Pop into any party and chances are there’s a large helping of pasta on everyone’s plate. Next to rice and pancit, pasta is no doubt one of the most popular party foods in the Philippines. That’s why you’ll find it in most Filipino food chains, although it’s not considered fast food anywhere else in the world. Yes, it’s not exactly part of Filipino cuisine, but we’ve found ways to make it fit in with our tastes.
But if you’ve been to enough parties, you’ll notice there’s hardly any variety in Filipino pastas. There seems to be a standard: the sauce has to be bright red, there’s got to be hot dogs in, and you have to be generous with the cheese. But nothing’s keeping you from breaking the rules. If you want to surprise your guests at your next party, try one of these pasta Filipino recipes.
This is a rich pasta dish perfect for those really special occasions. You can serve it with garlic bread like other pasta recipes, or serve with a light potato salad on the side.
Ingredients 8-10 lasagna sheets, cooked 2 cups chicken meat, cooked and diced 1 cup button mushrooms, sliced 2 cups canned tomatoes 1 onion, chopped ½ tsp oregano ½ tsp basil ½ cup half and half 1 ¼ cups chicken broth 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded ½ cup ricotta cheese, shredded 2 tbsp butter 3 tbsp flour parmesan cheese to taste salt and pepper to taste
Procedure: Saute onions in butter until transparent. Mix in the basil, oregano, mushrooms, salt and pepper. Run the tomatoes through a food processor or blender, then add to the vegetables. Add the chicken and let it cook on low heat. In another saucepan, melt the butter and add the flour, stirring until smooth. Pour in the broth and stir continuously until thick. Switch to low heat and add the half and half. In a greased baking pan, spread some of the cream sauce on the base and cover with a layer of lasagna. Layer with the meat sauce, cream sauce, and risotto and mozzarella cheeses. Keep adding layers until you’re out of sauce. Top with parmesan and bake for about25 minutes at 350oF.
Polka Dot Mac and Cheese
Kids will love this colorful dish at birthday parties. it takes less than 30 minutes to prepare, so you’ll have time to make other Filipino food recipes.
Ingredients: 1 cup elbow macaroni, cooked 2 hot dogs ½ cup milk 1 cup cheddar cheese soup 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Procedure: Preheat your oven to 375oF. Put the macaroni in a large baking dish. Stir in the cheese sauce, worcestershire and milk, making sure all the noodles are evenly coated. Chop the hot dogs into thin slices, then arrange on top of the pasta. Bake for 25 minutes or until hot dogs are done.
Penne with Tomato Cream Sauce
Some people like traditional red sauce; others like it white and creamy. This recipe strikes the perfect balance between the two. This works great with Filipino desserts recipes such as leche flan and halo-halo.
Ingredients: 1 cup penne pasta, cooked ½ cup bacon, chopped ¼ cup onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, minced ¾ cup bell pepper, chopped 2 cups canned whole peeled tomatoes, unsalted ½ tsp dried basil ¼ cup evaporated milk 1 tsp sugar 2 tsp flour salt and pepper to taste
Procedure: cook the bacon, onion, and garlic on medium heat until tender. Add the tomato, sugar, basil, salt and pepper. Stir well and bring to a boil, then switch to low heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the penne and cook another 2-3 minutes.
This one is perfect for vegetarians or health-conscious eaters. The eggplant provides the fullness of meat, making it much like traditional Filipino cooking recipes.
Ingredients: 2 cups spaghetti sauce ½ kg eggplant, thinly sliced 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded 1 ½ cups ricotta cheese, shredded 1 ½ cups pitted olives 3 garlic cloves, minced 1 tsp oregano 1 tsp dried basil 2 tsp fennel seeds 1/3 cup olive oil
Procedure: Preheat your oven to 425oF. Stir the basil and oregano into the olive oil, then brush onto the eggplant strips. Brown both sides of the eggplant until tender. Layer the eggplant, mozzarella and ricotta, sauce, fennel seeds, and olives in a casserole dish; repeat as necessary. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and cover. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the cheese gets bubbly. Let it cool for about 15 minutes.
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Carlo Villamayor is the owner and co-author of the Filipino food blog, Kusina.ph athttp://www.kusina.ph A devoted cook, he makes it his personal mission to spread the joy of one of his Filipino food recipes at http://www.kusina.ph/classic-filipino-recipes-reinvented/ with food lovers the world over. Bon appetit!