Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Let's do the Macaroni, Macarena!


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A common factor about us Filipinos is that we have fondness for anything sweet and even when it comes to dishes, pastas can't be left behind. When I was a kid [Yes, I was cooking at a young age of 9], Tatay would always request me to cook tomato based pasta dishes. Basil leaves, paprika, oregano and parmesan cheese have always been part of those dishes so I never really got the chance to appreciate the Filipino Style spaghetti/macaroni except when we go out and eat at Jollibee or McDonald's.

So now, whenever there's a special occasion or if I feel cooking a pasta dish, I always make sure I use a sweet blend base. I'm not meticulous when it comes to the brand of pastas coz' I believe it depends how well you cook it at the right texture. So, for those who are interested, here's my recipe :)




Pasta:

1 Kilo Pasta [Elbow Macaroni or Spaghetti]
2-3 liters of water with 2 Tbsp. Salt and 1 Tbsp oil

How To Cook: Bring the water to a boil and cook the pasta, some pastas may require 10 minutes or more. Don't forget to mix it as it cooks to avoid them from sticking together. Try to taste a strand or a piece to make sure it's well cooked and not too soggy.

Sauce:

1 whole onion, chopped
10-20 cloves of garlic, minced [save half of it for the garlic bread]
1 kg. ground pork [or beef]
2 Tbsp. cooking oil
250g Hotdog, diced
1 red bell pepper, minced
1 can mushroom, diced [This is optional, I just forgot to buy one so it's not included in the dish :(]
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Kg Del Monte Filipino Style Spaghetti Sauce
1 cup water
Cheese


How To Cook: As soon as the oil heats, add the garlic and onion. The secret to a good pasta is to avoid the garlic from getting burned as it will greatly affect the taste of the whole dish.

Once the onion is translucent, add the ground pork, salt and pepper then let it cook for 10-30 minutes. Once it's cooked, add the hotdog, mushroom, red bell pepper, water and wait for another 5 minutes. Add the sauce and let it simmer.

By the way, aside from mushroom, you can also add bacon. The possibilities are endless. You can even substitute ground chicken.

Garlic Bread:

1 Loaf of Gardenia Bread, sliced diagonally in half
1 whole block of butter
1/4 cup of garlic or use the remaining garlic left for the sauce
Parsley, minced

How To Cook: Pre-heat the toaster to 450 degrees.

In a saucepan, melt the butter and add the garlic. Cook until you can smell the garlic blended well to the butter. Turn off the heat, add the parsley and set aside.

Using a brush, spread the mixture to your bread generously. Toast for 5 minutes or more, depending on your preference.


Personally, I prefer separating the sauce and pasta as it can lessen the chance of the dish to get spoiled easily and gives your guests the freedom to choose the amount of sauce they want for their dish. I also prefer to grate the cheese on the spot instead of preparing it earlier since grated cheese tend to stick and lump due to temperature.

Have fun!


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