Italians are generally frugal people; I know since my Nonna was quite frugal as I have heard. I also observed frugality in Italy when studying there some years ago. Frugality also brings flavor to the home kitchen as certain foods, as they morph, gain new flavor; for example, from chicken stock to tomato soup to minestrone and even into a marinara sauce.
Earlier this week, you saw me make a chicken stock from the chicken thighs used in the Mediterranean dish. Take that same stock and add one small can of tomato paste in order to arrive at a rich tomato soup. The day after, you can add pre-cooked zucchini, green bean, carrots and or pinto or garbanzo beans along and serve with macaroni or tortellini (do not put directly into the soup, but cook separate and ladle to individual bowls. The last day of the week, today...TGIF, you can take the left over minestrone soup (no pasta) and blend in your counter top Oster blender or use a hand mixer to create a delicious marinara sauce (adding fresh chopped garlic, parsley, along with dried herbs: oregano and rosemary and some white wine unless you are serving children) to simmer for 20 min. and then to pour over a cheese/ meat or spinach filled Ravioli.
*always remember to refrigerate properly your stock and as it morphs into other uses; always checking by smell the freshness before using.