Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Spaghetti O's with Meatballs

Yes you read that title correctly and yes this is still a vegan blog. Original Spaghetti O's are decidedly not vegan but my version sure is. A couple months ago we found some ring shaped pasta (called Anelletti) at Trader Joe's. I made our old standby mac and 'cheese' with the first bag but as I was doing that it dawned on me - Spaghetti O's! So we got another package the next time we went to Trader Joe's and it's been patiently waiting in our cabinet for this moment. Now it's probably been 15 years since I've eaten Spaghetti O's so I can't vouch for the authenticity of the taste of this recipe but I can tell you that it was good enough that I went back for seconds... and then thirds... and then I ate some more off of the spoon when I was putting away the leftovers. And now you can go find yourself some ring shaped pasta (or any other small pasta) and make your own.

For the sauce:

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 small carrot, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 c. tomato paste
1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 c. vegetable broth
2 Tbs. sugar
1/4 c. nutritional yeast

In a large deep pot, cook onions and carrots in oil for a few minutes until they're getting soft, then add the garlic, oregano, basil, salt & pepper and cook another minute or so. Add tomatoes, paste, and veg. broth, mix well and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5-10 minutes then puree with a hand blender (though you won't hurt my feelings if you want to leave it chunky). Add sugar and nutritional yeast and simmer for a few more minutes.

The meatballs are adapted from the Veganomicon Chickpea Cutlets:

1 c. cooked pinto beans
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 c. vital wheat gluten
1/2 c. breadcrumbs
1/4 c. vegetable broth
2 Tbs. soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, pressed or grated
1 Tbs. tomato paste
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. paprika

In a large bowl, mash the beans well, then add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Knead for a minute or two, then form into tablespoon sized balls and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Spray or brush the tops with a little more oil, then bake at 375° for 15 minutes. Turn over and bake another 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook a 16-oz. bag of pasta then add the meatballs and pasta to the sauce.


Romina said...

I think I've seen Aneletti once, but never tried them. Now I'm so intrigued! I must find them. =)

Vegan_Noodle said...

Oh the memories... thanks for bringing back a childhood fave!

Liz² said...

this looks SO comforting! I used to love those goopy little noodles like crazy. :)

funwithyourfood said...

Don't you LOVE finding new treats at trader joes? I don't knwo what i'd do without it hehe


Al said...

My head nearly exploded when I read this post. I NEED to make this NOW.


Bianca said...

Oh my GAWD! That sounds amazing! I wonder if I could find whole grain ring-shaped pasta. I gave up white pasta a few months ago, but I may have to cheat for that. I used to eat cold Spaghetti-O's straight from the can.

Kristen said...

Oh this HAS to be much, much better than the original! Thank you so much for sharing--I'm going to have to whip it out next time I have small relatives in the house.

Rach-ums said...

What a cute idea! Looks yummy.

Chris said...

Thanks for the comments everyone! We just had leftovers for lunch today - still yummy!

pleasantly plump vegan said...


springsandwells said...

Don't you LOVE those little noodles?? I got some for a treat a while back, especially for Musty because he loves pasta (and spaghetti o's). I found that they were actually really really tasty. I like the idea of using meatballs and making it really spagetti-o-ish. :)

The name of the pasta means "little rings".

Animal-Friendly said...

Oh- I miss those sooo much! Actually, I never missed Spaghetti O's before seeing this post, but now I really wanna make some! Now I have to start searching for some of those ring-shaped noodles....

Sarah said...

What a great blog! I am making my own version of Spaghetti O's right now (I also arrived at this idea when I found the ring pasta at TJ's) and while I'm waiting for the pasta to cook I thought I'd Google ring shaped pasta and wha-la, found your blog. We are not vegan, but I am striving to make more things "whole foods" or at least from scratch. I love the recipe and will have to try it next time. Even the meatballs sound delicious. I think I'll have to bookmark you!