"Kusina" = Kitchen; "Manang" = older sister

A Filipina's unabashed chronicle of her adaptations in the American kitchen. Includes step-by-step photos on how to make pan de sal, ensaymada, pan de coco, siopao, hopia, pandelimon, pianono, atsara, crema de fruta,etc., and if you are lucky, you will find videos too!

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Filipino-Italian Spaghetti

I am currently experimenting to come up with a recipe for monay...but I don't want to wait for the results of that before I make another post, so I thought I'd post about this recipe even though most likely, my kids will (eventually) be the only ones perusing it and actually cooking it.

I love the Italian style spaghetti...the one like that in Sbarro's...very tomato-ey. Sometimes I use my whole-packed tomatoes (drained). If pressed for time, I grab a jar of Classico pasta sauce. (When I had my own canned pasta sauce, I used that as well.)

However, my kids are not too fond of that. They will eat it, but not favorited.

One time, my nephew and niece were with us and I thought of preparing spaghetti that was sweet, and with hotdogs, like the Filipino style spaghetti. I knew it would be a winner because every kid loves hotdogs! So I set aside unsweetened spaghetti sauce for me and hubby, and the rest was sweetened with hotdogs.

Everyone, including my sons, even the BIG BOY (hubby), liked it better. (I was surprised when hubby got intrigued, him being a hotdog fan as well, and actually preferred it.) Nephew said, "This is even better than my mom's spaghetti!" (Shhhh, don't ever tell her that!). I have to admit I like it better, too.

Any truly Italian would laugh at the idea of hotdogs in spaghetti...


2 tbsp oil
1 onion
4 garlic cloves
1 lb ground beef
14-oz 4-cheese Classico pasta sauce
5 pcs red hotdogs (WA Bean & Sons), sliced
basil, oregano parsley
salt and pepper to taste
sugar to taste (3 tbsp for me)

Boil pasta as instructed in the package. (Stirring in the first few minutes the pasta is in the boiling water will prevent them from sticking together. No need for oil, as how my hubby thinks it does.)

Sautee garlic and onion. Add ground beef until browned. Add pasta sauce (rinse jar with about 1/4 cup of water twice and add to saucepan) and hotdogs. Season with salt and pepper and sugar. Simmer for about 10 minutes for flavors to blend, stirring from time to time.

Serve with grated parmesan cheese.

Meanwhile, I am gonna grace myself with the wonderful performance of Charice featuring one of her newest songs in her upcoming album...(pasensya na kayo; I am such a big fan...I am so mesmerized by her.)


  1. I remember the first time I had spaghetti after we moved to Canada from the Philippines. It was 'authentic' spaghetti but I insisted to my mom that it wasn't because it didn't have hot dogs! I should try it again, for old times' sake.

  2. that's what i have been craving for ever since i learned about Jollibee in NY!:)thanks for the comment, the filling is panutsa-caramelized mangoes:) and i just added a dollop of whipped cream too:)

  3. My hubby, who is half-Italian, still won't eat Filipino Spaghetti with Hotdogs. Hah! Its his loss.. masarap kaya. Thanks manang for this recipe.
    Pam NYC

  4. My kids grew still yearn for the jollibee taste spaghetti. And even the way my nanay made it back then, it was sweet, used banana ketchup and tomato sauce, and had chopped carrots (power packed!). Italians would also think spaghetti is not supposed to have carrots....but hey, it was effective in making us kids have our veggie dose!

  5. Funny about sweet spaghetti sauce and banana ketchup and hotdogs. I used to like it. Then I discovered adding italian sausage, basil and fresh tomatoes ground up carrots and zuchinni (true, hide the veggies)and a little tomato paste, yummy, I do not add the banana ketcup anymore. I add a little sugar and red pepper flakes.

  6. The most horrible tasting pasta on the planet and not even pleasing to the eye. Please, try the Italian style, you will never go back. Ant Italian grandma would be horrified to see a bottle of ketchup being poured into the sauce along with hot dogs!!!!

  7. Anonymous,

    That is a very unpleasant attack on Filipino culture and food preferences. You need to learn to respect cultural preferences.

    I have tried Italian style and I do prefer that over the Filipino style, but that is only ME. My children, and even my stepdaughter and nephew and niece who are pure American white children loved my attempt to combine the two tastes. My American husband does not care for spaghetti, no matter how I fix it.

    Taste is a matter of preference, and one's preference depends a lot on what one grew up on. So your opinion does not matter at all. And in my blog, I do not care what some other person deems as "the only way" or "the right way" because in what my family, friends and I eat, it only matters that they eat it. Period. No matter how pleasing to the eyes or how strictly I adhere to a recipe, if it does not get eaten by my family or friends, it does not make it to my recipe database.

  8. Here's a story. Years ago my friend took me to Cibo (restaurant). Since I was craving for some Spaghetti that night , I simply asked the waiter what's the closest thing to a spaghetti meat sauce he could offer me. I was given the Spaghetti Bolognese. (which was almost unheard of in Bologna Italy, they have Ragu alla Bolognese -- meat sauce only, sometimes served with lasagne)
    While it looked good, maybe even tasted great given the caliber of the resto, it was not exactly what I was craving.
    My friend seeing my reaction to the meal instantly asked the waiter for some sugar and more cheese to sprinkle on my pasta. To say it was an improvement would be over doing it, but it did tasted better after the few "adjustments".

    I guess its a matter of personal taste.

    By the way,I can't help but read the previous comment regarding Italian grandmas and their spaghetti sauces. I doubt if the Filipino style spaghetti would get such a crude reaction from any decent Italian. Afterall, one could look at the evolution of the classic Pizza as a perfect example of food adopted according to one's culture and taste, from the Ancient Greeks topping it with just oil and spices to the Italians with their classic Pizza Margherita (tomato sauce, basil and mozarella) and now, the Chicago Deep Dish, California's Barbecue Style etc ...

  9. Hi MPC,

    Indeed a lot of "originals" want to claim that theirs is the authentic recipe, and they cringe at the thought of deviating away from the original. They have their fans, but deviants such as those pizza that evolved according to American culture and taste preference also have their fans.

    I hate it when people fight about whose food is better. I do know that if we all run out of food, preferences will dissolve within 3 days of hunger.


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