Sauced: Filipino Spaghetti Sauce


[ Photographs: Joshua Bousel ]

Six years ago in Manila, I found myself at a child’s birthday party grabbing one of every food being offered: fried chicken, spaghetti, and a San Miguel. At the end of the buffet table next to a full-sized image of Big Bird and the required karaoke machine, I had my first taste of Filipino spaghetti.

The meat sauce was laden with sugar and hot dogs—definitely not the spaghetti of my youth. It was no doubt kid’s food but I couldn’t help myself from really enjoying it, and went back for seconds to go with the remainder of my beer. Since then, whenever Filipino spaghetti appears at a family function, I semi-secretly gorge on it, having an odd attraction to the sweetness.

One of the major sweeteners in this tomato sauce is banana ketchup, which I had a surplus of thanks to last week’s Sauced column. As I finished an oversized plate of the Filipino spaghetti, wieners and all, my wife couldn’t believe I liked it so much—to her it’s more of a nostalgic thing. But what can I say, it may be designed for the kids, but there’s no shame in an adult loving this meaty, sweet tomato sauce too.

About the author: Joshua Bousel brings you new, tasty condiment each Wednesday and a recipe for weekend grilling every Friday. He also writes about grilling and barbecue on his blog The Meatwave whenever he can be pulled away from his grill.

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