Spaghetti was always a go-to meal when we needed something quick, easy, and inexpensive. Everyone loved it, and if our oldest was home, he was in charge. Long-simmering sauce, meatballs, and that perfect pot of noodles.
We make our own meatballs from either lean Bison or poultry, and use whole wheat pasta. So why not extend the party, to lunch on the next day?
This time, we made a pot of red sauce, thinned it with both chicken and beef stock for a more complex flavor, snapped our pasta into thirds, made tiny chicken meatballs that were roasted in the oven first, and the result was nine pints of soup for the freezer, plus two fresh meals for us. Yum!
- 1 cup low-sodium tomato puree
- 2 cups fresh beefsteak tomatoes
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 4 Tbsp fresh oregano or 2 Tbsp dried oregano
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 cups no-salt added chicken broth
- 4 cups no-salt added beef broth
- 1 lb ground lean chicken
- ½ cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 8 ounces whole wheat linguini
- Preheat oven to 400º.
- In a non-reactive saucepan, combine onions and garlic with olive oil over medium heat. Sauté until onions are translucent.
- Add tomatoes and oregano. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for up to 60 minutes.
- While still simmering, use a potato masher to break up some of the tomato pieces into smaller pieces.
- Meanwhile, make the meatballs. Combine 2 tsp oregano, garlic powder, lemon zest and ground chicken in a bowl and mix well. Form into very small meatballs, about ½” in diameter. Place on a parchment-lined sheet pan and bake for 15 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165º.
- In a separate pot, cook pasta per directions on package, then drain, but reserve 1C pasta water. Add water, meatballs and cooked pasta to the soup pot 10 minutes before serving soup, to bring everything to the same temperature.
- When freezing soup, place 4-5 meatballs in each jar, with an approximately equal ratio of noodles to soup broth.