Saturday, March 28, 2009

Spaghetti Sauce

I had a request several days ago to talk about what to do with leftover spaghetti sauce. Jackie, I'm so sorry that I've been such a bum and haven't gotten a post done! I'm going to post about it now; I know it's way too late for your leftovers, but hopefully it will help out next time! :-)

I would say that the best thing to do with leftover spaghetti sauce is to use it for a modified freezer cooking session. You can use it to make up a few meals to store in the freezer to make your life easier later.

My favorite use for leftover spaghetti sauce is pizza. It's a perfect pizza sauce and a quick dinner, especially if you use one of those par-baked pre-made crusts. I like to make mine in the bread machine, and it's still a simple-to-assemble meal. Or, an even easier option is either mini english-muffin pizzas or french bread pizza. Both are quite tasty!

Another family favorite that I freeze all the time is lasagna. It takes 3-4 cups of spaghetti sauce for a 13" x 9" pan of lasagna. You can use the no-cook noodles or cook your noodles; either way, assemble the lasagna, wrap it well, and you can freeze it, uncooked. Simply take it out the night before you plan to eat it, let it thaw in the refrigerator, and bake at 375° for 60 minutes, uncovering the last 10 minutes.

Stuffed shells or manicotti are other fun pasta options that freeze well. Cook the large shells or manicotti noodles and stuff with your preferred filling (we go simple with cottage cheese, chopped spinach, and mozzarella). Place in a pan and pour spaghetti sauce all around and over them and pop into the freezer. These thaw and bake like the lasagna, but bake in about half the time.

I really like to freeze a modified version of a Taste of Home recipe called Beef Mushroom Spaghetti. It is easily prepared with leftover sauce.

Cook 7 ounces of spaghetti noodles according to package directions.
Meanwhile, brown 1/2 lb. of ground beef and drain. Stir in 2 c. leftover sauce and 1 can of cream of mushroom soup. Stir in the cooked noodles and a can of mushroom pieces, drained.
Place in a greased 8" square baking pan. Cover and freeze.
When ready to prepare, thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Keeping covered, bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes until heated thru. Top with grated parmesan. Yum!

Or, how about Chicken Parmesan?? Dip chicken breasts in beaten egg and then coat with bread crumbs. Bake in the oven until done, about 30 minutes at 350°. Serve over pasta and cover with leftover sauce and mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.

I haven't tried this one, but I would think it would be good in an italian-style soup like pasta e fajoli. I'm sure there are recipes online for this.

And the last idea I can think of, but another one that I personally wouldn't use, is stuffed peppers. We don't like green peppers here, but I would think spaghetti sauce would be great mixed with the meat and other filling.

So there you have it....my thoughts on leftover spaghetti sauce. Somehow, I now have a craving for pasta!!!! :-) If you have some other ideas, please share! I know I'm forgetting several!

7 comments:

  1. I keep an ice cream bucket or a large canning jar in my freezer in which I put small bits of leftovers for making soup later. If I have just a bit of spaghetti sauce leftover, I put it in the soup bucket/jar.

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  3. Thanks for these great spaghetti sauce ideas! I will be trying some of them soon. :)

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  4. Another idea is to use it for sandwiches. Make italian sausage. Place on a hard roll and top with sauce and mozzerella or provalone cheese.

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  5. This is exactly what I'm going to try for dinnner tonight! Thanks for this great hint!

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  6. I love to use it in my meatloaf!

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  7. Meatball subs. :)

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