All of my boys love any combination of pasta and pasta sauce. Like thousands of children before them, and after, they developed an instantaneous love of all things Chef Boyarde or that same canned style. Ravioli, Spaghetti-O’s, Beefaroni…if it had pasta, sauce, and required a can opener they were all about it. However, things like that are not factored into my budget. Instead, they’re the kind of things Nanni keeps stocked in the pantry just for lunches for the boys when they visit. When I found a recipe for a homemade version from Seeded At The Table, for literally pennies per serving, I knew my kids would never forgive me if they found out I hadn’t tested it out. Just a heads up, this recipe will make a lot. We’re talking 8-10 adult servings, depending on how generous your helpings are. However, I split the finished product in two, and the second meal went in the freezer. It froze and defrosted beautifully, tasting just as delicious after a quick warm-up on the stove.
Homemade Spaghetti O’s
- 1 lb ditalini pasta
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves of garlic, mince
- generous pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- 2, 15 oz, cans of tomato sauce
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
- Cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a Dutch Oven over medium heat.
- Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, cooking just until fragrant.
- 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, and turn down the heat to low, simmering for about ten minutes.
- Stir the shredded cheese into the ‘soup’ until melted.
- Drain the pasta and transfer to a large bowl.
- Pour the sauce over the pasta, then stir to combine making sure all of the pasta is evenly coated.
- Serve, enjoy, and remember to freeze any leftovers to enjoy again for another meal.