5 Freezable Meals That Will Save You Time

pasta

If your days routinely involve play dates and babyproofing and evenings consist of wrangling an infant into pajamas, elaborate meals probably aren’t high on your priority list. Luckily, you can make big batches of these hearty favorites that will please the whole family, and last up to six months.

Here’s a classic choice: rigatoni with meatballs. Make a big batch of meatballs and sauce, and put it in a freezer bag. Squeeze out any extra air before sealing. If using a container instead, you’ll need a little space between the lid and the sauce — and cover the top of the container with plastic or cling wrap before putting on the lid to prevent freezer burn. When you’re ready to eat, just heat up the sauce and meatballs in a saucepan, and cook the pasta according to the directions; then combine. It will keep for six months.

Makes: 4 servings
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour

Ingredients:
11 ounces ground meat
1 sprig chopped flat leaf parsley
1/2 garlic clove, chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
all-purpose flour, for dusting
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 sprig chopped small fresh rosemary
1 3/4 cups bottle strained tomatoes
12 ounces rigatoni
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

Preparation:
Combine the ground meat, parsley, and garlic in a bowl, then stir in the egg and season with salt and pepper. Shape the mixture into small meatballs, dust with flour, and set aside. Heat the oil in a pan, add the onion, celery, carrot, and rosemary and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Then add the meatballs, and increase the heat to medium. Cook until the meatballs are lightly browned all over, add the bottle strained tomatoes and season with salt. Lower the heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 40 minutes. Cook the rigatoni in a large pan of salted boiling water until al dente, then drain, and tip into the pan with the meatballs. Mix well and heat through for 2 minutes. Transfer to a warm serving dish and sprinkle with the parmesan.

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