Love the taste of slow cooked Italian dishes, but donít have the time to prepare them? Why not prepare this Italian Meat Mix Module; it will allow you to prepare the beginnings of eight meals at one time. The only part of this recipe that actually takes hands-on time is browning the meat. Other than that, this module is done in a slow cooker. If you happen to have homemade marinara or Spaghetti sauce, you can use it in this easy module. Iíve found, however, that there are several store-bought brands that are good, and to save time I use them. The recipe calls for dehydrated vegetables, which eliminate the need to chop. You may, however spend a little more time and chop fresh onions, carrots, and peppers; itís up to you.
Once you have bags of this Italian Meat Mix in your freezer, you will be able to add a few quick ingredients and, in a minimum of time, have delicious dishes like Creamy Penne & Asparagus Bake, Italian Brunch Eggs, Shortcut Moussaka, Italian Vegetable, Pasta, & Bean Soup, Quick Southern Sausage and Cabbage Bake, and Shortcut Italian Fondue. This module is also the main ingredient in both a traditional lasagna and a luscious Spinach lasagna, as well as Skool Lunch Pizza Bake, Italian Chili Dogs, and an Italian Dinner Salad. Most of these recipes rely on convenience products that are easy to find or are already on your pantry shelves. For a quick sauce to go over plain pasta, simply mix a bag of this Italian Meat Mix with a 26 ounce jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce and heat; itís that easy! Links to these and other dishes made with this module are at the bottom of this article.
If youíre not familiar with modules, I define them as components (or main ingredients) that are interchangeable in many different dishes. Modules allow us to cook once, then have the main ingredients to assemble a variety of dishes quickly. I like to prepare several different modules and have them ready in my freezer; a number have already been posted on this site.
3 pounds hot Italian sausage, casing removed (you may substitute all or part mild Italian sausage)
3 pounds ground pork or ground turkey
3 26 oz. jar spaghetti sauce, or the equivalent of plain homemade sauce
1/3 cup dehydrated onion flakes, or 2 cups finely chopped onion
1/2 cup dehydrated carrot dices, or 4 medium finely chopped carrots
1/4 cup dehydrated red and green peppers, or 1 each red and green bell pepper, finely chopped
4 cups water
- Place the sausages and ground pork in a large Dutch oven.
- Brown the meats over medium heat, breaking up into small pieces.
- When all is brown, remove from the heat and pour into a large colander in the sink to drain well.
- Meanwhile place the remaining ingredients in a large (5-6 quart) slow cooker.
- Add the browned sausage mixture and stir.
- Set the slow cooker to low and cook 8-10 hours.
- After 5 hours or thereabouts, tilt the lid a little so that the excess liquid evaporates.
- Divide the mixture into eight freezer bags (about 2 cups each), label, and freeze.
Amount Per Serving (1/3 cup of Mix)
Calories 174 Calories from Fat 95
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 55% Protein 24% Carb. 21%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 11 g
Saturated Fat 3 g
Cholesterol 33 mg
Sodium 482 mg
Total Carbohydrate 9 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 1 g
Protein 10 g
Vitamin A 9% Vitamin C 11% Calcium 0% Iron 5%