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Kitchen Rescue

Three ways to cook spaghetti–with meatballs, Filipino-style or baked with ‘queso de bola’

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As a holiday treat, I wish to share recipes that you can cook for family and friends during the season. A most requested dish is children’s party spaghetti, the one with hotdogs. Here’s my version of it, plus a meatball and baked spaghetti recipe, all Pinoy-style, tinged with a bit of sweetness and perfect for your little ones.

Use cooking time indicated in the box as a guide when cooking pasta. When time’s almost up, bite noodle to check and adjust cooking accordingly.

When cooking pasta, use a large pot—14-16 cups of water for ½ kilo of pasta.

When water boils, add a pinch of salt. Not only does it season, it makes water get back to boiling faster once the pasta is added.

Stir the noodles from time to time to avoid sticking.

Drain pasta well for sauce to easily coat them.

Do not wash pasta; doing so takes away the starch or “stickiness” that allows the sauce to adhere to it.

Only wash pasta with cold water if you have overcooked it; or to stop cooking it further.

Cook pasta only before serving.

 

Pinoy-style Spaghetti

  • ¼ c butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 c ground beef
  • 2 tbsp garlic
  • 1 c onions
  • 4 c tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1½ c beef stock
  • ¼ c chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 3-4 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp mixed Italian herbs
  • 2 small bay leaves
  • 3 large Purefoods Tender Juicy Hotdogs, sliced diagonally
  • 4 pcs sweet ham, cut into ½-inch squares
  • 1 can vienna sausage; sliced
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Heat butter and oil.

Add ground beef.

Cook until meat has changed color and the juices from the meat are dried out.

Add onions, garlic; cook until onions are translucent.

Add the rest of the ingredients except the cured meats.

Simmer over low heat until reduced.

Add cured meats.

Cook 20 minutes more.

Season to taste.

Serve with Pinoy Cheddar Cheese.

Spaghetti with Meatballs

Inspired by my mom, who used to cook this recipe loaded with bilo-bilo-sized meatballs for us. Unfortunately, mom stopped cooking when I started to cook. This is my take on her recipe.

Meatballs:

  • ½ k ground beef
  • ¼ k ground pork
  • ¼ k pork back fat, chopped by hand
  • 1/3 c chopped onions, grated
  • 1 tbsp garlic, pounded
  • 1 tsp each—onion powder, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper

Combine ingredients in a bowl and knead by hand until pasty.

Form mini meatballs (bilo-bilo size); there will be about 3 plates full. Set aside.

Sauce:

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 c red onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, pounded
  • 2 c Italian-style tomato sauce
  • 2 c Molinera crushed or chopped canned tomato with juice
  • 1 c beef stock
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 small bay leaves
  • ¼ c chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • Handful of sweet basil leaves, whole
  • 5 tbsp parmesan
  • 1 tbsp cold butter
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Heat olive oil.

Caramelize onions, add garlic.

Pour in tomato sauce (not the sweet kind, either Italian-style or plain), stock, sugar, oregano and bay leaves, bring to a boil.

Lower heat and add meatballs.

Simmer.

Cook until meatballs begin to extract oil or until sauce is reduced and shiny.

Add parsley and basil.

Add parmesan and 1 tbsp cold butter.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve with pasta and more parmesan.

Baked Spaghetti with Queso de Bola

  • 500 g spaghetti
  • Sauce
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ½ k ground beef (for a meatier sauce, you may add 100-150 g more)
  • 1 c red onions
  • 2 tbsp garlic
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp each onion and garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 c tomato sauce
  • 2 canned tomatoes, chopped with juice
  • 1 c beef stock
  • 1 tsp each basil leaves, oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • ¼ c chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 3-4 tbsp sugar
  • 2 small bay leaves
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2/3 cup Quickmelt, large grate
  • 2/3 cup + handful Magnolia Queso de Bola (I like it for this recipe because it is not too sharp), large grate

Heat oil and butter.

Add ground beef and cook until meat has changed color and the juices from the meat dry out.

Add onions and garlic.

Add the rest of the ingredients.

Simmer over low heat, 1 hour.

Season to taste.

Set aside 1 cup of sauce.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Butter a baking dish.

Pour sauce over cooked spaghetti and toss.

Pour and spread the sauce that you set aside.

Put half of the pasta on the baking dish and sprinkle grated queso de bola.

Cover with remaining half of pasta.

Pour and spread bechamel.

Finish with the two cheeses.

Bake 20-30 minutes, until cheese has melted and golden.

 

Bechamel sauce

  • 1/3 c butter
  • ¼ c all-purpose flour
  • 2 c fresh milk
  • 1½ c Alpine evap milk
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg

Melt butter.

Whisk in flour.

Add warmed milks.

Whisk till thick.

Season with salt and nutmeg.

Garlic Bread

1 large baguette, sliced in four

Garlic Butter:

  • 1 c salted butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 3 tbsp garlic paste
  • 4 tbsp parmesan cheese

Combine.

Mix well.

Spread generously on bread.

Sprinkle with parmesan.

Toast until golden.


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