I guess you will be surprised if I told you that Spaghetti is a popular and favourite dish in Philippines. In most of the occasions like parties and gathering spaghetti will be the one of the main stays, even McDonald’s and other popular fast food chains have spaghetti on their menu. Now for those who haven’t tasted the Filipino spaghetti I must tell you that it may look similar to the Italian counterpart but there is a big difference, Pinoy spaghetti is sweet and extender ingredients are used like ham and hotdogs. These additional ingredients are not included for its flavour but more as an extender, since Philippines is a country that is not blessed with wealth we got used to extending a lot of dishes so it can feed more people while keeping in a tight budget, pure beef and pork mince are expensive compared to processed ham and hotdogs, we even thicken the sauce by adding more water and flour. Sometimes those extenders is what defines Filipino dishes though the primary reason is extending, subtly it gives that unique taste that is why when Filipinos cook this overseas the taste would be different as we tend to use better ingredients and realize that the simple version tasted better.
Now cooking it here in New Zealand is a bit of a challenge specially achieving the original sweet style flavour as we don’t have the same catsup (the commonly used one is Banana Catsup) and spaghetti sauce, that’s why here I use tomato based catsup with a combination of tomato paste. I hope you try this one out and let me know your thoughts on it.
400g minced beef
400g minced pork
200g hotdogs or frankfurters, sliced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 large bottle sweet style tomato ketchup or banana ketchup
410g tomato puree
1 cup beef stock
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp rubbed sweet basil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 big red onion, finely chopped
Quickmelt cheese or Colby, grated
freshly ground black pepper
1. Cook the spaghetti noodles according to packet instructions.
2. In heavy pan add oil then sauté garlic and onions.
3. Add the beef and pork. Cook until the meat turns light brown.
4. Dissolve flour in beef stock.
4. Add the tomato ketchup, hotdogs, tomato paste, basil and dissolved flour mixture. Stir then simmer for 20 minutes, add water if needed.
5. Season with pepper, salt and sugar (Philippine style spaghetti is sweet so we add more of this). Simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
6. Plate the noodles and top it with the sauce. Top it with grated cheese.