Sometimes –no, most of the time — I find that repurposing leftovers is really the only way my kids are going to get a fast, tasty, and healthy lunch at school. I always make dinners with half my mind towards what I can do with any scraps that remain. One of the best dinner items I’ve found for the lunch-packing arsenal is, without question, leftover spaghetti sauce, because it can be used to make pizzas, pasta, and even soups in minutes.
My mom’s meat sauce for spaghetti is a hearty and easy recipe that I’ve adapted for my slow cooker, and we eat it several times during the fall and winter each year. It also makes enough for two full dinners, which means that there’s plenty of leftover potential. My boys always look forward to this meal, not just because they love the spaghetti dinner itself, but also because they know there will be a bolognese pizza in their lunches soon. L. came home from school the other day after eating one of these, and said “Mommy…I just loved my lunch today.”
4 strips (about 2 inches wide) ciabatta bread or other crusty loaf
1 cup leftover meat sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Pull the interior of the bread out of the strips, leaving a 1/2 inch border. Fill the hollow you’ve made with 1/4 cup of the meat sauce, top with 1/4 cup of shredded cheese, and put the pizza strips into a toaster oven. Toast until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 5 minutes.