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How To Turn 1 Box Of Pasta Into A Week's Worth Of Weeknight Dinners

(Last Updated On: December 21, 2017)

We get that not everybody enjoys cooking. And extra importantly, not everybody feels snug within the kitchen. But if there’s one factor even essentially the most culinary-challenged can grasp, it is following the boiling directions on the again of a bundle of pasta. And for those who can grasp that, nicely then a world of simple dishes is your oyster. Pasta is our go-to consolation meals meal in any and all conditions (busy or not, at a restaurant or cooking at house). One field of the stuff is reasonably priced, customizable, and may even generate sufficient leftovers for every week’s value of simply reheat-able meals.

In order to show that one field of the shelf-stable stuff can stretch into 5, separate, dishes, I did simply that. Starting off Sunday with a pot of easy spaghetti and crimson sauce, I hit the kitchen flooring operating Monday via Friday whipping up 5 quick and scrumptious leftover twists. And it solely took me a couple of additional grocery substances (full procuring listing forward) and nicely underneath an hour of prep and cook dinner time (mixed) for every. So scroll on to see how you can also simply flip Sunday’s sauce into every part from a spaghetti grilled cheese to mini spaghetti soufflés and way more. Hey, it’s possible you’ll even have sufficient leftovers from that one field to feed a roommate or two.

The Dish

For my base dish, I began with easy spaghetti with crimson sauce. Spaghetti shouldn’t be solely an reasonably priced and shelf-stable ingredient to maintain readily available throughout consolation meals season, however it’s additionally simple to raise (as soon as you have mastered the fundamentals). And most significantly, it is a clean canvas for excellent leftovers materials.

Spaghetti With Red Sauce
Makes 1 pot

1 (16 oz.) field of spaghetti
Four-6 massive garlic cloves, smashed and diced
1 tsp crimson pepper flakes
Four-6 tbsp olive oil
2 (28 oz.) cans of crushed tomatoes
1/Four cup crimson wine
1/Three cup raisins
Salt and pepper to style

1. Cook spaghetti in line with bundle directions.

2. Meanwhile, warmth olive oil over medium warmth and sauté garlic and crimson pepper flakes till simply starting to brown. Then add in each cans of crushed tomatoes, crimson wine, and raisins, mixing nicely and bringing to a boil.

Three. Bring the sauce right down to a simmer, cowl and let sit for at the least 30 minutes. Then including in ample quantities of salt and pepper to style earlier than mixing in cooked pasta to the sauce pot. (*Spaghetti and sauce can be saved individually, if most popular and restricted house shouldn’t be a problem.)

Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Buxton.

Leftover Meal 1

Leftover spaghetti often tastes fairly incredible on it is personal — the sauce deepens and sweetens, and maybe too al dente noodles appear to melt a bit. But for those who’re trying to take issues previous a easy reheat, then you definately truly solely want a couple of simple pantry staples to do the trick.

Best Leftover Spaghetti
Serves 2

2-Four cups of spaghetti with crimson sauce
2-Four tbsp olive oil
2-Four tbsp parmesan cheese, shredded
2-Four tbsp panko breadcrumbs
1-2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
1/2 tsp pepper
Flaky sea salt to style

1. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium warmth and add in spaghetti with sauce till reheated and softened (about 5-Eight minutes).

2. Remove from warmth and add in parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, pine nuts, and pepper — tossing to coat fully.

Three. Plate spaghetti and end with a further sprinkle of cheese, pepper, and flaky salt.

Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Buxton.

Leftover Meal 2

Decadent? Yes. Ridiculous? No. A spaghetti grilled cheese could seem to be a novelty mash-up, not a weeknight dinner, however right here us out: it is a fantastically scrumptious manner to make use of up pasta that is a bit previous it is textural prime. Plus, serving it up with a pleasant arugula facet salad provides in an additional splash of sophistication.

Spaghetti Grilled Cheese
Serves 2

1-2 cups of spaghetti with crimson sauce
2-Four slices of sourdough bread
2-Four slices of mozzarella cheese
2-Four tbsp parmesan cheese, shredded
1-2 cups of arugula
1-2 tsp parsley, roughly chopped
1-2 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper to style
Balsamic glaze (*optionally available)

1. Heat butter in a pan over medium warmth and add in 1-2 slices of sourdough bread, layering mozzarella cheese on high of every half.

2. Meanwhile, re-heat spaghetti with crimson sauce both in microwave or on a separate stovetop pan — as soon as heated, add on high of mozzarella coated bitter dough slices. Then sprinkle with parmesan cheese and sandwich off with one other slice of sourdough.

Three. Cover pan with lid to assist cheese melting course of. Once backside half of bread has browned and mozz has begun to soften (Three-5 minutes), rigorously flip sandwich over including in additional butter if essential.

Four. Once either side have browned and cheese has melted, take away the sandwich, slice and plate with facet of arugula. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, chopped parsley, and serve with a balsamic glaze.

Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Buxton.

Leftover Meal Three

Another simple option to costume up these spaghetti leftovers is by repurposing them into one other pasta dish completely. This baked spaghetti lasagna provides extra taste and texture with layers of creamy ricotta, mozzarella, and sautéed floor beef.

Spaghetti Lasagna Bake
Serves Four

Four tbsp olive oil
2-Four cups of spaghetti with crimson sauce
1/Four cup ricotta cheese
Four-6 slices of mozzarella cheese
1/Three cup of floor beef, sautéed
Four tbsp parmesan cheese, shredded
2 tsp parsley, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to tase

1. Preheat oven to 375 ° — in the meantime, warmth oil in a pan over medium-high warmth and sauté floor beef till simply browned.

2. In an oven-safe bake dish, layer spaghetti, ricotta, mozzarella, after which high off with browned beef, parmesan cheese, and chopped parsley. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in preheated oven till cheese has melted and begun to bubble (about Eight-10 minutes).

Three. Remove, let cool barely, and function you’ll a lasagna!

Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Buxton.

Leftover Meal Four

Part spaghetti pie, half muffin-tin soufflé — mini spaghetti soufflés are as simple as including slightly ricotta and egg to your already made pasta and popping it in a muffin tin to bake.

Mini Spaghetti Soufflés
Serves Three

2-Four cups of spaghetti with crimson sauce
2-Three eggs
1/Three cup ricotta
2-Four slices of mozzarella
2-Four tsp parmesan cheese, shredded
2 tsp parsley, roughly chopped
2-Four cups of arugula
Salt and pepper to style
Balsamic glaze (*optionally available)

1. Preheat oven to 350 °.

2. Meanwhile, whisk ricotta and eggs into bowl till nicely mixed. Then add in spaghetti, tossing to coat nicely. Twirl spaghetti combination on a fork and set into muffin tin, topping with any further liquid from the ricotta-egg combination.

Three. Top spaghetti stuffed muffin-tin with slices of mozzarella, sprinkles of parmesan, parsley, and extra salt and pepper to style.

Four. Place tin in oven for 10-20 minutes (or till firmly set and cheese has melted and bubbled). Remove from oven, let cool, after which serve atop a mattress of arugula with balsamic glaze.

Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Buxton.

Leftover Meal 5

For the ultimate meal, I needed to make use of up any and all leftover substances from the preliminary pot of pasta to the repurposed recipes, so I threw every part collectively for a soup scenario. Adding in rooster or beef inventory, together with slightly extra crimson wine, the remaining floor beef, parsley, and ample quantities of cheese made for a savory ultimate present.

Spaghetti Soup
Serves 2-Four

All remaining spaghetti with crimson sauce
All remaining floor beef from earlier recipes
2-Four cups of rooster/beef inventory (relying upon quantity of pasta left)
1/2 cup crimson wine
1/Four cup parsley, roughly chopped
1/Four cup parmesan cheese
2-Four tbsp of ricotta cheese (for serving)
Salt and pepper to style
1-2 slices of sourdough bread (*optionally available)

1. Place your pot with all remaining spaghetti and crimson sauce on the range and convey to a medium-high warmth, including in rooster/beef inventory, crimson wine, and all remaining floor beef till simply beginning to boil.

2. Bring right down to a low simmer and blend in parsley and parmesan cheese — take away from warmth and serve into bowls topped with dollops of ricotta and salt and pepper to style (*with a facet of toasted bitter dough, if desired).

Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Buxton.

The Shopping List

Spaghetti With Red Sauce & Repurposed Dishes (assuming you have already got olive oil and salt & pepper)

1. Parsley
2. Garlic
Three. Arugula

1. Spaghetti
2. Can of crushed tomatoes (2)
Three. Sourdough bread
Four. Beef/rooster broth
6. Raisins
7. Red wine
Eight. Red pepper flakes
9. Pine nuts
10. Balsamic glaze

1. Eggs
2. Ricotta
Three. Mozzarella
Four. Parmesan
5. Ground beef

Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Buxton.

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