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Old 03-11-2019, 10:53 PM   #1
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Spaghetti with meat sauce together, freezing

For convenience sakes, I've been making frozen dinners lately and freezing them for later (tuna casserole, lamb curry). I next want to make spaghetti and meat sauce to be frozen together. My homemade spaghetti (using ground beef) cooked up not as saucy as I wanted. It seems the meat sauce just fell around the spaghetti rather than mixing with it. I crumbled up the ground beef during cooking as best I could. It's almost like the ground beef could have been crumbled a bit finer or something to get it more saucy.

Secondly, should I cook up the pasta and freeze that separately or mix it in together with the meat sauce and freeze both together?

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Old 03-11-2019, 11:12 PM   #2
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When I make meat spaghetti sauce, I freeze it all by itself. Pasta products deteriorate a little when frozen. In spite of that, I have been known to freeze mac-and-cheese. : Ya gotta do what ya gotta do!

If you really want to freeze a full meal, though, I would mix the spaghetti (or any other pasta shape) with a generous amount of sauce and pack into serving size containers. That way the sauce is insulating the pasta from any drying air in the freezer.
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Old 03-11-2019, 11:32 PM   #3
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When I make meat spaghetti sauce, I freeze it all by itself. Pasta products deteriorate a little when frozen. In spite of that, I have been known to freeze mac-and-cheese. : Ya gotta do what ya gotta do!

If you really want to freeze a full meal, though, I would mix the spaghetti (or any other pasta shape) with a generous amount of sauce and pack into serving size containers. That way the sauce is insulating the pasta from any drying air in the freezer.
Noted, thanks. I've been using bigger flatter Tuppererware containers for serving sizes. They de-thaw/warm up faster in the mirco than when using deep containers. About the sauce . I hope I relayed what I meant by the meat sauce not being of a more saucy consistence. For instance Stouffers frozen "Spaghetti with Meat Sauce" covers the spaghetti more evenly rather than slipping around the spaghetti strands.
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Old 03-11-2019, 11:44 PM   #4
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Noted, thanks. I've been using bigger flatter Tuppererware containers for serving sizes. They de-thaw/warm up faster in the mirco than when using deep containers. About the sauce . I hope I relayed what I meant by the meat sauce not being of a more saucy consistence. For instance Stouffers frozen "Spaghetti with Meat Sauce" covers the spaghetti more evenly rather than slipping around the spaghetti strands.
That is the reason to cook your pasta to al dente in boiling water, and finish cooking it in the sauce. You can also help the sauce cling to the pasta by adding just a bit of your pasta water into the sauce/pasta that is finishing together. The starch in the pasta water helps join the sauce and pasta together. Just a splash is enough.

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Old 03-12-2019, 12:10 AM   #5
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Got it, I think. Undercook the spaghetti and add it in at the end of the meat sauce cooking (if combining the two for freezing).

I was thinking also of undercooking the spaghetti a llttle and freezing it separately. Both would be zapped separately come dinner time.

I'm wondering whether or not the thawed spaghetti alone will microwave all stuck together. I always add some oil to the boiling pasta, that might help it not all stick together after microwaving (?).

P.S. Until my current stomach problems are over, I'm making these type dinners for future use. I've nothing better to do until then, cooking wise.
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:37 AM   #6
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Got it, I think. Undercook the spaghetti and add it in at the end of the meat sauce cooking (if combining the two for freezing).

I was thinking also of undercooking the spaghetti a llttle and freezing it separately. Both would be zapped separately come dinner time.

I'm wondering whether or not the thawed spaghetti alone will microwave all stuck together. I always add some oil to the boiling pasta, that might help it not all stick together after microwaving (?).

P.S. Until my current stomach problems are over, I'm making these type dinners for future use. I've nothing better to do until then, cooking wise.
1. Yes, the idea is for the pasta to finish cooking in the sauce. The pasta and sauce with incorporated better.

2. NO! do not put any oil in your pasta boiling water!!! That will definitely make your sauce run off your pasta. Nothing in your pasta water but salt. No oil!

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Old 03-12-2019, 12:37 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Caslon View Post
Got it, I think. Undercook the spaghetti and add it in at the end of the meat sauce cooking (if combining the two for freezing).

I was thinking also of undercooking the spaghetti a llttle and freezing it separately. Both would be zapped separately come dinner time.

I'm wondering whether or not the thawed spaghetti alone will microwave all stuck together. I always add some oil to the boiling pasta, that might help it not all stick together after microwaving (?).

P.S. With my current stomach problems, I'm making these type dinners for future use. I've nothing better to do, cooking wise.

Never ever add oil to your boiling well salted pasta water Caslon. The oil repels any sauce you add to your pasta.
Casey is right with this..
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That is the reason to cook your pasta to al dente in boiling water, and finish cooking it in the sauce. You can also help the sauce cling to the pasta by adding just a bit of your pasta water into the sauce/pasta that is finishing together. The starch in the pasta water helps join the sauce and pasta together. Just a splash is enough.
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Old 03-12-2019, 01:37 AM   #8
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Never ever add oil to your boiling well salted pasta water Caslon. The oil repels any sauce you add to your pasta.
Casey is right with this..
Ah! no wonder the meat sauce kept slipping off. I'm using too small a pan to begin with. I added oil to minimize foamy overspill, which won't happen if I boil the pasta in a bigger pot. Noted and noted.
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Old 03-12-2019, 08:31 AM   #9
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When I am faced with the dilemma of "can I freeze it or not", I try to remember if I can buy it frozen at the store already.

I know they have additives in the commercial product that help prevent freezer burn. I just try to have it slightly undercooked. Then it will finish cooking in the micro.
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Old 03-12-2019, 08:57 AM   #10
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I freeze my leftover spaghetti mixed with meat sauce all the time, in ziplock freezer bags. No special treatment, my spaghetti is al dente and not cooked with oil in the water. Nukes up just fine.
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Old 03-12-2019, 09:12 AM   #11
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So far...two tuna casserole dinners frozen up and two lamb curry dinners frozen up. They microwave well. Next up, spaghetti and meat sauce portions into Tupperware. I'll probably follow the advice to under cook the spaghetti and add it in to the meat sauce at the end of cooking, then flash freeze it. Thanks also for the tip about keeping sauce around the outside so the pasta doesn't get freezer burn.
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Old 03-12-2019, 10:09 AM   #12
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I freeze my leftover spaghetti mixed with meat sauce all the time, in ziplock freezer bags. No special treatment, my spaghetti is al dente and not cooked with oil in the water. Nukes up just fine.
+1.... Been doing this for many years... I usually reheat in a pan on the stove top..

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Old 03-12-2019, 10:27 AM   #13
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I'm going to cook up the sauce and add undercooked pasta near the end. Then freeze it into portions. Thanks for the tips, especially about not adding oil to boiling pasta. Use a bigger pot than a 4 qt. sauce pan to boil pasta. Noted.
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Old 03-12-2019, 11:34 AM   #14
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When I am faced with the dilemma of "can I freeze it or not", I try to remember if I can buy it frozen at the store already.
True. Stoffers (?). Their frozen tuna casserole is to be avoided. That's why I cook up my own tuna casserole and freeze it. Lots of mushrooms.
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:06 PM   #15
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When I am faced with the dilemma of "can I freeze it or not", I try to remember if I can buy it frozen at the store already.
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True. Stoffers (?). Their frozen tuna casserole is to be avoided. That's why I cook up my own tuna casserole and freeze it. Lots of mushrooms.
Frozen food companies have special equipment that allows them to freeze food much more quickly and to a specific temperature than home equipment can, which minimizes the crystal development that causes freezer burn. Not everything you see in the freezer case can be as successfully frozen at home.
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:54 PM   #16
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Frozen food companies have special equipment that allows them to freeze food much more quickly and to a specific temperature than home equipment can, which minimizes the crystal development that causes freezer burn. Not everything you see in the freezer case can be as successfully frozen at home.
I quick froze cut up green onions tonight. I spread them around on a 9" aluminum foil pan. That's as far as quick freezing goes.

It works OK. For diced chives too.
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Old 03-12-2019, 01:36 PM   #17
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I quick froze cut up green onions tonight. I spread them around on a 9" aluminum foil pan. That's as far as quick freezing goes.

It works OK. For diced chives too.
Sure, lots of things freeze well at home. I'm just saying not everything freezes as well as commercial food processors can do.
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Old 03-12-2019, 01:59 PM   #18
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Quick Freezing is you spread out your cut up green onions, chives or whatever onto a flat pan and place it into the freezer. They freeze faster than bunching them all together in a bag.

The big companies have better freezing capabilities, of course. Stouffer's frozen "Tuna Casserole" is awful. My home made is so much better.
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Old 03-12-2019, 06:20 PM   #19
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I quick froze cut up green onions tonight. I spread them around on a 9" aluminum foil pan. That's as far as quick freezing goes.

It works OK. For diced chives too.
That's how I freeze my surplus peppers during growing season. I freeze them first on a sheet pan, and then vacuum seal the frozen peppers and put them back in the freezer.

Obviously, they are not the same firmness as fresh when thawed, but for cooking, they have the flavor of fresh peppers.

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Old 03-12-2019, 06:39 PM   #20
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It probably goes without saying, but make sure your food is thoroughly cool in the fridge before you freeze it.

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