Filipino Recipes to Know: Pinoy Spaghetti

The great thing about Filipino cuisine is that there are so many Filipino recipes that you can try, whether you’re an amateur in the kitchen or a top chef. That said, you’re probably here because you’re just getting to know how to cook Filipino food (but hopefully have already dipped your toes into making stuff like adobo or sinigang), and want to explore a little bit more about the cuisine.

So let’s start with a basic recipe that’s known to all Filipinos: Pinoy spaghetti. This bright red variety of the pasta dish is a staple in all children’s parties alongside sticks of pork barbecue and hotdogs with marshmallows. But what makes it so different?

What is Pinoy Spaghetti?

Pinoy spaghetti is a bright red, sweet spaghetti usually made with hotdogs and ground beef. According to Pepper.ph, a resource on Filipino cuisine from the Philippines:

“It’s Filipino comfort food; one that is often associated with birthday parties alongside the fried chicken. Outside of the Philippines, it’s known as the specialty of fast-food giant Jollibee.”

How to Make Pinoy Spaghetti

There are several ways to make Pinoy spaghetti, and though you can find recipes for it online, the way you cook it really depends on you. That is, Pinoy spaghetti can come in different flavor profiles; some are sweeter, some are more savory, some are even a bit sour. The final product is a result of what you put into it, which is based on your personal preference.

The easiest way to make it is to buy one of those instant Pinoy spaghetti packs from the supermarket. You can find them bundled with a pack of instant spaghetti, so you have everything you need to make it. There are even different variations; choose whichever you like. Then, all you have to do is cook the spaghetti, heat up the sauce (and maybe add some aromatics and protein), then put everything together. There are usually instructions on the pack to help you do it.

However, if you want to make it from scratch, it’s also pretty simple and straightforward. The recipe follows the same principle of most pasta recipes, where you build the sauce then combine it with cooked noodles. Though it’s interesting to note that Pinoy spaghetti is typically served separately, so you can add sauce as you please.

It starts with sauteing aromatics, then cooking the protein—in this case, ground beef and hotdogs. Then, you add tomato sauce, tomato paste, or banana ketchup (most likely a combo of the three, if not all three), and season everything. That’s pretty much it. What really matters is the ingredients that you use—and how much of it you put—to create a show-stopping Pinoy spaghetti. If you need something more structured, Pepper.ph has a great tried-and-tested recipe that really makes this Filipino recipe shine.

Of course, you can’t forget to top the dish with cheese, preferably something processed like Eden cheese, to round out the experience.

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