Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Homemade Spaghettios

All right, so I admit that I am in total denial.  I go back to work Monday, and I am panicking.  There are things I haven't gotten around to doing!  Foods that I haven't made!  Places I haven't visited!  I am not ready to think about lessons and kids and schedules!  But, ready or not, it's coming, and it's coming fast.  Hence the lack of updates lately.  I am desperately trying to shove as much as I can into these last few days of freedom!

Today I made something that Kenz has been wanting for a while: homemade Spaghettios.  We both have an obsession for Spaghettios.  In fact, if I am to be honest, in high school, I used to bring cans at school, and I'd eat them cold.  Right out of the tin.  I know that's really gross, but there is just something about those little rings of pasta in that cheesy tomato-y sauce that makes me feel young and comfy and happy!  But, god knows what's in those cans.  So when I saw a recipe for homemade Spaghettios, I knew I had to give it a try.

I have to be honest: I changed a lot about the recipe.  I doubled parts and kept others the same.  Since I did so many weird things, I will just show you my measurements here.  For instance, I cut out a lot of butter, but doubled the amount of pasta so we could have leftovers.  The good news is that regardless of what I did, this was a quick lunch.  It was ready in about a half hour.  Slightly longer than the 3 minutes required to microwave the contents of a can of Spaghettios, but worth it!

And the end result?  Well, even Mom called it "a treat" after complaining that the recipe sounded bad because she hates Spaghettios.  Kenzie and I both ate a large bowl and were happy with it.  It doesn't taste exactly like the can - but I guess that is probably the point!  Mom said that is what made it better.  The sauce is a slightly sweet cheesy tomato sauce, and the ditallini, thought a slightly different shape, make it feel a little like pasta fagioli.  All in all, I am happy with my DIY Spaghettios!

homemade Spaghettios
adapted from Pennies on a Platter

16 oz ditalini pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 jar spaghetti sauce (I used Wegman's roasted garlic)
2 cups water
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup milk
1  1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1) Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water, to al dente (about 10 minutes).

2) Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a 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 frequently.

3) Stir the shredded cheese into the soup until melted. Drain the pasta and transfer to a serving bowl. Pour tomato sauce on top of pasta; stir to combine.

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