Homemade Spaghettios with Crunchy Manchego.
Yep we’re doing it today. HOMEMADE SPAGHETTIOS!
Otherwise known as the meal we can’t stop eating.
This is so good that it’s not even fair. You’re going to want to make it every night for dinner!
My friend Rachel introduced me to this recipe from Smitten Kitchen that is basically grown up spaghettios. It is SO delicious and some major comfort food, but it’s not entirely terrible for us and comes together so fast. I would see Rachel make that version on Instagram almost every single week and she constantly raved about how delicious it was. Eventually I got around to trying it and my mind was blown.
It tasted like childhood comfort food, in the best way possible. It literally tasted like homemade spaghettios, but a really delish adult version. And now I making it ALL the time.
We never really ate spaghettios as kids – remember, my mom had a major mental block against tomato soup so I’m sure that is why. And I don’t know if I ended up tasting them at a friend’s house or what, but eventually when I was old enough to open a can and dump it in a pot, I ate spaghettios a handful of times at home. And I LOVED them.
The thing is, I never really knew if spaghettios were pasta or soup. Which is it? It’s like pasta IN soup I guess? And funnily enough, that’s exactly how I feel about this recipe too. It’s both pasta AND soup.
P.S. I used this pasta shape right here. You can obviously use anything else that’s really tiny and cute.
I wanted to create a version like this without the chickpeas so Emilia could eat it. Homemade spaghettios that are super kid friendly. She loves beans and enjoys chickpeas, but I have to sort of cut or halfway mash the chickpeas right now since she still only has one tooth! And I am always afraid that I will miss one and she might choke on it. So a more soup-like version of the original recipe was born, and oh my gosh.
This is pure heaven in a bowl.
The only thing I didn’t do was make the finishing oil that is in the original recipe. It is DEFINITELY worth it for an even fancier version. Especially if you’re doing the chickpeas!
I mean, THIS is a hug in a bowl. I say that all the time about my soups and stews but there is no question here. Comfort food that tastes like old school comfort food. It makes me ridiculously happy.
To top it off, I sprinkled on some crunchy manchego cheese and oh my. I’m have an actual MOMENT with manchego. Then to go and make crispy manchego? Not sure where to begin. It’s super flavorful and dare I say it: life changing.
If you’ve been following along for a few years then you know why I’m posting this today. It’s Halloween! I’m such a sucker for traditions and I love the idea of grilled cheese and tomato soup before trick or treating. The past few years I’ve made a whole host of versions: grilled cheese sticks with tomato soup shooters, pumpkin soup with grilled cheese croutons, tomato cream pasta with grilled cheese crumbs. The options are endless!
So I had to add the manchego here. We might be missing the bread, but go and find yourself a nice piece of sourdough and you’re all set.
This is 100% in my weekly rotation for the rest of the year!
- 2/3 cup finely grated manchego cheese
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves mined
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 6 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon cooking sherry
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 cups tiny pasta like ditalini, alphabet, etc
- fresh herbs for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Take 1 to 2 tablespoons of the finely grated manchego and place it in piles on the baking sheet, leaving about 1 to 2 inches in between each. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the manchego has melted and is bubbly. Cook completely on the baking sheet.
Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the garlic, salt and pepper and stir, cooking for 1 minute. Add in the tomato paste and stir, cooking for another 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in the sherry and stock and stir until the tomato paste is dispersed through the stock and the mixture is smooth. Bring it to a simmer. Once simmering, add in the pasta and stir. Cook, stirring often (the little pasta pieces can stick to the bottom or sides!) with a wooden spoon, for 10 to 15 minutes, until the pasta is fully cooked and the soup is a bit thicker. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if necessary.
Serve the soup into bowls. The manchego should be cool at this point and can easily be broken into pieces to thrown on top. Enjoy!
That bite though.