orzotto, a dish akin to a risotto which uses pearl barley, a favourite grain of mine reminiscent of childhood stews. The recipe was followed faithfully from the BBC's website after I saw the 'Two Greedy Italians' cook it. I was salivating excessively as it materialised on the show set in Calabria. Total costs for the four main ingredients for this gastronomic delight? Half a pack of reduced price Red Tractor Assured pork mince from the Coop -about 60p, half bags of pearl barley and spinach 25p and 75p respectively and about a third of the contents of a parsley pot 33p. The rest of the ingredients, a splash of olive oil, half a glass of white wine, a stock cube and seasoning and the total came to £2.50 at the most for enough to feed a family of four. The super frugal among you will easily have spotted that there's further savings that could be shaved off - say by economising using home grown or market bought veg or indeed leaving out the wine. By the way, the observant will notice that there's an extra glass of the hard stuff in the photo. This is because I currently advocate the 'Keith Floyd' quick slurp method to combat the boredom when a recipe calls for continuous stirring for half an hour. But watch this space. Changes to my drinking habits may be afoot!
Perhaps it's the smug middle class mummy within me but I'm still amazed that there are now a myriad of people in the UK who say that they can't afford to feed their families. Cooking from scratch, even with meat, that is widely believed to be an expensive ingredient, can be so, so cheap.