Let's VEGANIZE the childhood Classic!
There's not much to say about this other than it's super NOSTALGIC and just so happens to be way better than the original. But this shouldn't go as a suprise. Although I loved SpaghettiOs as a kid, deep down, I knew they were awful.
Like with a lot of things that I tend to veganize, the original idea is great, but their execution is terrible! That's why you see so many fast food expectation vs. reality comparisons. Well the good news is this is a grown up version that you and your kids (if you got any) will love!
It's really quite simple too! I would say the hardest thing for me was finding the little O pasta, aka Anellini pasta. I found some on Amazon but it was really expensive. But since then, I've looked and there's another brand that's pretty cheap.
HERE is the one I bought, and then HERE is the cheaper one. Obviously if you have a place where you can find this stuff, then by all means! I imagine some Italian markets might have it as well. That being said, this would still be super good with regular spaghetti or macaroni noodles too!
Other than that, it's just a matter of making the meatballs, and then probably my favorite trick which is melting some vegan cheddar cheese into the marinara sauce! This was something I found out on accident, as I was trying to make a SpaghettiOs version of that viral Feta Pasta Bake everyone has been doing. I used a block of Daiya but it didn't really melt! But I was able to get it to finally blend with the marinara and whoa nelly, it is so freakin good!
So instead of awkwardly trying to melt an entire block of vegan cheese, we're gonna just grate it by hand. You can use pre-grated if you like, but I prefer the texture of grating it myself.
For the meatballs, I used a Vegan Egg Replacer by Bob's Red Mill, but use anything you like (you could use a flax egg, aquafaba, you could even just use some unsweetened plant milk.) I also added some Red Pepper Flakes for a SPICY MEATBALL, but that's totally optional. You can make the meatballs as small as you like, I made mine with 1/2 Tbsp of the meat mixture and they were still about twice as big as the original meatballs, so maybe even 1 tsp of meat would be better next time! But didn't really matter, they were still fantastic!
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8 oz Anellini Pasta
1 jar of Marinara (25 oz)
8 oz Vegan Cheddar Cheese (shredded)
12 oz Plant-Based Meat
1/3 cup Breadcrumbs
2 Vegan Eggs (I used Bob's Red Mill)
2 Tbsp Chopped Parsley
1/4 cup Vegan Parmesan (grated)
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
Cook your pasta according to package instructions.
Make the meatballs by combining all the ingredients in a bowl and mixing thoroughly.
Spoon out 1/2 Tbsp (or less for smaller meatballs) and roll into a ball with your hands.
In a pan over medium heat with a bit of oil, brown your meatballs. Then set aside.
In the same pan, heat up your Marinara, then stir in the vegan cheddar cheese. Once it's melted, add the meatballs back in and simmer.
Add in your cooked pasta.