Homemade SpaghettiO’s

The childhood classic gets a makeover with ring-shaped anelletti pasta and a simple sweet sauce made rich by a dollop of tomato paste and onions cooked down in butter.

Featured in: Make Your Own SpaghettiO’s!

Homemade SpaghettiO’s Homemade SpaghettiO’s
Test Kitchen Director Farideh Sadeghin took her childhood love of SpaghettiO's and transformed it into a homemade classic.
Yield: serves 4
Time: 40 minutes


  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 (24-oz.) can tomato purée
  • 4 tsp. kosher salt, plus more
  • 3 tsp. sugar
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 34 lb. ground beef
  • 34 lb. aneletti pasta
  • 34 cup freshly grated parmesan, plus more for serving


  1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high. Add the garlic and onion and cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook 2 minutes more. Add the remaining butter, the tomato purée, 2 teaspoons salt, the sugar, pepper, and 14 cup water and cook until thick, about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, make the meatballs. Mix the remaining 2 teaspoons of salt with the ground beef. Roll meat into 34-inch balls. Place meatballs into sauce and reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the meatballs are cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes.
  3. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 13 minutes. Drain, then add to the saucepan along with the cheese. Divide between bowls and serve with more cheese on the side.