As a kid I remember one of my favorite lunch time meals was a big bowl of SpaghettiOs. Oh how delightful they were back then. The sweet sauce and mini meatballs went wonderfully with a slice of buttered Wonderbread (just kidding, you actually thought we bought Wonderbread – It was Great Value all the way).
The other day they had SpaghettiOs on sale and I bought some on a whim. While they still brought back wonderful memories, they didn’t quite taste as good as I thought they did when I was a kid. The noodles were flimsy, the sauce was way too sweet, and the meatballs… well let’s just say I’m not sure you can really call that meat…
So I decided to try to make my own. My grown-up SpaghettiOs for adults. Complete with little ditalini pasta and tiny meatballs. Extremely yummy meatballs pack full of fresh basil, parsley, garlic, and parmesan cheese.
Let just say that I ate this bowl of SpaghettiOs quicker than any bowl of that canned stuff. And while it is not quite as fast as opening a can, you can make this meal in under 30 minutes – with not much action on your part. Mostly just wanting for the sauce to cook and the water to boil. And trust me the pay off will be far greater in the end.
Serve it with a big chuck of good quality crusty bread or a slice of buttered pre-sliced bread – some classics never get old.
- FOR SAUCE
- 1 (14oz) can tomato sauce
- ½ stick butter
- ½ small onion
- FOR MEALBALLS
- ½ lb ground beef
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 2 fresh basil leaves, minced (or use ½ teaspoon dried)
- 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, minced (or ½ teaspoon dried)
- ½ pound ditalini pasta
- Add sauce, butter, half onion to a medium sized pot. (Just remove the outer brown layers and cut off the ends and toss the whole half into the sauce). Bring sauce to a boil.
- Meanwhile, combine beef with remaining ingredients (except pasta).
- Roll meat into tiny ½ inch balls and toss directly into the sauce. Let them cook in the sauce, set to medium low heat, for at least 20 minutes.
- Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and toss with the sauce.