Saturday Thoughts...Eliminating Some Items from Your Pantry

We decided we wanted tomato soup on a chilly Saturday…and as I picked out the ingredients from my pantry, I thought about the fact that most people would be looking for canned condensed tomato soup, but I use my recipe for Old Fashioned Tomato Soup that calls for simply canned tomatoes…either home canned or purchased.
I also use home canned or purchased canned tomatoes for spaghetti sauce in a simple one-pan recipe, eliminating the need to store purchased Spaghetti Sauce either.  The one-pan recipe does just that…uses just one pot and cooks in the time you would cook spaghetti anyway.  Our son was stationed in Italy when his submarine was assigned to the Mediterranean and he says the Italians always stir their sauce into their pasta before serving, not on top like many Americans do; this recipe is more like the Italian version.
We already use canned tomatoes for chili, other soups and casseroles so we always store it.  This goes along with the idea of taking a basic ingredient and learning everything you can make with it.  Just think about it…cheaper, and eliminating 2 products you store…simply store more canned plain or stewed tomatoes and eliminate the need for Condensed Tomato Soup and Canned Spaghetti Sauce.  Less to keep track of and organize.
 Here are the recipes we use:
Old Fashioned Tomato Soup
Old Fashioned Tomato Soup
  14 ½    ounces  Canned Diced Tomatoes -- undrained
     ½       teaspoon  Baking Soda
     ¼       teaspoon  Garlic Salt
              Salt and Pepper -- to taste
  1          Quart  Milk  
  2          tablespoons  Butter
              Fresh Parsley -- minced
In a large saucepan, bring tomatoes to a boil.  Add baking soda, garlic salt, salt and pepper.  Reduce heat; add the milk and butter.  Heat through, but do not boil.
1 pint of home canned or freshly stewed tomatoes with liquid can be substituted for the purchased canned tomatoes.
6 Servings
Yield:  "1 ½ quarts"
One Pan Spaghetti
                            One Pan Spaghetti
     1/2      pound  Ground Beef, Extra Lean
  1             small  onion -- chopped
  14 1/2   ounces  diced tomatoes -- (or 1 pint) undrained
    1/3      cup  chopped green pepper
1/2   - 2/3     Cup  water  or tomato juice
     1/2     teaspoon  salt
     1/2     teaspoon minced garlic (optional)
     1/2     teaspoon  Italian Seasoning
  4            ounces  Spaghetti -- uncooked
  4            tablespoons  shredded cheddar cheese -- or mozzarella
In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the tomatoes, green pepper, ½ cup water, salt, garlic, Italian seasoning and spaghetti.
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until spaghetti is tender, stirring frequently and adding remaining water if necessary.
Sprinkle with cheese; cover and heat until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.


  1. An interesting method, cooking the dry pasta with the sauce. I intend to try that as I prefer my pasta well cooked as opposed to al dente. I also will try the tomato soup as I have found that my previous attempts were acidic and that baking soda may be just the ticket to mellow it out. I always have a plentiful supply of home canned tomatoes; I love a big nose full of aroma when I open a jar. That sweet goodness smell. Such good tips. Thank you.

  2. I bet your soup tastes so much better than in a can.
    I like the idea of mixing the pasta in the sauce. That's the way a lot of pot lucks do it.

  3. Cooking the pasta in the sauce saves pans, time and money with this recipe.


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