Slow Food USA is hosting a $5 Challenge this Saturday, asking participants to gather friends and family to share a fresh, wholesome meal that won’t break the budget. We’ve come up with the perfect solution for satisfying a crowd: pizza. Hold the delivery charge and heat up your oven instead.
|Warm up your guests
Begin the meal with a comforting soup — the ultimate one-pot starter. Carrot-Ginger Soup features ingredients you already have in your pantry — onions, garlic and bay leaf — and inexpensive carrots. Save time by buying commercial chicken stock for the recipe. Alternatively, take advantage of your grocery’s bulk dried chickpeas and prepare Pasta e Ceci Soup.
|Perfect the crust
A big batch of All-Purpose Pizza Dough will cost you the price of yeast and flour, and homemade crusts always trump the store-bought kind. Mix the dough the day before and let it rise in the fridge overnight to cut down on cooking time.
|Top it off
Now for the fun part: give guests toppings to choose from. To save money, skip the meat and try vegetarian options like Pizza with Caramelized Red Onions, Olives and Feta Cheese or a simple Tomato-Basil Pizza. Carnivores will love a New York-Style Sausage and Mushroom Pizza or a simple Salumi and Cheese Pizza (substitute pepperoni for salumi for a less expensive dish).
|Savor something sweet
Don’t forget dessert! Chances are, your pantry and fridge are already stocked with most of the ingredients you need to whip up a batch of Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cookies. You may even have room in your budget for a pint of ice cream to scoop on top.