Thursday, October 23, 2014

Homemade "Spaghettios"

Spaghettios. Yep, I'm talking Chef Boyarde processed stuff in a can. Raise your hand if you had this growing up. Raise your hand if you've eaten this as an adult. I see you out there. I actually didn't like the regular Spaghettios when I was a kid, but I did like the Spaghettios with Meatballs. I think it helped mask the sweet tomato sauce taste. Anyway, last Spring I was looking for some new lunchtime recipes for my kids. I found this one on Pinterest. Shocking, I know! The ingredient list was very simple, with ingredients that I usually have on hand anyway. Another bonus? It freezes beautifully! 

These Spaghettios actually don't taste like Spaghettios, they taste SO MUCH BETTER!!! The sauce is tomato-ey but buttery and cheesy and alltogether amazing. I eat my fair share of these when I make them for the kids. I recommend doubling the recipe so you can freeze some for another time. I like to use these little 4oz mason jars, so they are individual portions all ready to go. When I make these now, I use small whole wheat elbow pasta and it works out great. So if you're a closet Spaghettio eater, or if you're like me and could use a new kid friendly meal idea, definitely give these a try!


DIY Homemade Spaghettio’s from Seeded at the Table
Yield: 4-6 adult servings, 6-8 child servings

8 oz ditalini pasta (or other small pasta)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
15 oz can tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water, to al dente (about 10 minutes).

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or large saute' pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until just fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce, water, tomato paste, salt, pepper, sugar and butter. Heat, while stirring, until the butter is melted. Slowly stir in the milk, then turn the heat to low. Simmer at low heat for 10 minutes.

Stir the shredded cheese into the soup until melted. Drain the pasta and transfer to a serving bowl. Pour as much of the tomato sauce into the pasta as desired; stir to combine. (I don't like mine extremely soupy, so usually have about 1/3 cup of the sauce leftover.)

Notes

Looking for the convenience factor? Double the batch and freeze the rest for later. Heat on the stove top or in the microwave when you're ready for that quick lunch or dinner!

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