Spaghetti-O’™s are one of those quintessential american kid food. Up there with mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, fish sticks, and of course, PB&J. Unfortunately, so many “kids foods” are laden with… well, crap.
I’m not a fan of entire meals from a box or a can, and I really try to create from scratch whenever possible. But: there are somethings that are close to impossible to recreate. For example: Spaghetti O’s ™ Because, if you ever look closely, they have three different sized O’s.
So…. it has taken me 5 years to re create this perfectly. 5 years hunting down the pasta, and maybe an hour to perfect the smooth velvety thin sweet tomato sauce.
The large ring pasta I found at my local grocery store for $1.99/lb , and the tiny rings I found at an Italian deli, and: finally the medium rings were found at a Latin American supermarket. The pasta sauce part was easy. A basic tomato sauce, a dash of onion powder, a pinch of sugar, dash of salt and just enough water to thin. And: It made a ton, okay, not a ton but at least a gallon.
Or so the kids said.
When I made these, we had a temporary houseguest with us-he came to us, not speaking a word… except a “MMMMM” when he ate, and a “WHOA!” when he gave a high-five. I had no clue what foods he liked, and I wanted him to feel secure and at home the best I could. My daughter scooped up some of the canned goods for him, and he devoured them, then- I remembered my stash of noodle rings.
So…. out came the arsenal of homemade noodle Os. (I probably can’t call them Spaghetti-O’s ™legally.)
So, our little guy ate them up, with lots of “mmmm” and “mo”. He later grew quite fond of my homemade black beans, and started to pick up a few little family traits, going “blahhhh” and happy dances, and all the little things that make each family unique.
It was bittersweet to see him go, but heartwarming to see him reunified with his family.
The tricky part was getting each O to cook at the same time. The big ones took longer than the small ones…
And, the leftovers require a bit more sauce…. since the noodles absorb it while they’re hanging out in the fridge, waiting on lunchtime next day.
My friends; you don’t have to rush out to find three different pasta O sizes, either. These would be just fine with ditalini pasta, or anelletti. (Amazon) Trust me: Kids aren’t going to scrutinize the fact there aren’t three noodle sizes. Only crazy OCD food moms like myself do that.
Speaking of hunting down strange food items, did you know that I also hunt for:
The “perfect” sized purse with the right size straps that flows from hand to shoulder without snagging on my elbow, with outside compartments for phone, keys, and hand sanitizer. In brown and black (I’ll take one of each)
The ideal wallet, with a coin compartment that holds just enough change without getting bulky. Wish sections for store cards, credit cards and debit cards, and (if I’m feeling old fashioned) a check register.
I know these are trivial little wants, not needs. I’m totally content with throwing an apple, water bottle, a notebook, a good book and a debit card in a tote bag. You won’t find me toting around a handbag that is worth more than the cash I carry with me.
Random thoughts for today.
- 1 lb ring shaped pasta
- 16 ounce can tomato sauce
- ¾ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Cook pasta according to package directions
- Stir in tomato sauce and seasonings, thin with water if too thick, and season with additional salt, if needed.