Uh-oh. It is supper time! Everyone is hungry and supper is not ready. Has this ever happened to you? It has happened to me many times. That is why I have developed this Italian Style Emergency Casserole Recipe. It is quick and easy and feeds a crowd.
Living on a farm is a wonderful place to live. However, many times emergencies come up and the plan changes for a variety of reasons. Perhaps, an animal becomes ill or a piece of machinery breaks down. When living on a farm, you must be flexible and be ready for anything. This is why I have developed several main dish recipes that I can prepare quickly when plans change. Today’s recipe is called Italian Style Farmer’s Wife Emergency Casserole.
We had an emergency last night. Well, not really an emergency. We just decided at the last minute, after chores were complete, to move some steers out to their spring pasture. There was just one problem. These are very tame steers and tame cattle do not always do what you want them to because they are not scared of you. They have figured out that you will not hurt them so they do as they please.
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These particular steers, who weigh probably 800 plus pounds decided that they didn’t want to load up into the cattle trailer. We spent about 30 minutes trying to coax them, force them, and finally squeeze them into the trailer. By the time, we had finished, it was well past supper time. Thankfully, I had prepared some ground beef ahead of time, by cooking it in my Instant Pot.
Instant Pot Ground Beef
Preparing ground beef in the Instant Pot is so easy! It is probably my favorite kitchen short cut. You can read about my other Favorite Farm Kitchen Tools here. I simply take the ground beef directly from the deep freezer and put it in the Instant Pot. I use the manual setting for 30 minutes. The ground beef comes out of the Instant Pot looking like you browned it on the stovetop. Preparing ground beef in the Instant Pot has changed my kitchen life for the better. I am the kind of cook who often forgets to take the meat out of the freezer the night before, or even in the morning. In fact, I am sitting here right now and realizing that I have no meat out for supper. Instant Pot to the rescue!
Of course, you don’t need to be a farmer’s wife to have emergency casseroles. You are welcome to rename it anything you please. For example, if you are a nurse, you could call it Italian Style Nurse’s Emergency Casserole.
I would just like to share the ingredients that I use in the casserole. Of course, you can purchase these items at your local grocery store.
Pork and Beans
If you have read my other recipes, you may know that I am the queen of substitutions. For this recipe, I prefer Pork and Beans. However, you may substitute Chili Beans, Baked Beans or any combination of what you have in your pantry.
I use basic canned spaghetti, but oftentimes, I use leftover spaghetti and sauce from a previous meal. Usually, all the meatballs are eaten and there is only spaghetti and sauce left that no one wants to eat. Italian style Farmer’s Wife Emergency Casserole is a wonderful and frugal opportunity to use the leftovers!
Any basic canned tomato sauce will work. I have also used home-canned tomatoes. I usually put them in the blender with spices and a small amount of sweetener. Sometimes I add tomato paste to thicken the sauce. Again, be creative and resourceful with the items you have available in your pantry.
I hope you give Italian Style Farmer’s Wife Emergency Casserole a try. It may not be the healthiest recipe, but it is very filling. It will fill up growing boys’ bellies. Stay tuned for other Emergency Casserole recipes in the future.
Italian Style Farmer’s Wife Emergency Casserole
- 2 lbs Ground Beef
- 2 cans Pork and Beans
- 2 cans spaghetti
- 1 can tomato sauce
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Brown Ground Beef on the stove top until browned OR prepare frozen ground beef in instant pot for 25 minutes
- Place browned beef in one large casserole dish or two smaller dishes. Break up pieces of beef
- Add remaining ingredients. Combine.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes