Ah, we’re finally making the classic Filipino Style Spaghetti recipe. It’s something that every Filipino, if not love, have consumed during their childhoods. It’s a staple Filipino dish during fiestas, the holidays, and any big celebration. The Filipino style spaghetti is mostly sweet in flavor with its tomato sauce and should be meaty with plenty of slices of hotdog mixed in with the sauce. That’s what most Filipinos know what consists of a spaghetti dish.
I’m sure to most foreigners, this kind of spaghetti is a wacky thing. It’s such an interesting experience watching videos of foreigners reacting to a Filipino style spaghetti on the internet (all of which are Jolly Spaghetti).
But to Filipinos its the best version of the spaghetti. I doubt to Filipinos that are not well versed in the food’s history, they probably have no idea that spaghetti is Italian food and is very different in preparation to how we do it in the Philippines. I’m pretty sure that Italians and lovers of Italian cuisine do a double-take when they see this recipe.
Just like with other Filipino recipes, the Filipino style spaghetti recipe is a result of years of evolution and adaptation (this sounds like something out of a nature documentary) of the original Spaghetti recipe using native Filipino ingredients. This created an entirely different spaghetti recipe that’s made to suit the Filipino palate.
This newer version of the Spaghetti recipe has become a staple in Filipino cuisine and gained massive popularity throughout the country. One contributor to the popularity of this Filipino style spaghetti recipe is a nationwide fast-food chain, Jollibee, that serves Jolly Spaghetti on their menu and quickly became a best seller. Gradually, every household developed its own spaghetti recipe and it became a party favorite from there.
As a kid, I had no idea that spaghetti is an Italian dish. I was even clueless that there are other versions of the spaghetti dish. I thought that spaghetti was always what we know of it as its version of a Filipino dish. So I was very fascinated to learn that the Filipino style spaghetti was, in fact, not the original recipe for it and that there are loads of different recipes for spaghetti all over the world.
It wasn’t until during my high school years when my parents took me to a fusion restaurant that just opened up in the city did I get a taste of an Italian spaghetti recipe. It was very different from the sweet Filipino style spaghetti which isn’t a bad thing. The flavors are much more earthy but the tomato sauce is still there.
I remember reading the spaghetti section on their menu over and over again because it was the first time I saw a description of an Italian spaghetti recipe. It sparked my curiosity all these years and ever since then, I’ve become hyperaware of the different origins of the foods that we eat, something that a lot of people may take for granted.
And with the creation of this site, I found more about the history of the recipes that are posted here. We are doing a Filipino style spaghetti recipe today, it’s history stemmed back during World War II where there is evidence that the Americans brought dry pasta to the Philippines as their rations. Filipinos got to learn how to cook this ingredient and the spaghetti recipe from the Americans. And the spaghetti turned into what we all know and love today.
You should know that in Italy, spaghetti refers to the pasta strands, not necessarily the recipe. So there are many different preparations that use spaghetti pasta in Italy, all of which use the name spaghetti with varying differences (i.e. spaghetti alla carbonara).
The entire history and origin of spaghetti go back centuries to the Roman Empire. Spaghetti was invented as a different preparation method of pasta. There are conflicting theories on where the Romans learned the skill of turning dough into pasta with some saying it came from trading with ancient China and some reporting that it came from the Middle East and the Arabian Penninsula.
One thing’s for sure though is that the traditional Italian pasta, along with the invention of spaghetti, originated in Rome which quickly spread out and gained popularity over centuries outside the city. But we probably an entirely new article to fully discuss the history of spaghetti and pasta as a whole.
For curious Filipinos, the important thing to note that spaghetti was brought to the US probably during the first world war. And the Americans brought it to the Philippines during the second world war. It’s fascinating how much a dish can travel all across the world and cement their place in different cuisines.
So for this Filipino Style Spaghetti recipe, I’ve got all the classic ingredients prepared to create the dish. This requires a bit of preparation time but the cooking process is fairly simple you just need to follow the instructions to the letter. I’ve listed all the ingredients that we’ll need down below as well as the cooking instructions.
If you prefer to cook along with me. We’ve prepared a fun video that includes all the necessary information to cook this delicious Filipino Style Spaghetti Recipe down below. Enjoy!
- 1 kg. spaghetti noodles
- 1/2 kg. ground beef
- 1/2 kg. ground pork
- 1/4 kg. hotdogs, diagonally sliced
- 1 kg. tomato sauce (or 3/4 kg. tomato sauce and 1/4 kg. banana catsup)
- 3 pieces laurel leaves (bay leaves)
- 1/4 cup brown or white sugar (reduce to 1/8 cup if using banana catsup)
- 2 green bell peppers, diced
- 2 onions, chopped
- 1 head garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons of cooking oil
- 1 cup of water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup grated cheese
- Cook spaghetti noodles according to package instructions.
- In a sauce pan or wok, sauté garlic and onions in cooking oil.
- Add ground beef, ground pork, laurel leaves, bell pepper and a cup of water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add tomato sauce or combination of banana catsup and tomato sauce, salt and pepper to taste then let simmer for another 10 minutes
- Add brown sugar and hotdogs. Continue to simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
- Optional: add hot sauce e.g. Tabasco for more spice if desired.
- Serve with the cooked spaghetti noodles and grated cheese on top.