A project with my little cousin Ash turned into something that I will also use as a centerpiece dish for a dinner party with adults. Ash came up with an idea to make a spaghetti volcano a few weeks ago. She told me she loves science and spaghetti. I told her I loved making spaghetti and asked her if she could figure out something we could do together. Ash quickly came up with the idea of a spaghetti volcano. I didn’t hesitate. Of course we had to do it!
Honestly, I wasn’t sure it was going to work out, but I was more than willing to try. Upfront, I realized that a working volcano wasn’t going to happen if we wanted to eat the food too. Well, I really found this out after research because who am I fooling, I wasn’t friends with science in school. I don’t know if I was worse in science or math. If you want to make a workable volcano, vinegar and baking soda will work. But since I recall my parents adding baking soda to toothpaste to keep our teeth white, it doesn’t taste good. I also thought of liquid nitrogen to make it smoky, like I’ve seen done with ice cream, but I’m super clumsy and there were going to be children around. Danger isn’t a strong enough word! I once lost some of my eyebrows trying to barbecue.
One thing I learned from our experiment was to add extra ingredients for the decoration, so I included those changes in the recipe below.
So here’s how we made our spaghetti volcano
- 1 x 8+1/2-inch pylon from Dollarama or Dollar Tree, or a similar store in your location
- 1 x plastic serving tray (also purchased at the dollar store)
- Aluminum foil
- Scissors or a knife strong enough to cut thick plastic
Child-friendly spaghetti recipe for 4-6
If you want to make this for a dinner party with adults, my other spaghetti recipe could work too. It includes a vegan version, as well as meat versions.
The spaghetti recipe was a hit with the two kids. They each had two plates! Ash said it was the best pasta she ever had.
Since I was eating it too, it had to be gluten-free. I used lentil noodles because it was going to be a vegetarian – technically vegan since I can’t eat dairy. I mentioned in another post that lentil spaghetti has 18g of protein per 85g. They added cheese later.
I added in more of the ingredients for the decoration than we used this time, just for better presentation.
- 500 g lentil spaghetti, I use Tolerant brand (I mentioned in another post that lentil spaghetti has 18g of carbs per 85g)
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large bell pepper, diced
- 24 mini Roma tomatoes, cut in half (some for the sauce, save 12-16 halves for decoration)
- 600 mls strained tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons fresh oregano
- 1/2 cup of fresh basil, chopped
- 1/2 cup of fresh basil (whole for decoration)
- Salt to taste
- Cook the pasta according to the package.
- Combine 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, onion, and garlic in a large saucepan over medium heat for 2 minutes.
- Stir in Roma tomatoes, strained tomatoes, and the remaining olive oil.
- Add in salt, pepper, oregano and 1 and 1/4 cup of the basil.
- Simmer spaghetti sauce for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. At the 20-minute mark, add in the remaining 1/4 cup of basil and stir it into the sauce.
Approximate nutritional information for 1 serving (Based on brands and amounts used in the recipe)
- Calories: 341
- Fat: 8 g
- Carbs: 59 g
- Protein: 22 g
Volcano spaghetti assembly
You can do this part while the pasta is cooking
- Cut about 2-4 inches off the top of the pylon to make a flat surface.
- After washing and drying the pylon and tray, cover the entire pylon in aluminum foil.
- Place the pylon covered in foil in the center of the tray, wide part down.
- To make the tomato houses: Take some of the halved tomatoes and place them around the volcano on the tray upside down, so the rounded top is up.
- To make the trees: Take a few tomatoes and cut a little of the rounded top off to flatten them and then take some of the basil with the stalks still in and stick them in the tomatoes. Place them around the tray.
- To make the fallen leaves and flowers: Use some of the basil leaves off of the stalk and place them around the tray.
- To make the people (well we called them people, they could be street signs, robots, whatever): Use the leafless stalks and stand them around the tray.
When the spaghetti and sauce is ready
- First, scoop some spaghetti and place it around the base of the volcano.
- Take some of the noodles and hang them down the volcano from the top. You’ll know when to stop because they’ll all start slipping.
- Take the sauces and pour some down the volcano and on top of the spaghetti at the base of the volcano as shown in the picture.
- There will be leftover noodles and sauce. We put those in a bowl to eat. Or you can repeat the process and have two volcanoes. Five of us ate all the spaghetti including from the volcano.
End note: Ash laughs when I called her my little cousin because she calls me Auntie Sam. But she is a cousin’s daughter so I go with little cousin.
We have cooked up another idea for next time, and if it works, it will be epic! Stay tuned!