Cole came home from daycare one day asking for alphabet soup. When I probed further, he explained it had to be red soup with alphabet noodles, just like he saw one of the other kids eating for lunch. “Oh!” I said as it dawned on me. “Do you mean Alphagetti?’ His eyes lit up. “Yes, that’s it!” he exclaimed. “Can you make it for dinner?” His big brown puppy-dog eyes stared up at me, pleading with me. How could I say no? The problem was that we didn’t have any cans of Alphagetti in our cupboard. We did, however, happen to have alphabet noodles and tomato sauce on hand, so I made my own Alphagetti. I added a few healthy additions, like onions and grated carrot, to give it more substance and nutrition. I can confidently say that this is Cole’s favourite meal. He often asks for it for dinner now, and will even ask for seconds…and even thirds! After dinner, he normally has a bath and then a bed-time snack, which is usually something like fruit or yogurt, but when I made this he actually asked for more alphagetti as his snack! It’s such a shock, because Cole is notoriously fussy when it comes to dinner. I wouldn’t say it’s an exact clone of Alphagetti, but luckily Cole doesn’t have much experience with the real thing so he accepted this recipe without a problem. I personally like this homemade version better, and I love that it’s good for you with much less sodium than the canned variety and has some fresh vegetables snuck in there too.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 carrot, finely grated
1 can (680 ml) tomato sauce
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1 cup uncooked alphabet noodles*
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
In a large pot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Cook onion, garlic and carrot for about 3-5 minutes, until soft. Add tomato sauce, broth, sugar, worcestershire sauce, basil and oregano. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer covered for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Cook alphabet noodles in boiling water, according to package direction. Drain and set aside.
Remove tomato sauce from heat. Using an immersion blender, blend the sauce until fairly smooth (you can skip this part if you’d rather have it chunky). Stir in the cooked alphabet noodles, cheese, and salt and pepper. Stir until cheese has melted through.
*If you can’t find alphabet noodles at your local grocery store, try online at Amazon:
Eden Organic Vegetable Alphabets, 16-Ounce Packages (Pack of 6)Noodles and Pasta)