It’s summer barbecue time, graduation party time, hanging out at the pool and barbecuing time. I love it! A friend held a graduation party for her son last week. She did a fantastic job with the food and they barbecued chicken, steak, burgers and hot dogs. And had lots of burgers left. I took some from her when she offered. The girls ate a couple for after-school snacks. More like a meal to me but they’re hungry all the time during swimming season!
I was still left with a few burgers. I thought of just throwing them into the freezer so the girls could later pull one out for a snack, but my eldest asked for pasta before the first swim meet of the season so I decided to make a meat sauce with leftover hamburgers. I invited a neighbor family over for dinner spur of the moment that night and they all proclaimed it some of the best meat sauce they’d ever had–and were shocked to learn that a) it had taken me all of 45 minutes and b)used leftover barbecued hamburgers. This fed 3 adults and 3 starving children, with leftover sauce.
1 Tbs oil
1 cup diced onion (1 small onion or 1/2 a large one)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 cup water or wine or some combination
3-4 chopped leftover barbecued hamburgers
1 tsp Italian seasoning or some mix of oregano, parsley, basil, rosemary–whatever you like
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound spaghetti
Heat the oil and saute the onion and garlic a few minutes, until they’re soft and the aroma is making your mouth water. Add the tomatoes, water, chopped burgers, and seasonings. Heat to a low simmer and let it cook at least 20 minutes, partially covered to avoid splattering tomato sauce all over your stove. If you need to cook it longer, just check and add more liquid periodically if you need to.
Serve over the cooked spaghetti.
Oh, I also used up the leftover hamburger buns by making them into what I call cheater garlic bread. I love making real garlic bread with French bread, mincing garlic up and putting it in some softened butter and spreading that all over, then broiling a few minutes. For cheater garlic bread, spread whatever bread you’re trying to use up (the hamburger buns were a HUGE hit!) and sprinkle some garlic powder on top. If you have plenty, some grated Parmesan on top adds a nice touch.
Now maybe someone will have ideas for me about what I can do with the leftover pork kebabs I made last night. I’d like to do something other than my usual ways to use up leftover meat: burritos or fried rice.