After cooking pasta, do you ever end up with just a little leftover marinara sauce, not quite knowing what to do with it? Often times I’m left with some tomato sauce that is too much to toss, but too little to freeze or reuse over pasta for a meal to serve four.
Here are three incredibly easy ideas on what to do with just one cup (or so) of leftover tomato sauce. Of course, it goes without saying that you can prepare a batch of tomato sauce, freeze it in smaller containers and use it on busy weeknights or for a quick weekend lunch, as each of these recipes requires less than 20 minutes preparation and cooking time in total! At least one, if not all three, will become your new favorite!
In Greece, we love orzo! Although this is not the traditional way to cook this type of pasta, it certainly falls into the category of comfort food and it can become a simple and quick dish that you’ll often enjoy!
- In a medium size pot, bring to boil 1 cup (or so) tomato sauce and 2½ cups water.
- Add 1 cup orzo.
- Add salt and pepper, if your sauce is not already too seasoned.
- Add 2 tablespoons olive oil.
- Reduce the heat to medium low and let the orzo simmer, stirring often with a wooden spatula to avoid the pasta from sticking on the bottom of your pot, for about 15 minutes or until cooked al dente. Have some hot water ready in case you need to add more.
- Add a tablespoon of unsalted butter (optional). It will give the pasta a nice shiny coat and a richer taste!
- Turn the heat off, cover the pot with a paper towel, place the lid on top and let sit for about 15 minutes.
- Serve warm with grated Parmegiano Reggiano.
In our family, every time we prepare these small pizzas we always ask each other the same question: Why do we even bother with take-out pizza when we can make at home the best pizza, with the freshest ingredients, enjoy it warm AND for a fraction of the cost? These cuties are so much fun to make as each one of us prepares our own with the ingredients of his/her choice. And they’re extremely delicious, too!
To make them:
- Preheat oven at 400º F
- Arrange 6-8 (7 inch diameter) pita breads on a baking sheet – for those of you living outside the U.S., use Lebanese bread, Arabic pita, or flatbread.
- Spread a spoonful of tomato sauce on top of each pita bread.
- Top with grated cheese. I prefer mozzarella but you can use any kind of yellow cheese, goat cheese or feta cheese.
- Chose from a variety of toppings: tomato, onion, ham, bacon, mushrooms, green peppers, olives – whatever you like!
- Bake for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling.
- Serve immediately!
Unless you’ve visited my hometown of Volos, Greece (and okay, maybe a couple of more places in Greece), you would never be familiar with this egg dish. You may have heard of whole eggs poached in tomato sauce, but certainly not scrambled eggs cooked in tomato sauce.
The recipe is extremely simple:
- In a non-stick skillet, reheat a cup (or so) tomato sauce.
- Crack four to six eggs in the skillet.
- With a wooden spatula, stir well, breaking completely the eggs into tiny pieces.
- Add salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately, later or even tomorrow, cold right out of the refrigerator – yes, it can make a delicious leftover light meal!
- Optional: While the eggs are cooking, you can throw in some more goodies such as feta cheese, sausage or chopped bell peppers.
So, which of these recipes is next on your menu?