Grown-Up SpaghettiOs Are An Upgrade Over The Nostalgic Canned Meal

One of the best things about being a grown up is that we get to eat whatever we want, whenever we want it. Gone are the days when well-intended parents would seek to limit our consumption of sugary snacks and carb-filled canned goods. Now, if you want to have Oreos for breakfast and SpaghettiOs for dinner, that's between you and your digestive system. But because we've got a few more cooking techniques in our arsenal than we once did, we no longer have to pop open a can of Campbell's for that nostalgic 90s dinner vibe. With anellini noodles, we can whip up an adult-ified version of SpaghettiOs better suited for our grown-up taste buds.

A craving for SpaghettiOs is an itch that plain old spaghetti and meatballs just won't scratch. In order to satisfy your inner child, you're going to need a noodle with a much more whimsical shape. That's where anellini comes in. A smaller version of a thick, ring-shaped egg noodle called anelli, anellini noodles have deep roots in southern Italy. While the unique shape is inextricably linked to the processed tomatoey goodness of SpaghettiOs for many Americans, Italians typically use anellini in the making of soups and pasta salads.

While you may not have any trouble finding anellini noodles at an Italian grocery store, they aren't commonly seen in American supermarkets. Luckily, online retailers like Amazon carry several brands of anellini noodles that can be delivered to your door in a matter of days.

SpaghettiOs, but make it healthy

Anellini noodles may be the foundation of SpaghettiOs, but it was the addition of mini meatballs that transformed it from a mushy can of pasta to a protein packed meal. With 19 grams of protein in each tin, canned SpaghettiOs provided enough protein for the 8-year-old version of us, but as adults, we're going to need a little more meat to feel satiated. With nearly 80 grams of protein in a pound of ground beef, crafting your own mini meatballs to add to your anellini noodles significantly ups the protein content of your SpaghettiOs copycat, which makes for a better-balanced meal.

While the tin-twinged taste of SpaghettiOs tomato sauce may evoke feelings of nostalgia, we all know you can make a marinara sauce that's not only better tasting, but better for you. While canned SpaghettiOs aren't as bad for you as you may think, they do contain health-damaging ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and artificial trans fats. Making an adult version of SpaghettiOs with a homemade sauce allows you to utilize more healthful ingredients, like organic tomato paste, fresh garlic, and herbs. And because you're an adult and you can eat whatever you want, you might even include spinach, mushrooms, and zucchini to up the nutritional ante!