New Mom Tip #2: A Well-Stocked Pantry

October 8, 2009 | By | Comments (5)

Spaghetti-meat-ck-665395-lMy husband and I just spent our first weekend away from the baby. After a few tears, we enjoyed some much-needed rest and relaxation due after our first three months of parenting.

We got back fairly early on Sunday night, but with much catch-up on baby/laundry/dogs, etc…I had zero time to head to the grocery store for meal planning. Thank goodness for a well-stocked pantry (and freezer and fridge)! 

My husband's go-to meal is spaghetti (I think he could eat it every night and never tire of it), so I always keep marinara sauce and pasta in the pantry, ground beef or ground turkey in the freezer, and an onion and freshly grated Parm-Reggiano in the fridge. It also helps that I have a basil plant in a pot on my patio.

That's all it takes for a simple home-cooked meal:

4-Step Spaghetti:

1. Brown 1 cup chopped onion in 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet.

2. Add 1 pound thawed ground beef/turkey; cook 6 minutes, stirring to crumble, until lightly browned. 

3. Add 1/2 jar marinara sauce; simmer 5 minutes or until heated through. (Stir in 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, if desired).

4. Serve over pasta (any shape) cooked according to package directions. Garnish with freshly chopped basil and freshly grated Parm-Reg.

With the pantry always stocked, I know I have a quick, healthful meal my family will love. You all have a go-to meal that your family could eat 10 times over. Please leave it in your comments below so that we can all learn something new.

P.S. The chili from last week was delicious and I know we'll be able to enjoy it again and again. I froze 2-person portions into zip-top bags so that I can take out only as much as we need next time we eat it.


  1. Hebden Bridge Estate Agents

    Yeah, I have had pasta pucks in the freezer too. Just the sauce ready to go, and I have defaulted to that over the years when unexpected guests come over too.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:13 am
  2. grüner tee

    Delicious recipe! Thanks for sharing such nice recipe with its ingredients. You gave the tips very well so every one can easily understand it. I would like to make it.
    Thanks for this great site. I will visit it again. Hope you will back here with new one tasty recipe. I will wait for it.

    November 6, 2009 at 1:00 am
  3. Jackiebw

    Spaghetti was my go to dish when our daughters were young, but now we always have the ingredients for linguine with white clam sauce on hand to make a quick and delicious dinner. I also have a bag full of little “pesto pucks” in my freezer along with pre-cooked Italian sausage links. Dinner’s ready in the time it takes to cook the pasta.

    October 26, 2009 at 9:20 am
  4. Dianesally

    I tried the recipe and it turned out real good.

    October 11, 2009 at 5:53 am
  5. Krikri

    Spaghetti makes a great quick meal. I see your recipe is very veggie and highly flavored (basil). Simple meals ideas like this can save a lot of time.

    October 11, 2009 at 3:03 am

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