I remember my aunt making spaghetti for family reunions. She would pour at least two bottles of banana ketchup into the sauce to thicken and sweeten it. I loved it as a kid and it was comfort food for my daughters when they were toddlers.
But aside from being sweet, what makes spaghetti sauce Filipino? Sliced hotdogs. The more, the better. I used to think that the presence of sliced hotdogs in spaghetti sauce was an exclusively Filipino thing. But in Season 3 Episode 20 of The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon talked about hotdogs in spaghetti like his mother used to make. And then there’s Japanese ketchup spaghetti which has sliced hotdogs too.
And there’s ground meat Filipino spaghetti sauce too? Sure! It’s essentially the classic spaghetti meat sauce but sweeter and with the addition of sliced hotdogs. So, yes, there’s ground beef. A mixture of ground beef and ground pork will work too.
What are those green specks bowl of spaghetti in the first photo? Chopped parsley which is not traditional to Filipino spaghetti, truth be told. But we’re all adults in the family now, including the girls, and there’s no reason to exclude herbs and vegetables which young children truly hate. Not only does my spaghetti have parsley, there’s chopped pimiento, oregano and paprika too. And a healthy dose of minced garlic.
And, to sweeten, I use sugar. No banana ketchup. We’re really past that.
Filipino-style Sweet Spaghetti With Hotdogs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 400 grams ground beef
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ⅓ cup finely chopped onion
- ⅓ cup finely chopped canned pimiento
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste mixed with 1 cup bone broth
- 1 tablespoon sugar more if you want the sauce sweeter
- 3 hotdogs (beef frankfurters were used in this recipe) sliced into rings
- 200 grams spaghetti cooked al dente
- grated Parmesan to serve
- chopped parsley to garnish
- Heat the olive oil in a pot.
- Add the ground beef. Cook over high heat, breaking up lumps, until lightly browned.
- Add the garlic, onion, pimiento, oregano and paprika to the beef.
- Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
- Turn the heat down to medium and cook, stirring often, until the onion bits are softened and translucent.
- Pour in the tomato sauce and diluted tomato paste.
- Stir in the sugar. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Add more salt, pepper or sugar, or all of them, to get the balance that you like.
- Stir in the sliced frankfurters. Bring to a gentle boil.
- Set the heat to low, cover the pot and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Give the sauce a final taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed.
- Divide the cooked noodles among bowls.
- Ladle a generous amount of the meaty sauce over them.
- Sprinkle with Parmesan and parsley.
- Serve your Filipino-style sweet spaghetti with hotdogs with toast on the side.