In Elite Daily’s I Tried series, we put products, recipes, and routines to the test to show you what living like your fave stars and characters is really like. In this piece, a writer eats Buddy the Elf’s classic holiday spaghetti recipe.
If you ask me, one of the best parts of the holiday season is the food. As someone with a massive sweet tooth, I find there’s truly nothing better than scarfing down every Christmas cookie and gingerbread house in my immediate vicinity. Another great part? Christmas movies, especially the iconic 2003 film Elf.
Will Ferrell gives one of his best performances ever as Buddy, a human raised by North Pole elves who reunites with his birth father in New York City and discovers that his old man is (gasp!) on the naughty list. A beacon of Christmas cheer throughout Elf, Buddy gets up to some laugh-out-loud fish-out-of-water antics as he tries to acclimate to regular life. Most memorable — at least to this sweet treat lover — is when Buddy transforms leftover spaghetti into a full sugar rush of a breakfast, complete with Pop-Tarts, marshmallows, and maple syrup. He even eats it with his hands!
It’s a silly gross-out gag in the movie, but if you’re like me, you’ve probably caught yourself wondering how his pasta recipe actually tastes at least once in your life. Considering Ferrell is finally starring in another holiday movie (Apple TV+’s film Spirited), I figured now is the perfect time to revisit Buddy’s story… and his questionable dining habits. Plus, this Elf recipe is actually having something of a moment; Hello Fresh recently announced an Elf-themed meal kit, complete with all the ingredients you need for the recipe.
So, with a healthy dose of holiday cheer and an even bigger helping of morbid curiosity, I bravely set out to try Buddy the Elf’s dessert pasta recipe. Here’s how it went.
Since Buddy doesn’t list out his exact ingredient measurements and I didn’t want to wait for a meal kit delivery, I decided to follow popular cooking YouTuber Binging with Babish’s tried-and-true Elf pasta recipe.
Here’s the full list of ingredients, all of which can easily be found in your local grocery store.
- 160 grams of spaghetti
- 1/4 cup of tomato sauce
- 1/3 cup of chocolate chips
- A handful of M&Ms
- 1 fudge Pop-Tart
- A handful of marshmallows
- 1/3 cup of maple syrup
- 1/3 cup of caramel sauce
- 1/3 cup of chocolate sauce
Buddy The Elf’s Breakfast Spaghetti Recipe
The first steps in Buddy’s pasta recipe were pretty normal, actually. I cooked my spaghetti, then drained the pot and stirred in some fresh tomato sauce. Typical pasta dinner stuff. But after that, things veered off course into a full sea of swirly, twirly gumdrops territory.
Once I transferred my spaghetti to a plate, I transformed it into a truly one-of-a-kind concoction. First, I sprinkled handfuls of chocolate chips and M&Ms over the spaghetti. Then I sprinkled the plate with marshmallows and crushed pieces of a fudge Pop-Tart. Lastly, I finished the whole extravaganza off with drizzles of maple syrup, caramel sauce, and chocolate sauce.
Finally, the moment arrived. Would I fully embrace this sugary North Pole meal like Buddy, or end up as grumpy as his manager at Gimbels department store? There was only one way to find out.
The Taste Test
As curious as I was about Buddy’s pasta recipe, I went into this experiment pretty certain that the taste of it would be far less blissful for me than it was for him. I was right.
Simply put, something as savory as tomato sauce-drenched pasta and something as sweet as candy and syrup don’t mesh well with my taste buds. The competing flavors basically canceled each other out, making the entire dish taste strangely tart. It doesn’t help that all four sauces gave the spaghetti a slimy mouthfeel, which was a shame, considering I enjoy all of these ingredients separately. But when an M&M starts turning your pasta blue and you can’t tell a tomato sauce puddle from a maple syrup puddle, you start feeling like a real cotton-headed ninny muggins. And I’ll admit, I was not carefree enough to eat it with my hands like Buddy!
As much as I love Buddy the Elf, I couldn’t fully embrace the North Pole lifestyle the same way that his girlfriend Jovie does. To be clear, the dessert pasta wasn’t nearly as bad as it could’ve been — visions of me gagging in disgust definitely danced in my head — but it was more of a head-scratcher than anything else.
If you decide to taste Buddy’s pasta for yourself, I would recommend starting with a smaller serving. I cooked enough pasta for an entire meal, but after about six forkfuls of the final product, I was on the verge of getting a sugar-induced stomach ache, so I stopped eating it.
All in all, I’m glad that I gave my favorite elf’s preferred snack a shot. Now I know that when Elf’s 20th (yes, really) anniversary rolls around next year, I’d much rather enjoy a rewatch while munching on treats from the seven levels of the candy cane forest — hold the spaghetti.
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