Top 10 Dinners: #1 Pasta & Meat Sauce

Pasta & Meat Sauce is one of our favorite family meals. It can be as easy as cooking up some hamburg, adding a jar of your favorite sauce and serving it over your favorite pasta. But what happens when you are snowed in, the store doesn’t have the things you need, or you are experiencing a financial crisis that limits the amount you can spend on prepared foods or what you have access to? In an ideal situation, I would like to be able to reach in the cupboard and have what I need on hand because we have grown, canned or stored it in our pantry.

In an effort to continue eating healthier, with a goal of having the ingredients for our favorite meals in our pantry at all times and with future plans of having a year worth of meals stored – this recipe is currently in an intermediate state. We do not have our tomato sauce canned, but we do have an organic tomato sauce as well as grass-fed beef from the grocery store. We also use two types of pasta – wheat and gluten-free (usually we have plenty of pastas on hand). We used a pint of carrots we grew and canned last summer. Yay! =)


Dinner #1

There are some nuances to cooking on a wood stove – before I start chopping the onions and peppers – I put the two pasta pots on to start heating. They are on the right side away from the hottest part of the stove, because it will take awhile to cook the veggies, hamburg and tomatoes into a sauce.


I chop up the onion and tomato into some olive oil and add a garlic mash. (this is a locally made garlic and hot pepper mash) Cook the veggies until they are soft. I also add oregano, salt and pepper.


Add the hamburg, break it up and cook until it is brown.  Then I add a pint of carrots we canned.  Next add two cans of tomatoes – 2 quarts if using canning jars and let it all simmer together. Once everything is simmering, I move the sauce to the right side of the stove and the pasta pots to the left so they are over the heat and will start to boil.

Cook the pasta as directed and serve.

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To make this meal out of our pantry, we will need to store two quart jars of canned tomatoes, 1 lb. frozen grass fed beef, 1 pint of canned carrots, onion, garlic, pepper (stored or dried), the pastas and seasonings.

One of the best things about this recipe is that it can easily be changed to a chili dish by adding a can of beans, some chili powder and cumin and serving over rice. Once the basic ingredients are in your pantry, the rest is in the seasoning and in your creativity! =)