Comfort Food Spaghettio’s Copycat

This recipe came about because I was in deep need of some comfort food and I happened to see a recipe for copycat Spaghettio’s. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a vegan recipe and I couldn’t find one online that seemed any good, so I decided to create my own. I was really delighted by the result and I hope you will be too – Indulge your inner child today! (There’s hidden veggies, shhhh!)

16 oz Small Noodle – Wheels, Rotini, Shells, etc
1 can whole tomatoes in sauce (or just a can of tomato sauce, I used what I had)
1 large carrot, chopped into pieces (I cut them into rounds then quarter them, but that’s just me)
1/2 white onion, diced
Olive Oil
White Sugar
Salt & Pepper
Vegan Meatballs (Store bought to make life easier)

1. In a stock pot or large sauce pan, salt and boil water. Once boiling, add pasta, cook according to package directions. Reserve half a cup of pasta water. Drain noodles and set aside.
2. In medium or large sauce pan, add a generous dollop of olive oil and bring heat up to medium. Once oil is heated through, add your carrot, sprinkle with a pinch of sugar and cook for about 5 minutes. Add diced onion, cook additional 5 minutes until onions are soft and translucent and carrots are tender. Remove from heat.
3. In a blender or food processor, add can of whole tomatoes, carefully add onions and carrots to tomato sauce. Blend on high speed until smooth. Add 1 tbsp of white sugar, salt and pepper to taste, and pasta water. Blend on high speed until thoroughly incorporated.
Taste, adjust sugar, salt or pepper accordingly. This recipe should lean more sweet than salty.
4. Return cooked pasta to pot, pour sauce over pasta, heat through.
5. Cook your vegan meatballs according to package directions, add them to your pasta.
Enjoy your copycat Spaghettios!

The inner child is often crying out for attention, and they just as often get pushed back into the corner to time out. Maybe that’s how you were actually treated as a child so that’s how you cope as an adult, tuning out your own needs in favor of the responsibilities of life and the needs of others.
Maybe you grew up with the “Children are meant to be seen and not heard” mantra and have carried that forward, continuing to ignore the whispers and cries of your inner child. I get it, I do it too. I’m on a mission to learn how to listen to my inner child, and that’s how this recipe came about.

I was in a yucky inner space, feeling very small and childlike, helpless at the loss of our luggage, in a state of near tantrum, which does manifest as petulance and pouting even in my adult self, and I hear her voice as I stumbled onto a picture of Spaghettio’s while looking for something to make for dinner.
“I want that for dinner.” She told me. Excuse me? That’s kid food.
“Yeah but I’m a kid, in fact I’m you, and I’m telling you that’s what I want for dinner. I need some comfort, this is how you can give that to me.”
Okay it wasn’t that straightforward of a dialogue but that’s the gist of it.
I listened to my inner child, satisfied this indulgent craving for a childhood favorite, snuck some carrots in there (they neutralize the acid of the tomatoes, helping to achieve the mellow-sweet flavor we know and love) and this is the result. I hope you can indulge your own inner child, and listen to their little voice from time to time.

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