Category Archives: Pasta

filipino-spaghetti (1)

Filipino Style Spaghetti

filipino-spaghetti (1)

Before Jollibee or even Tropical Hut came out with the Filipino version of the Italian Spaghetti, there was Makati Supermarket’s spaghetti sold in their coffee shop in the early sixties. This is probably how the sweetish Filipino spaghetti evolved. A popular American blogger once commented that our Jollibee spaghetti tasted horrible. It must have seemed different from Italian spaghetti since the latter is sour. Filipino spaghetti has sweet sauce.

Filled with vienna sausage, ham strips, ground beef and grated cheese, the sauce of Makati Supermarket’ spaghetti is sweet with a tinge of spiciness. When I was in college during the mid-seventies, my dorm-mates and I would travel all the way from the UP campus to Makati Supermarket in Ayala. The supermarket does not exist anymore. These days you can eat their spaghetti at Cash and Carry Supermarket along , President Osmena Highway (South Superhighway) near Buendia Makati City and Makati Supermarket in Alabang.

A reader pointed out to me that some evidence of an even earlier birth of the “pinoy spaghetti” exists in the memoirs of Gen Douglas McArthur (yes the “I shall return guy”). I am not able to pull the line verbatim but it went mostly like this:

this sauce, so sweet on spaghetti, hardly seems like spaghetti sauce but it is good.

Through the years, I developed my own Filipino-Style Spaghetti Sauce. If you are in a hurry, you can always buy those ready-to-use Filipino Style Spaghetti sauce sold at the supermarket. But let me tell you, there is nothing more srcumptious than cooking spaghetti sauce in your own special touch. Here is my recipe which you can always innovate.

500 grams spaghetti noodles
1/2 cup olive oil
1 head garlic, minced
1/4 kilo ground beef
1/4 kilo ground pork
5 pieces hot dog sliced diagonally
1/4 cup vienna sausage, sliced
1/4 cup sweet ham, sliced in small squares (1/2 inch by 1/2 inch)
1 bottle banana catsup (don’t substitute!)
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup water
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup chopped green and red bell pepper (some don’t really like pepper so this may be optional)
1/8 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated cheese


1. Cook spaghetti noodles according to package instructions.

2. In a kawali or wok, sauté garlic and onions in olive oil.

3. Combine ground beef, ground pork, bay leaf, green and red bell pepper and a cup of water in the wok. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Add tomato sauce, banana catsup and allow to simmer for 10 more minutes

5. Add brown sugar, vienna sausage, sweet ham and hotdogs. Simmer for 5 minutes.

6. Add a little more water (maybe 1/2 cup more) till you get your desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.

7. Serve separately with cooked spaghetti noodles and grated cheese on top.

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tuna carbonara

Tuna Royale Carbonara using Clara Ole ‘s Carbonara pasta sauce #ClaraOlePotluck

clara ole past sauces

Who has time to cook? Well, I have time to cook but there are times when I receive surprise visitors and I find that having prepared sauces are useful. One of my favorite dish is Carbonara and I usually prepare it from scratch like my Spaghetti Carbonara and Carbonara in an instant. Good thing I discovered Clara Ole wide array of convenient food solutions to help me whip up a healthy and delicious meal without taking up much time and space in the kitchen. I tried out the Carbonara pasta sauce and it was a hit. Now you can whip up a classic Carbonara in half the time but with all the goodness of comfort done from scratch. Just mix with ham, tuna, mushrooms, peas or broccoli. I used tuna for this recipe and red bell pepper since those were the only ingredients at hand . It is just as tasty. Here is the recipe.

tuna carbonara


Tuna flakes, 200 grams

What you need:

1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup minced onions
150 grams diced chicken breast ( I used tuna flakes in can at 184 grams)
1 Tbsp chopped green bell pepper
1 Tbsp chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup chicken stock or water
3 Tbsp grated cheese
1 pouch Clara Ole Carbonara Pasta sauce , 200 grams
200 grans uncooked pasta of your choice (cook according to package instructions)

How to prepare

1. Saute onions in butter. Add Chicken (I added tuna) and cook over medium heat.

2. Add bell pepper and cooked for a minute.

3. Mix in stock (or water), cheese and Clara Ole Pasta sauce.

4. Cook until heated through.

5. Pour over pasta and serve immediately.

Serves 4 persons

It’s really yummy. For those that do not have the time to cook, Clara Ole shows that everyone can cook with its #ClaraOlePotluck. Even when you’re in a hurry, you can still prepare and enjoy a hearty meal at home in no time. And this means we get to have more family time and self-time, too. Clara Ole’s convenient food products are ready for anyone to try, and are available in leading supermarkets nationwide.

Check what else Clara Ole has in store for everyone, visit their Facebook page at and follow their Instagram and Pinterest accounts @ClaraOlePH.

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laing-pasta (1)

Laing Pasta, the Pinoy Pasta Version

I never tasted Laing Pasta until I had it at Goldilocks. I thought it was such a novel idea, similar to the pesto pasta that we often prepare at home. It is our own version of pinoy pasta. When I tasted it though, it wasn’t that delicious as I imagined it to be. I think the laing was too dry, lacked some meat and “keso”. I imagined eating laing with “kesong puti”. So here is what I prepared at home and made my own pasta laing a bit moist and added “kesong puti”

You will need:

1. Laing- To prepare laing, read my laing recipe and skip steps 4 and 5. Reduce the laing until you have the right consistency for the pasta. I am sure you have an idea on the consistency of your pasta mix.

2. Boiled Pasta noodles.

3. As a twist, use shredded “kesong puti” or cottage cheese instead of the usual cheddar cheese or parmesan cheese.

4. When serving the Laing pasta, serve the laing and pasta separately so one can choose to decide the amount of the laing or pasta.

Garnish with “kesong puti”.

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chicken macaroni salad 1

Pinoy Chicken Macaroni salad

When I think of Chicken Macaroni salad, I remember myself as a teenager, assigned by mom as the salad maker. This is such a childhood memory. I stopped preparing Chicken Macaroni salad when I became a mother , simply because I thought my kids and my husband would not like it. It is so old-school. A few years ago, I decided to bring it back to the table when I had a lot of left-over turkey. Well, turkey is not exactly like Chicken but it surely tastes like one. To my surprise, my husband loved it so much . He said it reminded him also of his childhood. His mother also prepared Chicken Macaroni salad. See, it is such a classic. This Christmas, I prepared Chicken Macaroni Salad. It was such a hit that it soon got consumed by family members and relatives. You can also serve this during fiestas, parties and picnics, either as snack or main dish.

Chicken macaroni salad is so easy to prepare. Salt, pepper will depend on your taste. You can also use different types of short pasta.

chicken macaroni salad 1


400 grams salad macaroni, cooked (check package for cooking instructions)
1 kilo boneless chicken breast, boiled and cubed
1 1/2 cup pineapple tidbits, drained
1 1/2 cup Queso de bola, cubed
1 cup pickle relish
1 cup diced carrots, previously boiled
2 cups mayonnaise (you can also use reduced fat mayonnaise)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon salt


1. Boil the salad macaroni as directed in the package

2. Place the macaroni in a large mixing bowl.

3. Add the carrots, pickle relish, diced queso de bola and pineapple tidbits. Mix well.

4. Lastly, add the diced chicken and mix well.

5. Mix the mayonnaise into the mixture.

6. Add garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste

7. Chill.

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Shellfish Open Lasagne

Shellfish Open Lasagne

Chef Ariel Manuel of Lolo Dad’s shared this simple recipe as one of the dishes he prepared for “Simplicity of Flavors” at the Maya Kitchen. The usual lasagne preparation with layers and layers of pasta is usually more complicated than this recipe. I am sure you will enjoy the simplicity of this preparation and yet enjoy the rich , satisfying seafood dish. Try it.

Shellfish Open Lasagne


Lasagne noodles 8 pcs.

Prawns 200 g.

Garlic (sliced) 40 g.

Olive oil 300 ml.

Bread crumbs 40 g.

Scallops 100 g.

Mussels 150 g.

White wine for deglazing

Mixed mushrooms (sliced) 100 g.

Prawn head oil 40 ml.

Fresh tomato (peeled, seeded and diced) 120 g.

Salt and freshly crushed black peppercorns

Fresh parsley (coarsely chopped) 2 sprigs


1. Cook lasagna noodles until al dente. Drain and set aside.

2. Sauté prawns in garlic and olive oil.

3. On a heated stockpot, cook mussels in garlic and olive oil, then deglaze it with white wine, cover it and wait until all the shells are open. Drain mussels and discard shells without meat.

4. Strain mussel juice and thicken with breadcrumbs. In a large skillet, sear both sides of the scallops.

5. In another pan, sauté mushrooms and add shellfish and fresh tomatoes, season with salt and pepper.

6. Bring to medium heat then fold in the mussel stock. Arrange pasta and shellfish alternately. Apply some prawn head oil and parsley in between.

Yield: 4 servings

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Lasagna with Bechamel Sauce

lasagnaSomething to cook for Valentine’s day. My husband’s favorite pasta dish has got to be lasagna. Whenever we have guests, he makes this special request and I tell him that it gets to be boring. Well, I think lasagna is an all-time favorite for most pinoys. Lasagna involves three steps: The tomato meat sauce, boiling the pasta and the preparation of the bechamel sauce.

Let’s make the Bechamel sauce first:


3/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cans evaporated milk (i can is equivalent to 225 ml or 1 cup)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Continue reading

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Pasta Al Adobo

I once attended a cooking demonstration of Chef Patron Gen Capati, from the famous Cookbook Kitchen (CBK). He cooked some of his restaurant’s most popular dishes like CBK Stuffed Spring Chicken brimming with cheese, ham and basil; Boston Poached Fish is fish fillet poached in white wine and grapes along with crowd favorites Meaty Herbed Eggplant, Pasta al Adobo and Decadent Chocolate Rhum Cake, a creation of Chef Capati himself. I will share these recipes in other blog articles but for now , it is Pasta al Adobo.

The Pasta al Adobo has a story. While abroad, he was asked about the Philippines most popular dish. Of course he said adobo. When he came back , he innovated this pasta recipe. You can use your leftover adobo or cook it.


2 tbsps. Olive oil

1 1/2 cups tomatoes, chopped

4 tbsp soy sauce

4 tbsp water

200 grams cooked pork adobo, shredded (leftover adobo and Adobo recipe)

400 grams spaghetti , cooked al dente

2 tbsp crunchy garlic (you can also buy this at the grocery)

1 tsp fresh parsley, coarsely chopped


1. Saute Tomato, 1 tbsp garlic crunch and shredded adobo in olive oil.

2. Add water and soy sauce. Simmer to reduce the sauce.

3. Add spaghetti and toss.

4. Serve in pasta bowl, garnish with 1 tbsp garlic crunch and parsley.

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Easy Lasagna Rolls with homemade pasta

I have shared my favorite recipe, the Lasagna (with Bechamel sauce) but that one did made use of pasta brought from the grocery. Here is one where you can make your very own pasta. If you have children, let them join in the fun of cooking. Knead the dough, whisk the sauce, laugh and reminisce.

easy lasagna roll ups

Homemade Pasta:

2 cups MAYA All Purpose Flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 piece egg

¼ cup water

Meat Filling:

1 tablespoon oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 small onion, chopped

½ piece green bell pepper,chopped

¼ kilo ground beef

2-3 pieces sweet ham, chopped ham

¾ cup tomato sauce

1 tablespoon catsup

1piece bay leaf

salt and pepper to taste

White Sauce:

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

2 tablespoons MAYA All Purpose Flour

2 cups fresh milk

1 cup cheddar cheese or quickmelt cheese

salt and pepper to taste

½ teaspoon nutmeg

Prepare Pasta: Sift flour and salt in a bowl. Make a well at the center, and then add egg and water. Mix then knead until smooth. Let rest for 10-15 minutes. Pass dough through pasta machine or roll out using rolling pin. Cut into 5” x 5”square sheet. Cook in boiling salted water until tender. Drain and set aside.

Prepare Meat filling: In a skillet, heat oil then sauté garlic, onion and green bell pepper. When soft, add the ground beef and ham. Cook until brown then add the tomato sauce, catsup and bay leaves. Bring to boil then simmer until meat is tender. Season to taste.

Prepare White Sauce: In a saucepan, heat butter then add flour. Stir until smooth. Pour in the milk. Whisk to remove any lumps. Add cheese and seasonings. Cook until thick while stirring continuously.

To Assemble: Lay your cooked fresh pasta sheet and put filling on one side of the pasta sheet and roll to make a cannelloni style. Do the same procedure with the remaining ingredients. Arrange in a platter or glass dish. Drizzle with white sauce and cheese and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Bake until top is golden brown

Note: You may or may not boil your fresh pasta sheet. Pasta will cook itself with the moisture present in white sauce and meat filling.

Yield: 10-12 pieces

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Tuna Spaghetti

During our dorm days at Sampaguita Residence Hall at UP Diliman, my aunt shared with me her fabulous Tuna Spaghetti. I remember preparing this dish one year for our annual Open House at “Sampa.” Check it out!

For every pack of Italian spaghetti (regular-sized box of 500 grams), use the following:

2 cans of tuna or tuna flakes or approximately 1 cup (in oil or water, your preference)
2 cans of tomato sauce or around 2 cups (OPTIONAL I did not say tomato paste)
1 box of grated Kraft cheddar cheese or 1 cup (225 grams- the same size as a bar of butter)
2 cans of Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup of mushrooms, sliced
pepper to taste
salt to taste
dash of Italian seasoning


1. Make the sauce first.

Saute the following ingredients in a little oil (2 tbsps.): 1/2 head of garlic that has been macerated (or less garlic, if you prefer) and 1/2 an onion, diced. Saute until the onion looks quite transparent.

  • Add the tuna then the sliced mushrooms.
  • Add the tomato sauce (optional) and Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup. Add water to fill into 1 Campbell Soup can and add to the mixture. (Note: If you remove tomato sauce, just add 1 1/2 cups of water to the cream of mushroom soup)
  • Then, add a little water inside the tomato sauce’s can (swish it around a bit so the rest of the tomato sauce mixture is mixed with the water). Add to the tuna mixture.
  • Season the mixture according to taste. Make it slightly salty so that when the tuna mixture is mixed in with the cooked spaghetti noodles, it will taste just right.

2. Cook the noodles.

  • Boil water in your Dutch Oven or huge cooking pot. Add some oil and salt.
  • When the water boils, add the spaghetti noodles. If you like, halve the noodles.
  • Cook until “al dente.”

3. It’s best to mix the sauce and noodles and arrange them on a serving platter like a pyrex dish.

4. Garnish with Queso de Bola or Magnolia or Kraft Cheddar Cheese.

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