Thursday, January 3, 2013

Reusing Spaghetti Sauce from the Freezer - Seashells or Lasagna

One of my favorite things to have on hand is spaghetti sauce.  I make a big pot of it often and then eat leftovers until I can't stand them anymore.  When there is still spaghetti sauce left, I freeze it.  It's delicious, homemade, and can be turned into a variety of different meals.  I realize that to most people spaghetti served with other pastas is still just spaghetti.  Honestly, though, to me, different pastas make a world of difference.  Spaghetti has different  "meal feel" to it than say... Seashells... or Lasagna.

Last night, it was the first day back to work after the break for New Year's.  I was tired.  Definitely I wasn't stopping at the grocery store at 6PM.  Luckily, I had some handy dandy spaghetti sauce in the freezer.  First, I will give you my spaghetti sauce recipe.  Honestly, I just dump and shake because I've made this so many times.  But I have written the recipe down for my daughters because let's face it.  They don't shake and dump like I do LOL!

Last night I made Seashells!  My mom often made this with her leftover sauce when I was growing up.  My brother and I used to LOVE eating Seashells.  We ate it most of the time in a bowl, usually with a spoon, and nothing else.  No salad, no bread, just Seashells!  And we gobbled it down!

My older daughter, by chance, also used some frozen spaghetti sauce last night for her dinner.  She turned it into this wonderful pan of Lasagna!  I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree!  I told her after she sent me a picture of her pan of Lasagna that I was going to blog both of our ideas at cooking once to eat twice!

Here's how I reused frozen spaghetti sauce to put another fast meal on the table AT HOME MY WAY:

Recipe for the Spaghetti Sauce.  This really only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish.
Spaghetti Sauce
Ingredients you will need:
  • 1 pound hamburger
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder or 1/2 fresh onion. chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • Garlic powder (see amount needed below in instructions)
  • Dried basil (see amount needed below in instructions)
  • 1 15-oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 6-oz cans tomato paste
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
Directions for the sauce:
Brown the hamburger (& real onion, if using - I cook the chopped onion first and then add the uncooked hamburger so that the onion has more time to get all the way cooked) in a large pot, stirring often (until onion is clear), then drain any fat off the cooked meat (if using onion powder, add after draining).

Sprinkle the cooked meat with:

1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon of dried basil.
Stir, then add:

1- 15 oz can of tomato sauce + 1 can of water
2- 6oz cans of tomato paste + 3 cans of water for each can (=6 cans water)

On med-high, heat and stir so that the tomato paste blends with the water.

Add spices again: 1 teaspoon salt & 1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon basil
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 bay leaves (DO NOT EAT THESE - REMOVE BEFORE SERVING). Use large ones so you can find them when done.)

Simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, around 30 minutes until the sauce is thick.  I usually cook with a cracked lid so that it can thicken.  REMOVE BAY LEAVES BEFORE SERVING.

To Redo into Seashells or Lasagna
Thaw frozen sauce.  Cook (& salt) your seashell pasta, drain.  Add the sauce over the pasta (in the pasta pot) and heat until heated well. 
Frozen Sauce
Lasagna pasta
Grated cheese of your choice - mozerella
Thaw frozen sauce.  Cook lasagna pasta (remember to salt) while the sauce is thawing.  Layer in a pan (starting with sauce) the sauce, pasta, and then cheese.  Repeat three layers.  We just use mozerella but you could use ricotta or cottage cheese if your family likes that for the in-between layers.  End with a layer of sauce and finally topping with cheese.  Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes until all hot and melted.



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