Storing spaghetti

Sometimes I get overwhelmed when I think about storing food. I don't know why, because the concept is really simple: keep some extra food around in case of an emergency (or in case I'm too lazy to get to the grocery store in a timely fashion).

I was thinking about getting a three-month supply together and feeling overwhelmed because not everything we eat is non-perishable and easy to store. But then I realized that I don't have to do it all at once.

So I started with spaghetti. We have spaghetti every Sunday. I don't like to have the same sort of spaghetti every Sunday, so I divided it into four kinds every month:

Then I listed what I'll need for twelve meals' worth of each. I'll just show sopa seca here; I'm sure you'll get the picture.
  • 6 lb. spaghetti
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • (12 onions)
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 3/4 cup garlic
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 12 cans tomatoes
  • 24 cans corn
Keeping these quantities on hand will give me sopa seca once every month for a year, or once a week for three months in case of emergency. (In some of my recipes there are perishable ingredients like onions and chicken that I'm not planning to store. I tend to keep some around anyway, and in an emergency, I figure we could get by without them.)

So now I'm working on stocking up for my three months' worth of spaghetti. After I get that all done, I'll move on to something else.

(Oh, and while I'm talking pantry-stocking, the lack of sales on canned tomatoes lately is driving me crazy! We use so many and I'm going to run out soon, but I don't know if I can bring myself to pay 58¢ a can.)


  1. I would LOVE to pay 58 cents a can. I just got some and they were 79 cents for the store brand.

    You could dehydrate onions for your three months supply, couldn't you? Alternately, you could can the sauce with the chicken and all for your storage.

    I didn't know there could be so many recipes for spaghetti :o)

  2. Do you have a Grocery Outlet near you? Sometimes they have great sales. Fred Meyer had canned tomatoes for 50 cents a can and I was excited.

    The best deal I have found is to buy a food service sized can at Grocery Outlet for $2.99 or less and then freeze the canned tomatoes in plastic bags. It didn't affect the quality and was a great price when I worked it all out.

  3. There is a shortage of tomatoes right now.

  4. I really enjoy your blog. I found it one day as I was trying to learn how to cook dry beans.

    A friend recently gave me two cans of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce when she moved. (I'm thinking they are the same as chipotle chiles.) I've never used them before, but am excited to try some recipes using them. Most recipes I've seen only call for a little bit of the chiles (like 2 teaspoons or one diced chile). What do you do with the leftovers in the can? I was thinking of separating them out into small freezer bags and freezing.

  5. Yes, Lucy, that's what I was talking about. They lend a wonderful smoky-spicy flavor to dishes, and although I'd never heard of them a few years ago, they're now a pantry staple for me.

    I read in the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook that the peppers can be stored indefinitely in the fridge, so I just pop them into a tiny plastic container (although come to think of it a glass jar would be better because they discolor the plastic) and they've kept months this way. I've never noticed any spoilage. When it's a big can I freeze half.