Sunday, March 28, 2010

Make Ahead Pasta Sauce

Over the years I have tried many 'cook for a day, eat for a month' type recipes. You shop and chop one day, cook the following day and have meals for a month. Sounds like a great concept especially with a busy family. But, sadly I seem to be a 'freezer snob', so many of the recipes I tried just didn't taste good once thawed and cooked.

I was pleasantly surprised with the pasta sauce recipe I found on Our Best Bites. It makes a big batch, has more veggies than meat (I don't love meat) and it tastes delicious thawed and heated. The veggies stay crisp tender, the sauce has a wonderful flavor and it is easy. I love it!

Before my surgery I made a batch and put it in several freezer containers (actually my sweet hubby made it, what a good man). It saved the day on more than one occasion. I like it on angel hair pasta topped with fresh grated Parmesan cheese. I also keep a loaf of sliced LaBrea sour dough or garlic bread in the freezer. It is easy to take out a few slices, toast them them and enjoy a delicious quick meal.

Make Ahead Pasta Sauce
 1/2 pound ground beef or Italian sausage
2 15-ounce cans Italian style diced tomatoes (I blend them in the food processor)
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
4 cloves of garlic, pressed
1 onion chopped
1 zucchini chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped, 1/4 inch dice
2 stalks celery chopped, 1/4 inch dice
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
salt and pepper
In a large skillet with lid, brown ground beef, onions and garlic. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cover, turn heat to low and simmer for an hour, stir occasionally. Serve a delicious dinner tonight and put the remaining sauce in freezer containers and label. You now have the start to another great meal!

This recipe comes from Our Best Bites, a great blog. Check their site for a yummy looking lasagna using this sauce. I love this LeCreuset pan, it was a gift from my thoughtful children. They know how to make Mama smile!
I would love to have a few more 'freezer meals', if you have a freezer meal that is a proven winner please share. Send me a link or your recipe, I would love to try it. Thanks for sharing!


Paul & Kaytie said...

Thank you for posting this recipe! I'm so excited to give it a try. I'm shocked there were so many veggies. I'm glad I can finally trick Paul into eating a little bit healthier. :)

Anonymous said...

That sounds delicious! We often have pasta for a quick meal, but it's usually with a jar of sauce. It would be nice to be able to pull this out of the freezer.