Pasta for 10

Karyn Stroud recently featured on TV One’s Seven Sharp demonstrating how to feed a large family on a budget. In fact, Number 8 Network bumped into her at Countdown supermarket on the day of filming – and knew something was up.

Team StroudIt all started with a phone call, Karyn says.

“Reporter Craig Stanaway rang and said he would be in Hamilton and could he pop over for dinner.”

This didn’t faze the Gordonton Country Market committee member and mother of nine who quickly said yes. “We’d done something with Craig previously for the Sunday programme. He followed us with a TV crew for five days down south, while my husband Andrew took part in the NZ Superbike Championship.

“He’s a lovely chap so I was more than happy to spend time with him, catching up over dinner.”

At the end of the call, however, Craig added that he would be bringing a TV crew with him. “He wanted to show people how you can cook for the whole family for less than $10. “

Karyn says she did a bit of a double-take – “My reaction was a bit like ‘ahhh, 500,000 viewers seeing me cook.”

But she was up to it and chose a pasta dish she knew the kids would love.

“I’d had it at an Italian restaurant when I was about 20. I loved it, and begged the chef for the recipe.”

It went down a treat, she said, and all under $10.

When asked for her top tip when feeding a large family, she says she doesn’t buy a lot of processed food.

“I like to feed the children healthy food and we have a varied diet. I love food and cook what I feel like, whether it’s a stir-fry, a curry, sushi, rice wraps or cottage pie. The kids don’t get a choice and never question or say I don’t like it.”

They also love food, she says, and are happy to try new things. “I choose good quality food rather than, say, low-cost mince which has a lot more fat. I would always add a tin of kidney beans to boost the variety of protein.”

She doesn’t buy vegetables or milk from the supermarket, but from Vege King on Heaphy Tce or Big Saver. And there are treats – “It’s nice to let something luxurious go a long way, like a beautiful salami, some yummy olives – but just a few on some home-made pizza with a quick coleslaw.”
Karyn and Andrew currently live in Hamilton. “Where we grow herbs, but we’re looking forward to building out in Gordonton. I’ve put a bit of thought into where I will have chickens and what my vege garden will look like. We’ll definitely be planting fruit trees as soon as we get there.”

So how did the filming go? “Really well. They are a nice TV crew, and Craig Stanaway is a creative and professional reporter. It’s always a little nerve racking when kids are involved, you never know what’s going to happen. But we had great feedback and I’ve had people wanting more recipes, and wanting to know when will I put out a book.”

Click here for the Seven Sharp clip. It’s well worth watching!

The $10 dollar meal
Penne pasta with carbonara

2 x 500gm penne pasta (tubes)
Whole garlic bulb, chopped
250g mushrooms, sliced
200g smoked bacon
250ml cream
1 Tbsp wholegrain mustard
2 cups frozen peas
1 egg
100g cheese, grated

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, add the penne pasta and cook according to the packet.

Finely chop the garlic and cook in a pan with a little olive oil. Add the mushrooms and cook with the garlic until slightly brown.

Add bacon and cook about five minutes, until brown.

Add about 3/4 of the cream. Add the mustard and stir, reduce the temperature, and simmer. Add 1/2 a cup of water and stir.

In another bowl add an egg to the left over cream and whisk. Add the grated cheese and season well.

Add the peas to the boiling pasta with three minutess to go before the pasta is cooked.

Drain pasta, add the pan of simmered cream with the bacon, mushrooms and garlic. Mix in extra cream, egg and cheese mix.

Serve immediately. And smile for the camera!

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