Spaghetti sauce: fully loaded

Danielle Petruzzelli/Staff

Cooking in college for your first time can either be exciting or terrifying. It is wonderful to get to cook exactly what you want, how you want it, without needing to consider other people’s preferences. But this can be also terrifying for many students who have never bought their own groceries before, let alone tried to cook without the microwave. Add a lack of time and money into the equation, and suddenly the whole process can be so overwhelming that you turn to overpriced, underspiced dining hall food. But fear not! We at the Daily Clog personally know how to cook in such a way that you will still have money left to buy textbooks as well as time to study them. All it takes is a bit of planning ahead.

Premade microwave meals from the grocery store may have convenience on their side, but they usually also force you either to compromise on nutritional value or go over your budget. If you make meals for yourself in bulk at the start of the week, you can control for both of these factors while still being able to heat up your dinner in minutes. One such easy meal is spaghetti, but we’re not talking about not your regular spaghetti noodles and whatever premade marinara sauce was cheapest at the store. Homemade sauces taste better and leave you much more satisfied than premade sauce from a jar.

First pick out the ingredients you want to go in your sauce. These are good to start with:

2 small zucchini, sliced and quartered*
1 dozen large crimini mushrooms, sliced*
1 pound ground turkey
½ large yellow onion, sliced*
2 tablespoons minced garlic*
6 8-ounce cans of tomato sauce**
3 8-ounce cans of tomato paste**
1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 8-ounce can of pitted black olives
1/2 tablespoon of each spice: oregano, thyme, basil and rosemary (or use Italian seasonings)
Salt and pepper to taste

*Currently in season and available at the Berkeley Farmers’ Market on Center and Milvia streets Saturday mornings
** If you do not own spices, use two to three jars of your favorite premade marinara sauce instead

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Danielle Petruzzelli/Staff


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Start by sauteing your meat in a large pan — no need to add oil.

Danielle Petruzelli/Staff

Danielle Petruzzelli/Staff

Once the meat is cooked through, separate it as best you can from the oil and put it in a very large pot. Save the fat to cook your other ingredients in. The fat adds flavor, but if you are especially health-conscious or do not eat meat, you can saute your other ingredients using olive oil instead. Next, saute your zucchini and onions until they are slightly tender. Add mushrooms and minced garlic at this point. Once all of your ingredients are cooked, add them into your large pot with the tomato sauce, paste, diced tomatoes and spices.

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Danielle Petruzzelli/Staff

Simmer on low, stirring occasionally. The longer you simmer everything together, the more flavorful your sauce will be. The trade-off is that the longer they sit, the softer your veggies and meat will become. We at the Clog let our sauce simmer for one hour. But if you want to mix everything together, just wait for it to come to a boil, and immediately take it off the stove. We promise that nothing bad will happen. Remember to taste the sauce and to add more spices as you go. If something tastes off, but you can’t figure out what, try adding more salt and oregano.

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Danielle Petruzzelli/Staff

Extras:

  • For the spice lovers, add red chili pepper flakes or Tabasco sauce to taste.
  • For those 21 and older, try adding red wine. No need to buy cooking wine — just add a dash of whatever you have on hand.

Remove your sauce from the stove, and let it cool. Now it is ready to be bagged. Placing a baggie in a glass with the edges over the rim helps to avoid a mess. Ladle in as much sauce as you would eat normally, most likely two to four ladlefuls.

Danielle Petruzzelli/Staff

Danielle Petruzzelli/Staff

Freeze and you’ll have easy, healthy premade dinners ready!

Here’s the condensed version for your convenience:

Ingredients
2 small zucchini, sliced and quartered
1 dozen large crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 pound of ground turkey
½ large yellow onion, sliced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
6 15-ounce cans of tomato sauce
3 8-ounce cans of tomato paste
1 30-ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 8-ounce can of pitted black olives
1/2 tablespoons of each spice: oregano, thyme, basil and rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Start by sauteing your meat in a large pan. Once the meat is cooked through, separate it from the oil and put it in a very large pot. Save the fat to cook your other ingredients in. You can saute your other ingredients with olive oil if you do not eat meat or want to cut a few calories. Next, saute your zucchini and onions until they are slightly tender. Add mushrooms and minced garlic at this point. Once all of your ingredients are cooked, add them into your large pot with the tomato sauce, paste, diced tomatoes and spices. Simmer on low for one hour, stirring occasionally. Add more herbs, salt and pepper to taste as you go. Remove from stove and cool. To bag, scoop two to four ladlefuls into each bag and freeze.

Makes 15 to 20 bags of sauce.