Budget Noms: Jammy Pasta

I’ve enjoyed writing about my trip to Beijing but it’s time to get some recipes up on this blog. I’m returning to my ‘Budget Noms’ idea because I’m still aiming to feed myself and Jake for just £10 a week. I haven’t kept up with this constantly, I didn’t fancy a budget Christmas and New Year but generally I’ve found it really easy to follow.

Occasionally I do get a bit bored of eating the same root veggies all the time and sometimes what ends up on our plates can be pretty bland and uninspired. I was in a bit of a rut with it all when I remembered a recipe that I used to make all the time when I was a student.

It’s a simple, sweet tomato sauce with caramelised red onions and balsamic that works really well stirred into pasta. It always feels a bit wrong eating it because it is very sweet, it’s kind of like stirring a tomato and onion chutney into your food but I think it works…plus it’s cheap cheap cheap!

Jammy Pasta




1 large red onion, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 tin chopped tomatoes
Generous splash of balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
Enough pasta for 4



  1. Heat olive oil in a pan and add the onion. Cook on a medium heat for 5-7 minutes, until soft and translucent
  2. Bring another pan of water to the boil. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the onions, lower the heat and cook through for another 10 minutes or so.
  3. Add the garlic and cook through for a further 2 minutes
  4. Once the water is boiling, add enough pasta for 4 and cook according to the packets directions. Add the tomatoes, a splash of balsamic and a little water to the onion mixture. Bring the heat back to medium and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Season with salt and pepper, drain the pasta and stir through the sauce before serving

I was surprised how much I still loved this dish, I cooked some right shite during my uni days. This is definitely a pasta sauce that I’ll be coming back to time and time again, I imagine it would be pretty tasty with some beans or tofu stirred through too. This probably didn’t cost more than 40p per portion, which ain’t bad.

Give it a go and let me know what you think!


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