By Brittany Slawon Vice President & Co-Founder, The Milspo Project
To be honest, many different kinds of meals can be frozen and defrosted later. One of my favorites is pasta. I know, I know, sounds silly freezing pasta, and pasta is such a simple dish, but let me convince you.
You see, pasta sauce can be homemade or store bought, and that is where pasta gets its life. I usually prefer creating a fusion of the two, homemade and store bought combined, but whatever is easier for you can be used.
I loooove using lots of veggies in my sauce with chicken instead of ground meat. It is best to let your sauce cook all day, but once again, it can all be adjusted depending on how much time or ingredients you have.
Let’s get started!
Here are the basic ingredients I use for my sauce. Each of these can be adjusted according to your likes/dislikes and how much you need to make. If you are cooking for two, you will keep these ingredients to a minimum because once they are all together in a pot, they will be plenty for two people.
Today, this is what I found in my pantry and refrigerator:
- Green pepper
- Dry White wine
- Crushed tomatoes (canned)
- Italian seasoning (oregano, basil, parsley, etc.)
- Fresh Basil
- Cream (optional)
- Traditional Prego
You can also add any or all of these:
- Fresh tomatoes
- Fresh parsley
- Yellow or red peppers
Each of these vegetable can be as finely chopped as you prefer. I don’t like big chunks of veggies in my pasta so I finely chop all of the veggies, especially strongly flavored veggies like garlic and onion.
The first step is to grab a glass of wine (or your beverage of choice), put on some music, and use this time to relax and create. Food never turns out if you don’t have love and care in it.
Okay, now that that’s out of the way, we can get down to business.
The next step is to get your pot (I use a dutch oven) and get 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive warming over a medium high heat.
Add your raw vegetables to the oil and allow to cook for twenty minutes. Make sure you stir occasionally so the vegetables don’t stick and add olive oil as needed to prevent sticking as well.
After the twenty minutes, cover and reduce heat to medium low. This step is where the vegetables break down and start melding together.
I am cooking my sauce for a few hours (the longer the better for the flavors to come together).
TIP: if you maintain a clean cooking area while you are cleaning, it is way less hassle at the end
After a half hour of simmering with the lid on, the vegetable will be soft and reduced.
Add your crushed tomatoes (I used a large can). Cover again and reduce heat a notch.
After another half hour (don’t forget to check frequently by stirring!), add your chicken. I used boneless skinless breasts. You can omit the meat if you prefer.
Also add your wine (1 cup for me) and 1/3 cup sugar. At this stage I also added red pepper flakes to infuse some spice into my sauce. Cover again, and continue to cook on low heat.
Note: In this recipe, the use of crushed tomatoes substitutes the use for premade pasta sauce. If you’re cooking and there is just not enough sauce and too many vegetables, that’s when I throw in some Prego.
Once your pasta sauce has cooked for another 15 minutes or so on low, it is ready.
You can boil your pasta noodles whenever suits you. For this recipe, I normally combine the cooked noodles and sauce and then freeze the leftovers in single serving Tupperware so that I can take it for lunch or eat it for dinner when I am by myself. You can also just make and freeze the sauce and then defrost while you boil your pasta noodles if you don’t like your pasta noodles being really soft from the defrosting process.