Easy to freeze: Bolognese Sauce

As I (and several others of you) have mentioned, it seems like good practice to have a few meals stashed away in the freezer for times when it isn’t easy to cook. Like right around when you are squeezing out a fresh baby.

Easy to freeze: Bolognese Sauce

Photo: “Suppertime!”

I have a couple of favorite freeze-able recipes. Cashew Chicken Curry is always a winner, and it’s really easy in the crock pot. I am still working out the kinks with some Martha Stewart broccoli calzones , but I like the idea of baking them from frozen. (I think they might be better with more cheese, or perhaps with some tomato sauce inside the calzone. And they are somewhat labor intensive, so I think next time I’ll make the filling one day, then stuff and freeze them the next day.)

Perhaps some others of you might like to offer one of your patented freeze-able recipes? I’ll start the offerings with another of our favorites, Bolognese Sauce — and we’ll see what else is cooking in some of your homes!

Bolognese Sauce

2-4 garlic cloves, peeled and pressed
3 T olive oil
1 lb mixed ground beef & pork
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1 16-oz can tomato sauce
1.5 cups white wine
1/4 t sugar
salt
pepper
italian seasonings (oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme)

Heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté garlic for about one minute. Add meat and cook until browned; drain grease. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and wine. Simmer about 20 minutes to reduce liquid and thicken. Finish by seasoning to taste with sugar, salt, pepper, and italian seasonings. Simmer for a few more minutes so the flavors blend. Serve over hot pasta, topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Crusty bread and a salad make a meal! Recipe doubles easily.

9 Replies to “Easy to freeze: Bolognese Sauce”

  1. Never ever did I get myself organized enough to cook and freeze meals before the babies came. It was always on my list, but in the end I always seemed more consumed with tearing ancient wallpaper off another room while I was hugely pregnant. Good for you! When’s the due date again?

  2. Here are two super easy recipes:
    Meatloaf
    Just make up your meatloaf, put it in the pan, and instead of putting it in the oven, throw it in the freezer. You could use ground turkey instead of ground beef for a lighter version.

    Mexican meatloaf (this was a fav in my house)
    Start with ground beef or ground turkey. Add a can of enchilada sauce (or spicy tomato sauce, we tend to have this really cheap at our Mexican grocery store). Add chopped onion, chopped green pepper, 1 egg and some shredded cheese. You could also add corn, I didn’t or hubby wouldn’t touch it. Then put in a pan and right into the freezer.

    On both of these I just used my bread pans, but you could also pick up a few of the aluminum “disposable” pans so that your bread pans are still available.

    I have more, but I’ll stop there for now. Actually I just posted a bit about freezing recipes on my blog. The title is “Quick, but at what price.”

  3. If you don’t want to buy disposable pans, you can also line your pan with aluminum foil and then saran wrap on top of that, make the meatloaf (or whatever), wrap it tightly in saran wrap and then foil and freeze it in the pan. Once frozen, remove it from the pan and leave it wrapped in the freezer. When you put it in the fridge to defrost, put it back in the pan so it doesn’t drip on anything. You can also use this method to freeze lasagna or any other casserole. For soups and sauces, I just use gallon freezer bags.

  4. Here are a couple of our favorite easy recipes:

    Chicken Cacciatore – I really like this one because it’s super easy to make and you don’t have to defrost it before cooking it.

    2 medium onions, sliced thin
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    15 oz can diced tomatoes
    8 oz can tomato sauce
    1/4 tsp. pepper
    2 t. oregano
    1/2 t. basil
    1/2 t. celery seed
    1 bay leaf
    1/4 cup white wine
    6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I use frozen breasts)

    Mix together all ingredients except chicken. Put in gallon freezer bag with chicken. Freeze. To serve, place in Crock-Pot (no need to thaw first) and cook on low 6-8 hours or high 2 1/2 – 4 hours. Serve over pasta.

    Easy Spinach Lasagna – there’s a more complicated version of this recipe where you make your own sauce. It does taste better, but this is much easier (and still yummy!). You can either assemble it in disposable pans or use foil and saran wrap as I described in my previous post. I split this into two 8 × 8 size pans instead of one 9 × 13.

    1 4lb can prego spaghetti sauce
    1 T. olive oil
    1 egg
    1 – 10oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
    1 cup ricotta cheese
    1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    8 oz lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
    1 lb. mozzarella cheese, grated

    Mix egg, spinach, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese and oil. To assemble, pour half of sauce into 9×13 baking dish. Cover with half of lasagna noodles. Spread entire spinach mixture over lasagna noodles. Sprinkle with half of mozzarella cheese. Repeat, layering with remaining lasagna, then sauce, and ending with remainder of mozzarella cheese. Cool completely. Freeze.

    To serve: Thaw completely in fridge. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

  5. Okay, ann’s awsome friends….keep them coming, I am getting a great menu and plus Brian’s mom is planning on coming down for a week or so around the EDB so I need a lot of stuff for her to make so I don’t go crazy!

  6. yum! thanks Ann and company! Here is one of our faves:

    French toast casserole
    we eat it for supper but I’m sure it would be great for breakfast too:

    1 c brown sugar
    1/2 c melted butter or margarine
    3 tsp cinnamon
    3 tart apples – peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
    1 c cranberries (coarsely chopped) – I stick them frozen in the blender
    1 loaf Italian or French bread, cut into 1” slices
    (usually I use bread heels from our regular loaves of
    store-bought bread, and reduce milk to 3/4 cup)
    6 large eggs
    1 1/2 c milk
    1 T vanilla

    Combine brown sugar, melted butter and 1 tsp cinnamon in 9×13” or larger baking dish. Add apples and cranberries; toss to coat well. Spread evenly over bottom of baking dish. Arrange bread slices on top.

    Mix eggs, milk, vanilla and 2 tsp cinnamon until well blended, Pour over bread, soaking completely. Cover and refrigerate 4 to 24 hours – or freeze!

    Thaw before cooking. Preheat oven to 375°. Bake, covered with aluminum foil, 40 minutes. Uncover and bake 5 minutes or until crispy on top. Serve warm.

    Variation 1: replace the cranberries with chopped pecans, use half the brown sugar, and use 1/2 cup maple syrup or pancake syrup in place of some of the milk.

    Variation 2: replace cranberries and apples with one can drained pineapple and 2 bananas sliced thin. Use pineapple juice in place of some or all of the milk. Top bread with shredded sweetened coconut.

  7. another fave of ours:

    Bean and Rice Burritos

    2 cups cooked rice, any kind
    1 can black beans (about 15 oz)
    1 onion minced (optional)
    1/4 tsp cumin
    1/4 tsp taco seasoning, or to taste
    1 pkg large flour tortillas (reg or whole wheat) – you’ll use 6-8.
    1 jar salsa, any kind (about 16 oz)
    cheddar cheese or burrito sauce for topping

    Pour salsa in bottom of 9×13 to 10×15 pan. Mix beans, rice, and spices; spoon about 1/2 cup into each tortilla and roll. Place burritos on top of salsa. Top with cheddar cheese. (Cover and freeze if desired; thaw before baking.) Cover loosely with foil, bake 30-45 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove foil and brown cheese if desired. Add burrito sauce if desired.

    Variation: replace half or all of beans and rice with cooked ground beef, using same spices. We have one bean-hater in our family, so I make some plain ground-beef ones and then mix the rest of the ground beef with the beans and rice.

  8. I’m not much into freezer cooking, but it looks like I should be! I can’t wait to try some of these recipes. Here’s one that I’ve frozen in the past:

    ZUPPA DI CECI (GARBANZO BEAN SOUP)

    2 (16oz) cans garbanzo beans, drained
    1 (160z) can diced tomatoes
    2 – 6 carrots, chopped
    1 – 2 onions, chopped
    2 – 6 stalks of celery, chopped
    6 – 10 slices of pepperoni, chopped, or a teaspoon of red pepper flakes
    3 – 5 cups broth, chicken or vegetable, enough to mostly cover other ingredients in the pot
    salt, pepper, garlic, other spices to taste, if desired
    (all of these amounts can be varied to taste)

    Cook in slow cooker at least 4 hours on HIGH or 8 hours on LOW. Scoop 2 – 4 cups soup into blender and blend until smooth. Pour back into soup. Stir and serve. (Original recipe from an Italian cooking magazine that calls for placing stale bread in bottom of each soup bowl, then serving!)

    Keri

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