Recipe of the Week: For Tomato Aholics, by S.T.

Yes, I admit my family are Tomato Aholics. We love tomato sauce and whole canned tomatoes. Our most favorite meals are made with tomato sauce.

This should take four hours of time and produce a minimum of eight different meals. Depending on the amount of sauce you make, it will produce from 8 to 16 meals in just approximately four hours of time.

When we had children at home, every Saturday while the kids were at soccer, I would cook for the week and make meals that could be frozen and then placed in the oven for dinner each night. Any leftovers would be used for after school snacks. After a few weeks of this type of cooking and freezing of meals, we were in a great rotation. Another week I would make soups and stews. Then another week I would make tuna noodle casserole and homemade baked macaroni and cheese. The Thanksgiving turkey would be turned into soup, hot turkey sandwiches, and turkey salad. The Christmas ham would be turned into ham sandwiches and split pea soup.

  1. Start with a very large pot or a turkey roaster. The size will depend on your family size. A turkey roaster is easier to work with in removing the sauce.
  2. Fill your big pot with your homemade pasta sauce, seasoned to taste and filled with bell peppers, onions, garlic, and herbs. Do not add any meat or any mushrooms to the pot.
  3. Let’s start on the meals.
  4. Move enough for 1 1/2 to 2 meals for your family to a separate pot; add the necessary well-rinsed and drained dark red kidney beans and ground beef, which is seasoned with chili powder and then separate into two different freezer containers.
  5. The first container will make a bowl chili for your family. Place this in the freezer. The second container will make a baked potato chili bar for your family. Place these in the freezer. We love baked potato chili bar made with baked potatoes, chili, fresh chopped tomatoes, chopped onions, and cheese.
  6. Using lasagna noodles build a pan of lasagna using layers of the noodles, then pasta sauce and cheese; with the amount of cheese, no meat is needed. Cover with foil and place in the freezer.
  7. Cook a cube steak or a minute steak for each family member and place in a roasting pan; then add two large onions cut into quarters and one small can of drained mushrooms; cover with your pasta sauce. Cover with foil and place in the freezer.
  8. Cook three Italian sausages for each family member and then open a hoggie roll and line with provolone cheese; add one of the sausages and add a little sauce and you now have Italian sausage subs for your dinner.
  9. Cook three meat balls for each family member, then open a hoggie roll and line with provolone cheese, add the meat balls, and add a little sauce, and you now have Italian meatball subs for dinner tomorrow.
  10. Take the extra two Italian sausages for each family member and place in a roasting pan; in a frying pan with olive oil saute quartered onions and strips of red and green bell peppers until soft; pour over the sausages, and then cover with the pasta sauce. Cover with foil and place in the freezer.
  11. Add cooked ground beef to the balance of the pasta sauce, to be used for spaghetti sauce. Depending upon how much sauce is left, you may also have enough to also make another pan of lasagna or Swiss Steak before you add any cooked ground beef or even enough sauce to make five more meals to fill your freezer.

Some additional meals that can be made with this pasta sauce is Chicken Cacciatore, Pizza, Cheese Ravioli, and Manicotti. You have many meals that this one pot of pasta sauce created:

  • Chili
  • Baked potato chili bar
  • Lasagna
  • Swiss Steak
  • Italian Sausage subs
  • Meatball subs
  • Sausage and Peppers
  • Spaghetti

Final Thoughts:

Pasta, like dried beans, requires more water and a longer cooking time the older the pasta. So we no longer store spaghetti noodles but instead store angel hair noodles.

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