Growing up, I loved having Chef Boyardee's Spaghetti O's. My kids do too! Who can resist those little meatballs and sweet sauce. Now that I'm adult and trying to be conscious of what I feed my kids, I try to take certain things you would normally buy and make it from scratch. This was a huge hit. It was kind of a pain to try and make all of these "mini meatballs", but the end result was totally worth it.
- 1 pound "meatball mix" (this usually has beef, veal and pork- 1 pound ground beef is fine)
- 1/3 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1/2 teaspoon parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 large can tomato puree
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 diced onion
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- parsley, oregano, salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups dry mini wheel pasta
In a mixing bowl combine the ground meat, breadcrumbs,egg, milk, ketchup, parsley, oregano,salt and pepper. Mix until everything is incorporated.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Form meatballs, I tried to make as many as possible.
Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes (depending on meatball size), or until cooked through and starting to brown.
While the meatballs are baking you're going to put the pasta on to boil, and cook to al dente.
Start the sauce while the pasta is cooking.
In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add in onion and sauté for about 3 minutes until softened.
Add in the garlic and sauté just a minute or two until fragrant. You don't want to burn the garlic.
Add in the tomato paste and mix in with the onions.
Add the tomato puree and water, stirring in with the tomato paste until combined.
Stir in the rest of the seasonings and sugar to taste.
Bring to simmer, stirring every few minutes.
The sauce, meatballs and pasta should all be done pretty close together.
Strain the pasta and add it into the large sauce skillet.
Carefully incorporate the cooked meatballs. Being careful not to stir to much and break them apart.
Season to taste.
Serve and enjoy.
I made this about 2 weeks ago- and the kids have asked for this several times since then. I will be making this in the next few weeks again for sure. Give it a try! You can pull this off in under an hour. Cheers!