Preparing to make some homemade SpaghettiOs
I decided it would be fun to make a homemade version. Tons of recipes are out there, and this is the recipe I used as a guide. But I ended up taking it a different direction and did my own thing with the sauce, meatballs, and even the pasta.
The meatball recipe is pretty much what I do when I make regular meatballs, only they were smaller. And I ended up adding some wine, herbs, and spices that are most likely absent in the canned version. The classic ring pasta was used, but do you remember how the canned SpaghettiOs had those really small rings mixed in with the bigger ones? I added a small amount of tiny "stelline" (star-shaped) pasta to account for this.
What I ended up with was one really fantastic batch of SpaghettiOs! Tangy, cheesy sauce, homemade meatballs that were far superior to the canned, and nicely textured pasta. It was like a trip down memory lane, only with better quality ingredients. How delicious. And fun!
Jean's Homemade SpaghettiOs & Meatballs
For the Pasta:
-12 oz. ring shaped pasta
-4 oz. tiny star-shaped pasta ("stelline")
Add the pasta to boiling water. Cook for 2 minutes less than the package directions (note - these two pastas have different cooking times. I started the rings, and added the stars three minutes later so they would be ready at the same time). Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Add to a covered container and keep in the fridge until needed.
For the sauce:
-1 T. olive oil
-3/4 c. yellow onion, finely chopped
-2 cloves garlic
-1/2 c. white wine
-1 28 oz. tomato sauce (I use Dei Fratelli "Italian Sauce")
-1/4 t. crushed red pepper
-1/4 t. dried oregano
-1/4 c. fresh Italian parsley, finely minced (optional)
-1 c. fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Add the olive oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until translucent and slightly browned. Add the wine and tomato sauce. Stir well. Add the red pepper, oregano, and Italian parsley. Simmer for 15 minutes or so. As soon as you add the meatballs in the step below, also add the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
For the Meatballs:
-1/2 lb. ground beef
-1/2 lb. ground pork
-1/2 c. fresh Italian parsley, finely minced
-2 cloves garlic, finely minced
-1/2 t. crushed red pepper
-3/4 c. to 1 c. fine bread crumbs
-1/2 c. fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
-1/2 t. kosher salt
-1/2 t. fresh ground black pepper
Gently mix all ingredients until everything comes together. The mixture should not be too wet, but you don't want it dry, either. Feel free to adjust the amount of bread crumbs to achieve this. Pinch off small bits of the meat mixture and roll into small meatballs, approximately 3/4 inch in size. (These can be kept on a plate in the fridge, covered, for a few hours until ready to cook, or you can fry them up if you are ready to go.)
Fry in a skillet with a little olive oil over medium heat until browned on all sides. Do this in batches so as not to crowd the pan. Drain on a paper towel. Add the meatballs to the simmering sauce and allow to cook for 10 - 15 minutes or so to ensure the meatballs have cooked through.
Add the pasta to the sauce and meatball mixture. Stir well so the sauce coats the pasta. Allow to cook for a couple minutes to ensure the pasta is heated through. Serve immediately, and enjoy the feeling of nostalgia while eating this homemade version of a childhood classic!