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“Costs between $4.00 to $10.00.”

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette (I made my own, but bottled works just as well.)
  • 12 lb shrimp, fresh or 12 lb frozen shrimp, thawed
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, divided
  • 14 lb thin spaghetti or 14 lb fettuccine noodles, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese


  1. Marinate the shrimp in the vinaigrette for 20 minutes or so. Drain the shrimp, retaining the marinade. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook shrimp until pink, about 3 minutes. Remove shrimp from skillet and keep warm. Place marinade, cream cheese and half of the basil in the skillet. Cook and stir until well blended; return shrimp to pan and continue cooking until heated thoroughly, stirring occasionally.
  2. To serve, place a mount of noodles on plate; top with shrimp and sauce mixture. Sprinkle with remaining basil and the shredded parmesan cheese.
  3. You can also add fresh chopped tomatoes for extra flavor, color and texture.
  4. I only bought the shrimp and basil to make this meal; all other ingredients came from my pantry and fridge. Half a pound of shrimp cost $3.00, and the portion of basil I used about $0.50. The pasta was free, using coupons at a Harris Teeter doubling event, and I paid less that $1.00 for the entire package of cream cheese, making the portion I used about $0.25. Making my own vinaigrette cost pennies, as did shredding the Parmesan from a block. I would estimate the cost of this main dish to be around $4.00 0r less. The additional side dishes and bread would bring the total to somewhere between $5.00 or $6.00. Not bad for an elegant anniversary dinner!

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