The Filipino Spaghetti

The only meals I have had since Saturday when I cooked my Filipino spaghetti (other than the two breakfasts I eat during the weekdays) have been exactly that, my Filipino spaghetti.  That’s  4-5 days straight, eating it three times a day.  I only have one tupperware left and it’s for you, “E” (I used beef in consideration of u 🙂 or “H” – first come, first served 🙂 This is one of those dishes that will literally make you lick your bowl, I know because I do it often when no one is there to see me 🙂 This dish has a very special place in my heart and soul.  When I cook and eat it, I feel “right”.  I’ve met many Filipinos who say..Filipino Spaghetti, what’s that?  This dish is not exactly a secret, there is a version that is sold in Jollibee’s – the McDonald’s of the Filipinos.  I am confident to say that there is an ingredient that my family uses that is not found in most recipes : banana sauce or as I call it, banana katsup – this really gives the dish it’s unique “character”, in my opinion.  I haven’t done much research, but I “think” that banana katsup is uniquely Filipino.  This is the only ingredient in the dish that you will have to go to a major asian store to purchase.  Look for it in the sauce section of Ranch 99 or Buford Highway Farmer’s market ( there’s an aisle for Filipino ingredients).

Disclaimer: This is exactly how I made it, I cooked it with the intention of freezing the sauce for later use. It is a good amount of sauce that will offer many servings. If you prefer, you can cut the ingredients by half.

Ingredients:

Barilla Plus thin spaghetti

1 spaghetti squash

2 1/2 pounds tomatoes – diced

18 ounces tomato paste

2 1/4 lbs 93/7  lean ground beef  ( traditionally we use pork, I”m sure you can substitute turkey or chicken too)

6-8 bay leaves – dried (came from the Atlanta Botanical Garden)

1/2 to 1 lb smoked fat free turkey hot dogs – cut into small strips

1 red onion, 1 yellow onion – diced

1 1/2 garlic heads – minced

1 green Bell Pepper, 2 red Bell Peppers

3 table spoons cooking oil

5 table spoons – splenda (sucralose)

1/2 bottle (tamis anghang) sweet and spicy banana sauce

1/2 bottle regular banana sauce

1 package of baby portabella mushrooms – sliced

some amount of regular katsup

1-2 tablespoons soy sauce

salt and pepper to taste

In a sauce pan or wok, heat oil,  sautee garlic, then add onions, sautee, add tomatoes, continue sauteeing until these ingredients start to look relatively cooked

Add ground beef, bay leaves, bell peppers, bring to a boil and let simmer until everything starts to look pretty well cooked( 10 minutes or more ( I chose more) , I didn’t want this spaghetti to be super “chunky”, I especially didn’t want chunks of tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers so these should be very soft where the onions and tomatoes pretty much blend/fade into the background.

Add tomato paste and banana katsup, salt and pepper, continue to simmer to allow flavors to assimilate (possibly 10 minutes or more, I chose more)

Add splenda, hotdogs, mushrooms

At this point it should be cooked, but you can let it simmer until you think the flavors and texture have really come together to your liking.  This is also where you can taste and adjust as needed with more banana sauce or regular katsup, soy sauce, salt & pepper (have extra tomato paste handy just in case).  I’m pretty much eating it at this point with all the tasting to get it perfect 🙂

When you’re satisfied, you have your sauce ready.

I use Barilla Plus thin spaghetti because it has extra protein, omega 3 and fiber and still tastes great – I preferably to eat the spaghetti with this until 6 p.m.

After 6pm or so I would eat the sauce with spaghetti squash!! Why? because it’s low carb and super healthy and still delicious!  After 6pm (really after 4pm, I guess) your metabolism slows down.  Cut squash in half, take seeds out,  microwave 3 minutes per pound and bake about an hour.  You should be able to pull the spaghetti strings out with a fork.

 

 

 “amazing Filipino spaghetti, who’d have thunk it? amazing, I practically ate the bowl too, best spaghetti I’ve ever had” according to  “S” (she’s an independent food writer for various publications in Atlanta)

“I have to agree, this one impressed even me, I think it’s divine.” Yours Truly, Mark Castillo

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