Spaghetti with veggies and crispy bacon that you can make ahead. Perfect for those evening when you need dinner on the table in a hurry! This is my Make Ahead Spaghetti (that you can even freeze!)
OMG this pasta has so much flavour!
Sounds a little bizzarre, but to get this much taste it basically involves marinating the pasta in the pan until it absorbs the juices from the veggie packed sauce. Leave it for 30 minutes or even for a day before reheating and slurping up every last bite.
I’ve been making this dish for years, and find it’s great – not only as a prep-ahead meal to reheat for a quick tea – but also for when you’re cooking for a crowd.
I made it this Make Ahead Spaghetti for 12 people before now (at an informal tea at my grandad’s) and it was so easy to make it at home then drive the 90 minute drive to my grandad’s before reheating for everyone to tuck into with lots of garlic bread.
I also made this huge pan last week and that’s when I discovered you can freeze it too. I had a couple of portions left, so I froze them for another time, and then ended up defrosting one 12 hours later for lunch as I couldn’t stop thinking about it!
Add chicken, chorizo, peas, green peppers – anything you like really. You can’t go wrong with bacon though 🙂
A really good tip for this meal is to save the water that you cook the pasta in.
When it comes to reheating, throw in a cup or so to loosen everything up. The starch in the water also helps the sauce to stick to the spaghetti even more.
If you’re freezing it, then don’t bother to keep the pasta water. A splash of regular water will be fine.
I hope you enjoy it. If you’re a pasta addict like me then I’m sure you will!
The Make Ahead Spaghetti Recipe:
- 250 g dry spaghetti
- 1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 6 mushrooms chopped sliced
- 12 rashers bacon
- 1 large onion peeled and chopped
- 1 yellow pepper deseeded and chopped
- 1 red pepper deseeded and chopped
- 2 sticks celery finely sliced
- 3 spring onions scallions chopped
- 1 red chilli finely chopped (remove the seeds if you don’t like it too hot)
- 3 cloves of garlic peeled and minced
- 4 tbsp tomato puree/paste
- 1 chicken or vegetable stock cube crumbed
- 120 ml (1/2 cup) red wine
- 1 can chopped tomatoes in juice
- ½ tbsp Worcestershire sauce optional
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp sugar
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- Grated parmesan
- Chopped spring onions scallions
- Sliced chillies optional
Cook the spaghetti in a pan of boiling water for 2 minutes less than the suggested cooking time (I cook mine for 9 minutes). Drain the pasta (whilst reserving the pasta water) and rinse thoroughly with cold water. This will stop the cooking process and will stop the spaghetti sticking together. Put to one side.
Heat half the the oil in a large frying pan and fry the mushrooms until browned. Place the mushrooms in a bowl and heat the rest of the oil. Add the bacon and cook until crisp. Take the bacon out of the pan and place in the bowl with the mushrooms. Then chop the bacon into small pieces with a pair scissors.
Place the onions in the pan (there should still be some oil in there from cooking the bacon) and cook on a low-medium heat for 5-6 minutes until softened.
Add the peppers, celery, spring onions, chopped chilli and garlic to the onions and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, then stir in the tomato puree and crumble on the stock cube.
Add the red wine and let the wine bubble for 5 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes, worcestershire sauce, oregano, thyme, sugar, salt and pepper. Bring the sauce to a gentle bubble and let simmer for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, turn off the heat and stir in the spaghetti and bacon. At this point you can heat through (add a splash of the leftover pasta water if it needs more liquid) and serve straight away, or you can leave to cool, then cover and refrigerate*. Heat it up later with a cup of the leftover pasta water. You can leave for anything from 30 minutes to one day. I find that the flavour develops if you leave it for longer.
Serve topped with grated parmesan and chopped spring onions and some sliced chillies if you like.
*Once cool you can even freeze this dish in individual portions – without it sticking together. Defrost, add a splash of water and reheat in a microwave or pan until piping hot.
Nutritional Information is per serving.