Spaghetti Bento


Comfort food varies from nation to nation, from culture to culture, from person to person. In my case, one of my favorite comfort foods is Filipino-style Spaghetti. And not just any Filipino-style Spaghetti, but the kind my family makes.

178 Filipino-style Spaghetti

Bento #177 • 17 December 2007

For the initiated, Filipino-style spaghetti seems to be the bastard child of Bolognese and a bottle of ketchup. Loaded with ground meat cooked in a tomato-base, the similarity ends there. Add to it some banana ketchup, sliced red hotdogs, and processed cheese spread (not really cheddar as it’s usually labeled), this Spaghetti is a mélange of sweet, sour and hearty flavors that’s sure to hit the spot. While my grandmother used to make it with ketchup, our current version simply uses sugar as a sweetener. Because we love mushrooms, we’ve also taken to adding lots of it—definitely not a bad development. Think of all the added vitamins and minerals! Cooked in large amounts, we store half of the sauce in the freezer—comfort food on hand.

Along with the spaghetti, I packed half a tomato and pesto bagel, compliments of a recent visit to the Salcedo Saturday market, and a mini-container of cream cheese. Satisfaction times two!

A comforting lunch? Definitely! And something that can easily be replicated as we still have a large tub of spaghetti sauce and a couple of bagels in the freezer. What’s your idea of a comforting lunch?

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9 Responses to Spaghetti Bento

  1. toni says:

    That looks really good! I love Pinoy-style spaghetti. A little sweet, right?

    The ultimate comforting lunch would be Sinigang na Baboy and rice. Yummeh.

  2. Liz Tolentino says:

    I couldn’t agree more, sinigang na baboy really hits the spot for a truly comforting lunch with patis and sili to boot…

    Anyways, my daughter’s birthday is coming on the 8th (mine on the 10th and hubby’s on the 29th), and i’m planning to treat her classmates and teachers to packed bentos to bring to school. Can you suggest what can go best with baked macaroni or spaghetti and corn dogs? Hirap lang kasi dito sa province,there’s not really enough choices for cute bento boxes, any alternative on how i can dress up mediocre lunch boxes? Thanks a lot in advance…

    • kaoko says:

      Oh how cute! Such a lovely idea. Hmmm…are your corn dogs the mini kind? Maybe you can include skewered quail eggs? You can even put little faces on them, or you can color them with food coloring. Plus, I know I loved quail eggs as a kid. Chicken lollipops would be great for little hands. Mini-sandwiches (cut a whole sandwich into 4 triangles / squares) might also be a good idea. Can you get fancy toothpicks there? Like plain toothpicks only with colorful cellophane curls on top? Or the ones that are like tiny flaglets? Little cheese sticks (cheese wrapped in lumpia wrapper) might also be a nice thing to add—of course depending on how long it’ll stay in the box. And maybe some mini-jelly cups…yung jellyace na single bites 😀 It’ll add color, plus it’s dessert already. Then maybe a few grapes, also on skewers/toothpicks, or maybe a whole kiat-kiat / baby ponkan.

      Such a fun project! How I wish I could do something similar!

  3. Liz Tolentino says:

    Gee! Thanks a lot! I love the idea of mini sandwiches, i was thinkin of little burgers din eh and the quail eggs you’re right there’s no kid that i know who doesn’t like quail eggs… I hope i could find cute picks here. And yes, fruit kebabs healthy and refreshing end to their meal…
    I’l let you know how it turned out, i’m really excited!

  4. adiksakape says:

    the only recipe that i can cook by heart is filipino style spaghetti and pork sinigang. the spaghetti has to be sweet, lots of garlic, onions, basil, and black pepper, mushrooms are a must, filipino style hotdog and parmesan cheese. i just wish i will learn how to preserve tomatoes so it will be more nutritious.

  5. Nightfall says:

    banana ketchup? Is that what it sounds like?

  6. kaoko says:

    @adiksakape
    I think I can live on Filipino-style spaghetti and pork sinigang alone! <3 And rice for the sinigang of course 😀

    @Nightfall
    Yes 😛 It's a slightly sweeter ketchup compared to tomato...it looks the same too, still red!

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