Freezer Meal Idea – Our Go-To Pasta Meat Sauce

Meal prepping for the week was rarely a thing for my family. Growing up, I’ve watched my mom come home tired from working a full time job, only to see her fire up her wok in the kitchen every evening and prepare most dishes from scratch to give our family a satisfying dinner. Now that I have a family of my own, I find I’m struggling to provide the same experience for them. These days, with a slightly larger wallet than what my parents had and more dining options being available, the idea of bringing home takeout or even dining out is very tempting. I mean, who doesn’t want fewer dishes in the sink at the end of the day? And we just love cooking with our Frigidaire black stainless steel induction cooktop. It’s not only amazingly fast, but it heats evenly, and is a breeze to clean up.

In an effort to be more health conscious and save a few dollars, we’ve started to make our own meat sauce to go with the many kinds of pasta we have in the pantry. Not only do we get to control what goes in to our food, but we can make enough to feed us for days. While I don’t mind eating the same thing consecutively, I’ve learned that the rest of my family does not share the same tolerance. With some healthy freezer space, we portion and freeze any leftover sauce so it doesn’t spoil. When we’re in a pinch to provide a nutritious meal, we’ll take out a freezer bag and within minutes, have homemade pasta sauce! Once your sauce is ready to be portioned, the key is to remove any excess air from your freezer bags, and stack them flat in the freezer so the sauce is evenly distributed. When you take a bag out of the freezer, it’ll be easier to defrost.

We hope you enjoy the recipe, and feel free to share what your go-to freezer meal is in the comments section!

The Pang’s Go-To Pasta Meat Sauce

Servings: 8

Ingredients

1-1 ½ lb ground beef or turkey
Spaghetti, or pasta of your choice
1 large can (900g) of whole tomatoes
½ cup chopped yellow onion
¼ cup chopped carrot
¼ cup chopped red pepper
¼ cup chopped black kale
¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
3 tbsp olive oil
2 diced garlic cloves
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper (optional)
Parmesan cheese, to garnish (optional)
A few sprigs of parsley, chopped, to garnish (optional)

Equipment

1 large pot or Dutch oven (for the sauce)
1 medium to large skillet (for the meat)
1 medium to large pot (for boiling pasta)
1 immersion/hand blender
1 wooden spatula

Instructions

We just love cooking with our Frigidaire black stainless steel induction cooktop. It’s not only amazingly fast, but it heats evenly, and is a breeze to clean up.

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil and half of your chopped onions (reserve the other half for the meat). Add a pinch of salt and sauté over medium-high heat until soft, 5-7 minutes. Add in minced garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato paste and let it cook for a few minutes.

Add tomatoes to the pot. If you want to add all the juice from the can, you can, but it may mean that you’ll have a runnier sauce. I poured about half the amount because I like my sauces a bit thicker. Start crushing the tomatoes with your wooden spatula against the side of the pot. Add in your vegetables (carrot, red pepper, black kale) and seasoning (salt, dried herbs, brown sugar, and parsley). Let it simmer for 20 mins over low-medium heat.

In another pot, bring water to boil, and add pasta. Cook until al dente or to your preference, and drain, about 13 minutes.

While your sauce is simmering and you’re waiting for the water to boil, heat up your skillet and add the rest of your chopped onions and your ground meat. Use your spatula to break up the meat into smaller pieces so it easier to cook through. Cook until browned, and drain the fat.

Once your pasta sauce has simmered, remove from the heat, and use your immersion/hand blender to make your sauce as smooth or as chunky as you like in the pot. If you have family members who like to pick out their vegetables, then I would suggest going with a smoother consistency. Add your meat to your sauce, and serve over your pasta. Season with fresh ground pepper, and garnish with parsley and grated cheese.

We just love cooking with our Frigidaire Black Stainless Steel Induction cooktop! It not only heats up 50% faster than an electric cooktop, it’s beyond easy to clean. It uses intelligent heat that heats your cookware, not your cooktop – so we never have to worry about baked-on spills.

We hope you enjoy the recipe, and feel free to share what your go-to freezer meal is in the comments section!

 

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post by Frigidaire. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

Written by

Human Resources by day, and everything else by night. Documenting our lives as a married couple, one trip or event at a time.

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