For a printable version of this recipe and complete ingredients listing, click here.
NOTE: Grace’s sister, Emily, is hanging out in the Red Kitchen today. Heaven help us all.
A year or so ago, an Australian friend introduced me to a simple treat from Oz: Spaghetti-Os on toast.
Don’t knock it. Spaghetti-Os taste much better on toast than they do by themselves. I don’t know why, but they do — maybe because putting them on toast causes your mouth to read them as sandwich spread (which is supposed to be mushy) rather than pasta (which is supposed to be al dente).
Anyway, I got to thinking, and it occurred to me that there had to be a way to turn Spaghetti-Os on toast into a kid-friendly casserole. Toast wouldn’t work, because it would turn to mush, but what about croutons? I made a run to the grocery store and came back with Spaghetti-Os, seasoned croutons, a package of American cheese, and some French-fried onions.
As you might expect from something involving Spaghetti-Os, preparation is very simple. First, coat the inside of a small baking dish (I used a little Corning dish, but a Pyrex pie plate would probably work) with cooking spray.
Fill the bottom of the dish with croutons. Next, dump in a 26-ounce can of Spaghetti-Os.
Cover the top with slices of American cheese and sprinkle with breadcrumbs (optional). Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle some French-fried onions on top. Bake another five minutes.
You could dress this up with some Italian spices, garlic, or fancier cheese (maybe shredded mozzarella), but in the interest of making it kid-friendly, I tried to keep the ingredients as simple as possible. The croutons will soften, but they don’t get mushy, instead retaining a toastlike texture, and the overall taste is vaguely reminiscent of a grilled-cheese sandwich and a bowl of tomato soup.
This would be a great dish to serve at the kids’ table on Thanksgiving.