Food on a Stick


110 years ago today, Vice President Teddy Roosevelt attended the Minnesota State Fair and uttered the famous phrase, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” Minnesotans have taken this to heart and at today’s fair (on through September 7), you can get over 60 foods on a stick including Spaghetti and Meatballs.

The photo above and recipe below are from Matt Armendariz, a terrific photographer I met at Food Blogger Camp. This recipe comes from his new book, On a Stick. While it may look as if there’s only clove of garlic in this recipe, you can load it into your marinara sauce. (And note that everything has to chill overnight).

Spaghetti and Meatballs on a Stick
by Matt Armendariz

Homemade Meatballs
1/2 pound lean ground beef
2 T. minced yellow onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 egg white
2 T. seasoned bread crumbs
Salt and pepper, to taste

5 cups plus 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 pound cooked spaghetti
2 c. marinara sauce
1 c. grated Parmesan cheese
8 Popsicle sticks
Salt and pepper

Line a baking sheet and a shallow baking dish with parchment paper.

Make the Meatballs: Place all meatball ingredients in a medium bowl and mix until well combined. Shape into 1-inch balls and place on the prepared baking sheet.

Warm 3 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add meatballs and cook, turning to brown all sides, until just cooked through. Remove from heat and let cool.

Gently toss meatballs, spaghetti, marinara sauce, and Parmesan in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Place mixture in the prepared baking dish, cover, and refrigerate at least 12 hours and up to overnight.

Preheat the remaining 5 cups of oil to 350F. Cut chilled pasta mixture into 8 equal squares. Remove squares from baking dish and insert a pop stick into each. Carefully place spaghetti sticks in pot, one at a time, and fry about 6 to 8 minutes, or until golden and crispy. Drain on paper towels, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve warm.

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