I’m determined to use up (and discover!) what’s in my freezer and pantry this month. So when the store I went to didn’t have any deals on spaghetti sauce, I decided to make a batch of my favorite homemade sauce using the canned tomatoes I had in the pantry.
And then wondered why I hadn’t done that in a very long time.
This recipe is based on Emeril’s meat sauce that was part of his lasagna recipe that I used. Pre-kids. Back when I watched cooking shows all the time and spent my weekends trying new recipes, regardless of how time-consuming they were.
I’ve changed it up some over the years. I make it without the meat and use it as a general marinara sauce, just adding pre-cooked ground beef when needed. The recipe makes enough for two meals, and I freeze the second portion.
2 28 oz cans of tomatoes (You can use diced or whole, depending on what’s in the pantry. Just cut up the whole ones into smaller pieces.)
A sprinkling of dried onion
A sprinkling of celery salt
2 tbsp chopped garlic (LOVE the new squeeze bottles!)
1 small can tomato paste
4 cups beef stock
A sprinkling of thyme
2 bay leaves
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil
I used to follow Emeril’s rather complicated directions, but now I dump all of these ingredients together, and then let it simmer for about two hours. 20-30 minutes before we eat, I remove the bay leaves and then use my hand-held blender to blend it into a sauce. It’s important to remove the bay leaves before you blend, as I vaguely remember learning on one of those cooking shows that they can actually cut your mouth, as they are very sharp.
And now for my freezer-and-pantry-purging menu plan for the week:
Monday – Jambalaya (I found sausage hiding in the back of the freezer!)
Tuesday – Taco Soup
Wednesday – Beef Stroganoff
Thursday – Chicken Parmesan Casserole (Crazy-awesome recipe here!)
Friday – Out to Eat
Saturday – Homemade Pizza
The Amazon link for the blender is my affiliate link. And while I’m disclosing anyway, be sure to see if Zaycon foods has an event coming near you. The Dallas area is getting chicken again and also bacon. I’ve been very pleased with the chicken we purchased through them, and am considering getting the bacon this time. Mmmm. Bacon.
I am so sorry to say that it seems Zaycon has gone out of business. I say “seems” because the information I’ve seen says they’ve “suspended” operations and I don’t fully understand what is happening. I’m so so sad about this since this will change how our family keeps our freezer stocked with meat. We’ve been ordering almost all of our chicken, bacon, and shrimp for them for more than five years. If you had ordered recently, I recommend that you call your credit card company or bank (for debit cards) to see what can be done. I’ve heard many people have had success doing this.
I’ll link this up to Menu Plan Monday at Orgjunkie.com, and the Pantry Challenge at Good Cheap Eats.
yum! great week!