While Jolly Spaghetti is the undisputed poster child for Pinoy spaghetti, Pancake House's comes in a close second. It's still sweet enough to make pasta purists cry, but holds back on the banana ketchup and hotdog coins. Pancake House spaghetti is less fast-food and more like mom's cooking: tomato sauce, ground beef, grated cheese.
This is an overdue update to our 10-year old (!) Pancake House spaghetti recipe. A tablespoon of liver spread sets everything right. (It's not Pinoy spaghetti without at least one weird ingredient.) The brow-raising liter of water has been reduced to 1 cup. Is it 100% accurate? Probably not. But this copycat spaghetti will bring back memories of orange walls and faded movie posters, guaranteed. Make it a combo meal and serve with fried chicken.
- 2 tbsp oil
- 350–400g ground beef
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 ½ tbsp liver spread
- pinch of ground cumin
- 500ml tomato sauce
- ½ cup white sugar, to taste
- 1 beef broth cube
- ¼ tsp salt, to taste
- 1 cup water
- 400g spaghetti noodles, cooked to package instructions
- processed cheese, shredded
Cook beef: Add oil to a large skillet or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add ground beef and cook, stirring and breaking up clumps, until the beef has evenly browned, 7–9 minutes.
Make sauce: Add minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until soft and aromatic, 3 minutes. Add tomato paste, liver spread, and cumin. Stir to combine, then add tomato sauce, sugar, and salt. Drop beef cube into the sauce, stirring constantly until dissolved.
Cook and thicken sauce: Slowly add water and bring to a boil. Once the sauce is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer. Continue cooking for 30–40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has reduced and thickened. Season to taste.
Serve: Divide cooked spaghetti between plates. Ladle spaghetti sauce on top of the noodles. Finish with as much shredded cheese as you like. Serve while still hot.