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5 Cheap Pasta Meals for Families

Spaghetti and Meatballs

According to the National Pasta Association, spaghetti is America's favorite pasta. Spaghetti noodles, named in Italian for their resemblance to a length of cord, are a good choice for many different types of sauces. Try tossing it with olive oil, fresh herbs and sautéed vegetables; butter and grated parmesan cheese; or a pesto cream sauce.

Probably the most traditional approach to spaghetti is to smother it in tomato sauce. Adding meatballs makes it a crowd-pleasing favorite meal, but instead of making a few large meatballs, opt for lots of bite-sized ones. Everyone gets plenty (lots of small bites feels like a feast), and small meatballs are easier for kids to eat. You can even sneak some extra veggies into your meal with this recipe for Spaghetti and Meatballs.

Spaghetti runs a tight race with macaroni and cheese as the favorite pasta among kids. See our revved-up mac and cheese suggestions on the next page.