Now…what to do with leftovers of Adrian’s tomato sauce
I mentioned in the previous post the versatility of the tomato sauce…I will now offer a few suggestions regarding what to do with the leftover sauce, especially if you do not have enough for another pasta dinner. Really, just use your imagination!
1. Freeze it – it does quite nicely in the freezer and can be added to any future batches or in any of the recipes below, at a future time.
2. Make Ratatouille – in a frying pan, saute a couple of sliced (1/4″ thick slices) zucchini, a chopped onion and some garlic (of course) in a bit of olive oil, add a cup or so of leftover sauce, along with 2-3 tbsp. tomato paste (try to find tomato paste in a tube – at delis – much more convenient than cans). Stir well to combine and put into a greased shallow casserole dish. Top with a mixture of a handful of grated cheese (parmesan, fontina, gruyere are all good), mixed with a few breadcrumbs, some chopped garlic (you can never have too much taka-taka) and freshly ground pepper, and bake in 375 oven until cheese is bubbly and crumbs are browned. You just need to heat it through, it does not need cooking. Nice as a main course with rice, or on the side with BBQ and new potatoes.
3. Add to broth to make a Minestrone-style soup – in a large pot, fry onion and garlic in olive oil, and any other vegetables (or meat, for that matter) you want in your soup. Add a box of vegetable or meat broth (or your own homemade broth) – about a liter. Add a cup, more or less, of the leftover sauce. Stir until blended. If soup is not “soupy” enough, add some more broth. Correct seasoning by adding a bit more salt and pepper, basil, oregano and/or tabasco sauce until it tastes good. You can add chopped cooked meat at this point, or 1/4 cup barley or rice, or pasta…or not. Let it simmer for an hour or so. Serve with plenty of garlic bread (is there any other kind?).
4. Use as a base for Chili – again, fry a chopped onion, green pepper and garlic in olive oil. Add chopped or ground meat (if using) of your choice. Cook until meat browns. Add 2-3 tbsp. chili powder and 1 tsp. ground cumin to taste (in a pinch you can use a bit of curry powder instead of cumin!). Add 1-2 cups of leftover tomato sauce, and 1 or two cans beans (I find it tastes good with all different kinds of beans, not just the traditional kidney beans). Adjust seasonings – you might find adding a bit more oregano makes it even better. If you want it hotter, add tabasco sauce to taste. Serve (over rice or plain) with plenty of grated cheese, sour cream and/or chopped green onions sprinkled on top. Maybe a bit of take-taka if you are feeling adventurous.
5. Bake it! For those times when you have a couple of cups of sauce left over, no pasta (or have some left over, but not enough for the sauce) and still have pasta cravings! If you don’t have leftover pasta, cook some more – but a little less than you would use if you were going to serve it on top of the pasta – for example, if you have enough sauce for four servings, cook pasta for three servings, etc. Combine sauce and pasta in large mixing bowl. The pasta is going to absorb some of the moisture of the sauce when you mix it, so you want it to be fairly “wet” – you can add a bit of tomato juice, wine or other liquid to this if it is “dry” looking. Don’t make it sloppily wet, though. Grate 2-3 cups of cheese, cheddar is good, mozzarella, asiago, fontina, or any mixture. Mix sauce, cooked pasta and cheese together, season with lots of freshly ground pepper and a bit of salt. Place in greased casserole and top with breadcrumbs and cheese mixed together with freshly ground pepper and chopped garlic. Bake in medium oven until heated through.
6. Use it in lasagna! Use your favourite recipe.
7. If you have some pesto(s)and other goodies hanging around, try using leftover pasta and sauce in my Top Chef-inspired Leftover pasta recipe:
So, you can see that a little sauce can go a long way…have fun experimenting 🙂