I had been cooking my latest version of Filipino-style Spaghetti for quite sometime now and have been planning to blog about it but never had the chance.Â Itâ€™s a good thing this monthâ€™s KCC theme, hosted by Gio and Bea, is all about this pasta with sweet, sometimes with a hint of chili, tomato-based sauce.
My parents never cooked spaghetti for us.Â They are partial to strictly Filipino dishes and on our birthdays they cook the meanest pancit bihon.Â Well, they never really liked spaghetti, or any type of pasta regardless if itâ€™s Italian or Filipino-style.Â Before I knew Jollibee spaghetti, I remember pasta from the school canteen – barely reddish with ketchup and finely diced carrots and hotdogs.Â At friendsâ€™ birthday parties, the addition of minced pork (more popular than minced beef) and bigger slices of hotdogs was such a treat for us kids.Â For some reason even if Iâ€™d choose bihon over it anytime of the day I still ate it with gusto when served.
Having said all that, the first spaghetti I cooked was Italian Bolognese following procedures from the first non-Filipino cookbook I bought in my early 20s.Â Funny that itâ€™s when I realized that the tomato sauce is not supposed to be sweet!Â If you ask me, my guess is that our ancestors probably got our version from the Chinese.Â During the years we lived in Beijing, we were introduced to authentic northern Chinese food and one of them is called zha jiang mian, translated to us as Chinese Spaghetti.Â We were really surprised how similar it is to the Filipino-style not only in color but also in taste.Â The meat sauce is also sweet no wonder our Chinese translator loves the way Tita Glo (my sonâ€™s yaya then) cooks her pasta ala-Jollibee.
I love making my tomato sauce from scratch and perfected a version I got from watching Masterchef NZ but I admit I get cravings for Filipino-style from time to time.Â For ages I struggled to replicate it until I made something I am comfortable with.Â If I cook for Filipino friends who grew up in the Philippines, it goes without saying that the sauce should be sweet and with sausages.
More than a year ago I â€˜re-masteredâ€™ it using Kiwi ingredients.Â When I cook it for Filipino friends as well as my stepson who grew up in Manila, it always hit the spot.Â My son, who was never exposed to this style and partial to white sauce or olive-oil based sauce, surprisingly loves it.Â I always tell them I have a secret ingredient.Â Some of you may not know, in New Zealand there is no ketchup but something called tomato sauce (not to be confused with tomato pasta sauce) and my tomato sauce of choice is NZ made with a small percentage of beer in it.Â Yes, beer!Â And the sauce is sweet I donâ€™t need to add extra sugar.Â I personally call this ‘Kiwipinoy spaghetti’.
For KCC, I cooked the sauce with slices of corned beef silverside and beef meatballs.Â Corned beef silverside maybe different from the canned corned beef normally used in another version of pinoy spaghetti but that’s the inspiration.Â I intend to use minced pork but I grabbed the wrong minced meat at the market.
1 cup olive oil (Masterchef says donâ€™t be afraid to use more)
2 onions, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
A bowl of button mushrooms, quartered
1 small carrot, diced
Pre-cooked corned beef silverside, sliced
2 1/2 cup of Tuimato Sauce (or a mixture of crushed tomatoes and sugar)
5 to 6 tbsp of tomato paste
Freshly grated black pepper
Beef meatballs (you may use this recipe as a guideline)
Parmesan cheese (or grated cheddar cheese)
Heat olive oil in a saucepan while you prepare the onions and garlic.Â Over low heat, cook onions and garlic until soft and melted for about 20 minutes.Â During this time, prepare the mushrooms, carrots and corned beef silverside.
Add the carrots and corned beef, and cook for about 5 minutes.Â Throw in the mushrooms and cook for another 2 minutes.
Pour in Tuimato Sauce and tomato paste.Â Stir to combine.Â Heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.Â Set aside while you start to cook the pasta and meatballs. Cook pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. In another pan, pan-fry meatballs over medium heat for about 10 minutes.Â Both should be cooked about the same time.
Place saucepan over hot hob.Â Using slotted pasta spoon, remove spaghetti from water and stir into cooked pasta sauce.Â Fold the pasta and sauce together gently.Â Transfer to a serving platter or individual plates.Â Top with meatballs and sprinkle generously with cheese.
“Kulinarya Cooking Club was started by a group of Filipino foodies living in Sydney who are passionate about the Filipino culture and its colourful cuisine.
Each month we will showcase a new dish along with their family recipes. By sharing these recipes, we hope you find the same passion and love for Filipino food as we do.” - Kulinarya Cooking Club
- 1 cup olive oil
- 2 onions, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- A bowl of button mushrooms, quartered
- 1 small carrot, diced
- Pre-cooked corned beef silverside, sliced
- 2½ cup of Tuimato Sauce (or a mixture of crushed tomatoes and sugar)
- 5 to 6 tbsp of tomato paste
- Freshly grated black pepper
- 500g spaghetti
- Salted water
- Beef meatballs
- Parmesan cheese (or grated cheddar cheese) to garnish
- Heat olive oil in a saucepan while you prepare the onions and garlic. Over low heat, cook onions and garlic until soft and melted for about 20 minutes. During this time, prepare the mushrooms, carrots and corned beef silverside.
- Add the carrots and corned beef, and cook for about 5 minutes. Throw in the mushrooms and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Pour in Tuimato sauce and tomato paste. Stir to combine. Heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Set aside while you start to cook the pasta and meatballs.
- Cook pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. In another pan, pan-fry meatballs over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Both should be cooked about the same time.
- Place saucepan over still hot hob. Using slotted pasta spoon, remove spaghetti from water and stir into cooked pasta sauce. Fold the pasta and sauce together gently. Transfer to a serving platter or individual plates. Top with meatballs and garnish with cheese.