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Cost
$ $ $ $ $
Difficulty
• • • • •
Time
1h20

SpaghettiOs get a grown-up makeover into a healthy meal that is a winner with both kids and adults.
Notes:

Recipe yields 8 servings.

Pasta: I used O-shaped pasta (called rings at my grocery store), but you can use any kind of small pasta you like. When I make pasta for soup, I typically cook the pasta in a separate pot and then add it to the soup once it’s cooked and drained; otherwise, I find that the pasta’s starch can make the soup much too thick.

Italian Herb Spice Mix: The mix I use has dried parsley, basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme.

To Reheat: I took the pictures of the soup right after I made it; if the soup is left to sit for a couple hours before serving or if you have leftovers, it will thicken quite a bit. To reheat, you can thin it out a bit by adding more water or tomato sauce as necessary.

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  • Step 1

    Combine the beef, Worcestershire sauce, egg, egg white, breadcrumbs, 1/2 oz Parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons parsley, and a pinch each of salt and pepper in a large bowl. Use your hands to mix everything together, being careful not to overmix. Form the meat mixture into small balls, about 1/2 tablespoon each, and set aside.

  • Step 2

    Cook the pasta to al dente according to the package directions; drain and set aside.

  • Step 3

    Heat the olive oil in a lidded 5-quart pot over medium heat; add the carrots, celery, and onion and sauté until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté another minute. Add the water, diced tomato, tomato paste, bay leaves, dried Italian herb spice mix, bouillon cubes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cover the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring up to a boil; turn down to a simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes (covered), stirring occasionally.

  • Step 4

    Add the meatballs, bring the soup back up to a simmer, and then simmer for 10 minutes (with the lid slightly ajar). Turn off the heat and stir in the noodles and the remaining 2 tablespoons parsley. Taste and season with additional salt and black pepper if desired.

  • Step 5

    Serve garnished with Parmesan cheese if desired.

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