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Filipino Recipes: Pinoy Spaghetti

Filipino spaghetti is synonymous with Pinoy celebrations. You’ll never encounter a party without one. And if it’s a children’s birthday party, the bright red pasta dish usually comes alongside sticks of pork barbecue and hotdog-and-marshmallow skewers (yes, it’s a thing).

Pinoy spaghetti is one of the easiest Filipino recipes to make. There are even ready-to-make packs in local supermarkets that are basically a combo of dried spaghetti and instant Filipino spaghetti sauce. Just put those (and some meat) together, and you’re good to go. That said, making it from scratch is just as simple. And, a cooking resource on Filipino cuisine, has the best recipe for it—tried-and-tested using a technique inspired by how their chef’s mom does her version.

What is Pinoy Spaghetti?

Pinoy spaghetti is a bright red, sweet spaghetti usually made with ground beef and hotdogs. It’s Filipino comfort food; one that is often associated with celebrations, especially children’s parties. Outside of the Philippines, it’s known as the specialty of fast-food giant Jollibee.

What Makes the Best Pinoy Spaghetti?

You don’t need a lot of things to make Pinoy spaghetti. But it’s crucial that you get the combo of ingredients right to make a dish that’s just the right balance of sweet, meaty, and tomato-y. And, of course, you can’t do Pinoy spaghetti without hotdogs—it’s just not the same without it.

The Pinoy Spaghetti Tomato Sauce

One of the debates around Pinoy spaghetti sauce is what goes into it. Some people use tomato paste, others use tomato sauce, and a few even use banana ketchup. Why not just put them all together? This is exactly what’s recipe does.

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They’ve found that the mix of three ingredients helps balance the flavors of each other, plus gives the sauce the right consistency.

The tomato paste, having the most concentrated tomato flavor, gives it the taste of the fruit and that distinct red hue. But it lacks in sweetness, and its thick texture makes it hard to turn into a sauce. This is where tomato sauce comes in, bringing some liquid-ness into the mix that doesn’t drown out the flavor of the paste. In fact, it even heightens the tomato-y taste and, depending on the brand, it can add a little sweetness. The banana ketchup, although also tomato-y, is primarily added for sweetness. Plus, its viscous consistency helps bind the sauce together.

Hotdogs or No Hotdogs?

Putting red, processed hotdogs might sound a bit odd to add in a pasta dish, especially one that already comes with ground beef. But this component is a non-negotiable for Filipino spaghetti. Anyway, it gives a different meaty contrast to the dish, plus it brings a distinct texture that distinguishes it from the meat, overall giving a unique experience.

How to Make Pinoy Spaghetti

To know how to put these ingredients together and make the best Filipino spaghetti (and to learn more about how to cook Filipino food, Filipino recipes, and Filipino cooking in general), visit!

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