon Ramsay recipe: Chef shares trick for ‘golden brown’ and ‘crisp’ Yorkshire puddings

French toast

Recipe: Delicious French toasts with avocado and pancetta (Image: SORTEDFOOD)

Cheesy French Toast with Crispy Pancetta (serves two)

Ingredients

  • 70 g diced pancetta
  • Four tbsp olive oil
  • Three large egg(s)
  • 20 g hard Italian cheese
  • 50 ml milk
  • One ea ciabatta(s)
  • 100 g fresh spinach
  • One ea large avocado(s)
  • One clove(s) garlic
  • Two tbsp caster sugar
  • Two tbsp cider vinegar
  • One tsp chilli flakes

Get your pancetta in

Preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F) and chuck 70g (2.5oz) of pancetta onto a small baking tray.

Drizzle over one tbsp of olive oil and give everything a good mix on the tray to coat the pancetta in the oil.

Whack the tray into the oven and roast for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden and crisp. Get on with the rest of the dish while you wait.

Soak the bread

Beat three eggs in a medium roasting tray. Grate in 20g (0.7oz) of cheese, splash in 50ml (1.7floz) of milk, and season with a generous pinch of salt and a good grind of pepper. Beat everything together.

Slice one ciabatta crosswise into six and chuck the slices into the tray, pressing them down like sponges to soak up the egg mix.

Set the tray aside to finish soaking while you crack on with the rest of the dish.

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Smash it up

Chuck 100g (3.5oz) of spinach into a large mixing bowl, cover with Cling Film and microwave on full power for three to four minutes, until the leaves have darkened and wilted.

Fill the bowl with cold water to cool the spinach down, then drain through a sieve and squeeze out any excess water. Chuck the squeezed spinach back into the bowl.

Use a small knife to cut one avocado in half lengthwise around the stone. Use a tablespoon to scoop out the stone, then use the spoon to scoop the flesh out of the skin into the bowl with the spinach.

Peel, then finely grate in one clove of garlic and mash everything together with a fork until semi-smooth.

Season generously with salt and pepper.

Fry

Tip the remaining three tbsp of oil into a large frying pan and place it over a medium heat.

Once the oil starts to shimmer and loosen, lay in the bread, cut-side down. It should have soaked up most of the egg by this point.

Fry for two to three minutes until golden, then flip and repeat on the other. Get on with the rest of the dish while you wait.

Make the syrup

Add two tbsp of sugar, two tbsp of vinegar and one tsp of chilli flakes to a small mixing bowl. Give everything a quick mix.

Whack the bowl into the microwave and cook on full power for two to three minutes, until the mix has reduced to a sticky syrup. Keep an eye on the syrup as it can burn!

Serve

Divide the smash between your plates and chuck on three slices of French toast per portion. Scatter over the crisp pancetta from earlier and drizzle over the chilli syrup. Enjoy!

Patatas Bravas gnocchi

Recipe: This gnocchi simulates the flavour of Spanish patatas bravas (Image: SORTEDFOOD)

Crispy Gnocchi “Patatas Bravas” (serves two)

Ingredients

  • One ea brown onion(s)
  • Four tbsp vegetable oil
  • Three clove(s) garlic
  • 400 g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • Two tsp smoked paprika
  • 500 g pre-cooked gnocchi
  • Two tbsp mayonnaise

Get your sauce on

Halve, peel and finely dice one onion. Tip two tbsp of the oil into a medium saucepan and place it over a medium heat.

Once the oil begins to shimmer and loosen, tip in the onion and a generous pinch of salt. Fry for four to five minutes, until softened slightly. Peel and crush three cloves of garlic while you wait.

Once the onions have softened slightly, tip in three quarters of the garlic and fry for a further one to two minutes, until fragrant.

Simmer

Tip one 400g (14.1oz) tin of tomatoes andone1 tsp of the paprika into the pan and reduce the heat to low.

Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, until the sauce has reduced by half. Get on with the rest of the dish while you wait.

Fry it up

Tip the remaining two tbsp of oil into a large frying pan and place it over a medium-high heat. Once the oil starts to shimmer and loosen, tip in 500g (17.6oz) of gnocchi and a pinch of salt.

Fry for seven to eight minutes, tossing regularly, until golden all over. Get on with the rest of the dish while you wait.

Beat the remaining garlic with two tbsp of mayonnaise in a small bowl. Season with a small pinch of salt and a good grind of pepper. If you are still waiting on your gnocchi and sauce, now would be a great time to do any washing up.

Serve

Divide the crispy gnocchi between plates and spoon over the tomato sauce. Dollop on a generous spoonful of the mayo mix, sprinkle over one tsp of paprika and serve

The guys at SortedFood testing the dishses

Recipe: SortedFood will show you how to buy ingredients to make six meals with no leftovers (Image: SORTEDFOOD)

The team of chefs at Sorted Food have designed smart recipes full of money-saving hacks to help take the strain out of everyday meal planning.

Each recipe on the app will deliver a tasty meal for less than £4 per portion and under 30 minutes to make, and to celebrate the launch of Sidekick the first month is free to access (£4.99 per month thereafter).

Each week the Sidekick App publishes a wide choice of smart “Recipe Packs”, each containing three recipes and one simple shopping list, all cleverly designed to leave users with no food waste at the end of the week.

The meals in each Recipe Pack share fresh ingredients across each dish mixed with budget store cupboard ingredients found in most kitchen cupboards (ie olive oil, pasta, stock cubes).

This allows users to get the most out of every ingredient they buy, helping them to save on their food bills and ensure none of the food they buy goes to waste.

The guys at SortedFood said: “Once users have chosen their Recipe Pack for the week ahead the App creates a shopping list of ingredients for them to buy and they choose where from – whether it be online, a convenience store or their local farm shop, whatever suits their budget and lifestyle.

“On average, subscribers can expect to save over 20 percent on their food shop in the first month of using Sidekick, increasing to over 30 percent in subsequent months as their store cupboard grows.”



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