Spaghetti with Hotdogs and Ham + Birthday Cake = Birthday Party!
If you tell me that there is a birthday party, you can expect that I will be counting “the amount of sleeps” before it happens. While I will be excited about the balloons and the party favors, nothing gets me to be more enthused about birthday parties than Spaghetti with Hotdogs and Ham. Forget the cake, because usually it is mocha chiffon inside *blech* but the Spaghetti! THE SPAGHETTI!!! Oh, I would think about all the twirling, swishing of the sauce and the melty cheese. I would keep the hotdogs to the side and eat them last. Aaaaah. Spaghetti! I was 6.
Spaghetti is what is mostly served in children’s birthday parties back home. Even if it’s a birthday without a party, it is NOT A PROPER birthday without eating spaghetti. We also believe that eating noodles on your birthday will bring you long life, and it doesn’t matter what kind of noodles - but for me, nothing beats eating Spaghetti on your birthday.
1lb box of Spaghetti, Cooked according to package directions then do step 1.
1lb ground pork (beef is a good substitute, but its not the same.)
½ lb of hotdogs, sliced
1 6oz pack of cooked sweet ham, sliced into squares (the sliced ones that are square shaped, found in the deli aisle)
1 medium sized onion, Minced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bottle of Ragu, Chunky Garden Combination (why? Other flavors have overpowering Italian seasoning. This was surprisingly the closest tasting one I found.)
1-2 Tablespoons of sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 Tablespoons of butter
1 Tablespoon of cooking oil
4oz Mild Cheddar Cheese, Grated
|After cooking your spaghetti according to package directions,|
Drain it (dont wash it - i used to). When it is completely drained,
toss 1 1/2 tablespoon of butter in it. Set Aside.
|Heat up your oil. When it's hot, saute the garlic.|
|After your garlic cooks a little bit, add the onions. Cook until transparent.|
|Add your ground pork. Make sure the ground pork gets separated.|
Season with a bit of salt and pepper.
|When your pork has rendered out its juices but not completely brown,|
add your sliced hotdogs. Keep stirring.
|When the hotdogs are showing signs of doneness, add cooked ham.|
Make sure to separate the ham stacks.
|Keep stirring until the rest of the ground pork is browned like this.|
All the flavors will be rendered by this time.
If you find it swimming in pork fat, drain out the fat.
|Add the Ragu. Put about 1/4 cup of water in the bottle|
to get every last bit of sauce, and pour it in.
|Add some Salt, Pepper to taste and 1.5 tbsp of sugar.|
If you cant taste the mildly sweet flavor, add more.
Remember, you can add but you cannot take away.
This Chunky Ragu flavor is sweet enough
that you don't need to add more than 1.5 tbsp of sugar.
|Add in your grated mild cheddar cheese. DONT USE PARMESAN CHEESE.|
|Melt the cheese in and your sauce should turn orangey in color.|
You know you did well when you achieve this.
|Finish your sauce off with 1 1/2 tbsp of butter. Mmm!|
|Toss in with the noodles and you are good to go!|
Serve with more grated cheese if you please. Happy Birthday!
I am posting this recipe, using ingredients found in regular American supermarkets because this recipe was requested by Fadra and Tammy. While you can add banana ketchup if you please, I don’t add it in my recipe because I outgrew the taste of banana ketchup. I used to pour the stuff over rice and make my rice pink. Don’t ask.
Also, I like the idea of having recipes accessible, even to people who do not have an Asian market around them. Enjoy.
Leftover sauce? Don’t throw it away. Take a piece of bread, spread extra sauce on top, grate some more mild cheddar cheese on it and toast!!