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January 10, 2024. This is the handheld party food of the year. This is not a sight gag. This is delicious. And it’s a Way to neatly pick up pasta and munch it like it was a slider. This is what you want to be making and eating for the big game – it’s the clear Super Bowl winner.

Bring out a platter of these and you’ll get the biggest ovation of the day. And when the laughter subsides and the finger-licking ends, you better have another platter ready. Because everybody loves spaghetti, but nobody can eat it while they’re standing around. And you don’t want them to eat it while they’re sitting on your couch juggling beer bottles.

To make 2. Just multiply for your party size.
4 “nests” of Angel Hair pasta
4 thin slices of fresh mozzarella cheese
3 tablespoons of tomato puree (canned is fine)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of aged parmigiano cheese, finely grated
Option: 1 teaspoon of fresh oregano or thyme leaves
Salt and/or pepper to taste

Spaghetti Cheeseburgers!
This is quick and easy when you start with Angel Hair pasta that’s been dried in small circular bundles they call “nests”. Gently drop them into a shallow pan of boiling water. Two minutes later, they’re ready to be transferred to a frying pan coated with your sauce.

For sauce, stir or whisk together the tomato, olive oil and grated cheese in a pan over medium heat. Get this going while you wait for the water to boil.

When the pasta nests are cooked, remove them from the boiling water with a slotted spoon. Let each drain for a few seconds, then slide it into the sauce-coated frying pan. Let your spaghetti “buns” cook for about six minutes – until their underside begins to crisp. Then flip them over, gently. They’ve absorbed most of the sauce.

Now put a slice of mozzarella on each bun. Cook for five more minutes, until the cheese is melting and the other side of the bun has crisped.

It’s time to flip one cheese-coated pasta bun over onto another. Now you’ve got a cheese-filled pasta sandwich. Use a spatula to lightly press down on the top of each sandwich, then flip it over and press again. Now you’ve got a spaghetti cheeseburger. Remove it to a paper towel and let it drain for about 10 seconds on each side. Serve and eat immediately.

They really are delicious. Each little spaghetti “bun” is crisp on the outside but still soft and spaghetti-like on the inside. The tomato sauce is flavorful throughout. The cheese is soft, gooey and rich in the center. You can’t not like this.

It’s easily hand-holdable, though I prefer to cut each “burger” into bite-size quarters. It’s chewy and crisp at the same time. It smells and tastes just like … spaghetti with red sauce and mozzarella.

If you miss your meatballs, add some meat. I put a heaping tablespoon of diced leftover roast beef in one. That’s enough for a serious meat fix. Got vegan guests? Make ramen burgers.

A note about quantity: these burgers are small and cute, but they’re filling. Two of these is equivalent to a big half-serving of pasta.

Cost-Benefit Analysis
Less than $1 per delicious, satisfying, comforting and entertaining Spaghetti Cheeseburger. The 4-ounce handheld lunch of champions.

Cost Comparison
In my neighborhood, you’ll pay $2.09 for McDonalds Medium Fries (3.9 ounces). Way Better is Way Cheaper.

Let’s Do The Math
30 minutes to walk off all 160 calories in a supremely satisfying Spaghetti Cheeseburger. One hour plus ten minutes to walk off the 350 calories in that little package of Medium Fries with ketchup.

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