Lunches,  Recipes,  Vegetarian

Fake Tinned Spaghetti

Fake Tinned SpaghettiThis tinned spaghetti recipe hasn’t actually seen the inside of a tin (well apart from the tinned tomatoes I used to make it). Instead it’s a fake version to hide the good stuff. Junk food this is not.

It’s just that the 4yo tasted tinned spaghetti the other day and quite liked it. Given that he’s such a picky eater I figured I may as well take this new found taste and run with it. Also, I’m really not a fan of feeding kids from tins unless it’s an absolute emergency.

Normally meat slathered in my special sauce is a hit but I’ve struggled to get him around to the idea of eating very much pasta. Not anymore.

Recreating the flavour of tinned spaghetti hasn’t been as easy as I thought it would be.  For starters, it’s quite sweet so it’s no wonder the messer of a 4yo likes the flavour.  Also, the sauce itself is very smooth. There is no texture whatsoever. It’s more the consistency of thin soup than a puree. I’m a busy mother, there is no way I want to spend time slaving over a sieve to pass through all the fibres from vegetables, so in this case you need to slightly over cook the vegetables in the mixture because otherwise they will not process well.

As with all my child-friendly recipes you should season this sauce to taste after serving. This minimises the salt intake of your child and makes it suitable for baby weaning. This dish is perfectly suitable for adults and to add a bit of texture I sprinkled some crispy bacon on top.  Once cooked, you can decant any leftovers from the pot into a sterilised kilner-style jar, allow to cool and refrigerate the spaghetti in sauce for up to 5 days.

Kids Tomato Spaghetti 3

The quantities below make enough fake tinned spaghetti to feed 4 adults, so as you can guess you will get plenty of kids meals out of it!


  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped roughly
  • 2 tinned of good quality chopped tomatoes
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped roughly
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped roughly
  • 200g fine cut pasta {hint I used Lubella pasta (Filini No. 2), commonly found in the Polish groceries section of your supermarket or in European Foodstores as the texture and consistency is perfect}


On a medium heat, using a large, heavy bottomed saucepan, heat the sunflower oil and then add the onions. Stir and allow to cook gently in the oil for 5 minutes before adding the carrots, tomatoes and apples. Turn down the heat and allow to simmer on very low for about 1 hour.

After 1 hour test the vegetables, if they are cooked through they should break up easily using the back of a spoon. Turn off the heat and leave to cool slightly before blitzing or blending the mixture.

To serve, pour the fine cut pasta into the warm sauce and stir well. Bring the heat back up and allow to simmer for  minutes before serving. If you feel that the sauce is too thick at any point, add a tablespoon of water until you get the consistency you like.

I'm an Irish mother to 2 boys, born & bred in Dublin, Ireland. I like to cook simple & fresh food for the family, with the family on a budget.


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