This super spooky 'Severed Finger' Pasta makes a fun Halloween dinner for kids or adults.
The 'fingers' are made from frankfurter sausages - with some easy yet clever cutting they become fingers and then nestled in the red sauce pasta they look fabulously scary. The sauce (with hidden veg) is so easy to make and adds to the dramatic effect of this spooky dinner.
Halloween is so packed full of candy it is nice to have an easy Halloween meal up your sleeve.
We all love the candy and chocolate of Halloween, but so many Halloween recipes are sweet cakes and treats. Don't get me wrong I love them too, my Halloween brains are one of my favorite creations! But sometimes it is good to have a few Halloween meal ideas at the ready.
But today I want to share a Halloween Dinner idea - Severed Finger Pasta.
Not that I think you need a heads up...but these aren't real fingers...they are made from hotdog sausages (aka Franks or Frankfurters).
How to turn Frankfurters into Halloween fingers
These severed fingers are actually really easy to produce.
- Start by making the 'finger nails' and cutting 16 small squares out of onion.
- Cut each frank in half
- Cut thin shallow indents into the frank, about ⅓ up from the cut end. (This will be the knuckle)
- Turn the knife horizontally and cut off a thin flat slice at the top of the frank to make a nail end.
- The pictures below show this cutting process more clearly.
- The sausages and onion squares are then simmered in water for 5 minutes to heat through. The hot water also opens up the shallow indents and makes them start to look like knuckles.
- Once the 'fingers' have cooked a little tomato sauce is added to the nail area to stick on the onion nails.
- Severed fingers completed. These can then be nestled in the pasta.
How to make the red sauce for pasta
This sauce is an adaption my standard red sauce, but to ensure it looks very blood-like, I have added a couple of drops of red food coloring to the mixture. Feel free to leave that out though.
The sauce starts with onion, red bell pepper, carrots, and garlic. These are sauteed gently in olive oil with salt and oregano until soft. Then it is just a case of adding them to a blender or food processor along with a 28oz can of diced tomatoes. A little more seasoning and the sauce is ready to use. It can be simmered again gently to heat back through and reduce any liquid further if needed.
You can leave the sauce a bit chunkier, or if puree it up until smooth and almost creamy in texture. (that is our favourite).
What pasta to pick?
I felt that penne would allow me to really nestle the fingers down into the bowl of pasta, but any shape like that would work - rigatoni, ziti fusilli. Even shells could be good.
Or go for a long pasta like spaghetti or linguine.
Can this be made ahead of time?
The fingers can be prepped ahead of time, but they want to be cooked just before you eat as franks tend to dry out of left too long.
The pasta sauce can be made up to 3 days in advance and then kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
If you want to cook the pasta in advance, cook it a little less than you usually do, dress it with some of the sauce and keep in the refrigerator. It can then be heated up with a splash of water and more sauce in the microwave or in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
For more spooky halloween food ideas try:
- Witches Hair Pasta
- 'Snakes' Tongue Rolls – Halloween Hot Dogs
- Rice Krispies Treat Marshmallow Brains
- Witches Hat Cheese Ball
- Sweet and Sour ‘Bat’ Wings
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Severed Finger Pasta - Halloween Pasta Recipe
For the sauce
- 1 large onion (peeled and chopped) - see note 1
- 1 carrot (peeled and finely chopped)
- 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 garlic cloves (peeled and sliced)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano/italain herbs
- 1 can diced tomatoes (28oz/800g can)
- 1 teaspoon sugar - see note 2
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 3-5 drops red food coloring - optional
For the fingers and pasta
- 8 frankfurter sausages - see note 3
- onion - see note 1
- 14 oz pasta - see note 4
To make the pasta sauce
- Add the olive oil to a large frying pan, skillet or saute pan.
- Add the onions, carrots, bell peppers and salt. Cook these for 10-15 minutes over medium heat until soft.
- Add the chopped garlic and oregano, then cook over low heat for a further 5 minutes.
- Tip the contents of the pan into the blender or food processor, add the canned tomatoes, sugar, black pepper, and red food coloring if using. Then whizz until the sauce is smooth.
- Return the sauce to the pan and bring to a simmer, keep the sauce warm until the pasta and fingers are cooked.
For the "Severed Fingers"
- Cut small squares from the onion for fingernails.
- Cut each frankfurt/hotdogs in half.
- Make three small indents about ⅓ up from the cut end.
- In the rounded end of the frank, turn your knife horizontally and cut off a small square nail indent. (see the main post for pictures of these cuts).
- Bring a pan of water to the simmer and then cook your onions and franks for 5 minutes until heated through.
- Use a little tomato sauce to 'glue' the onion nails onto the fingers.
To cook the pasta
- Bring a large pan of water to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of salt and cook the pasta for 1 minute less than the packet suggests.
- Reserve a cup of the pasta cooking water and then drain the pasta.
- Return it to the pan and add 3 or 4 spoonfuls of the red pasta sauce.
- Stir gently over low heat to combine the pasta, add a splash of the cooking water. Add more sauce until coated to your liking.
- Serve with the severed fingers nestled amongst the pasta.
- When chopping the onion cut your 16 'fingernails' out and set to one side, this saves you having to use a second onion for just a few pieces.
- Canned tomatoes can vary in sweetness, so I like to balance the acidity with some sugar. Feel free to leave it out or use less if your tomatoes are sweet enough.
- I like to use chicken and pork frankfurter sausages but use your favorite brand of hotdog/frankfurter.
- Any pasta will work here, rigatoni, ziti fusilli, shells or long pasta like spaghetti or linguine.