Spaghetti with Italian Sausage



Here’s another meal I made to use up leftovers from my pantry.  This time I used a bottle of Merlot I’ve been using for cooking for a couple of months, canned tomatoes with balsamic vinegar and basil and bottled parmesan cheese.  It was surprisingly delicious and so easy to make.  I had more than enough Merlot so the sauce came out richly flavored. This had plenty of garlic but I still stashed a head of garlic in my luggage at the last minute! Continue reading “Spaghetti with Italian Sausage”

Baubles, Bangles and Spaghetti Bolognese



How do you make your Bolognese Sauce?  This is probably the oldest spaghetti sauce Filipinos are familiar with.  You might be wondering why I have that title on this post.  Its a tribute to a beloved aunt who is, undoubtedly,  the most colorful and vibrant among the sisters.  She had tons of bangles, baubles and beads, not to mention the real thing.  Every time I hear that song it never fails to remind me of her.

As a  kid, my now Australia-based Tita Mameng del Fierro made the best Bolognese Sauce.  She’s a home economics graduate from UST and is really the best cook among my mom’s sisters.  She’s the total homemaker and was very much  into sewing, crocheting, crafts, cooking, gardening and even cleaning. Her parties were so well-planned I always looked forward to them. Her table was beautifully spruced up and the food always predictably good.  The best part of all was when she stood at the top of the stairs with  a can of coins.  That was our signal to position ourselves because she’d throw the coins at us and we kids would scramble for every centavo. Continue reading “Baubles, Bangles and Spaghetti Bolognese”

Filipino Macaroni Salad


Filipino Macaroni Salad
Filipino Macaroni Salad

Every Filipino has probably disparaged our very unique Macaroni Salad, as I have.   It’s not the usual macaroni, mayo and dill pickle concoction you’ll find everywhere else in the world.  I guess you could call it a bit “confusilcated” as Spouse likes to say.  A little bit of this, a little of that…and so much more.  It’s a reflection of who we are, a melange of flavors and influences all in one bundle of confusion.  I have this theory it’s also a reflection of the Pinoy’s openness to new ideas, cultures and flavors.

I really ought to stop intellectualizing  now since, one, I’m not good at it and second, it’s just a salad.   All I know is – it can be delicious if you’ll only give it a chance.

Continue reading “Filipino Macaroni Salad”

Pancit: Philippine-Style Fried Noodles



This is probably the one Filipino dish most recognized around the world.  You just can’t escape it at birthdays.  It’s traditional to serve pancit on someone’s birthday because noodles represents a wish for the celebrant’s  long life.  It then follows that if you do cook noodles on a birthday, you don’t cut the noodles.

This pancit I cooked was like a fried rice with ingredients that were mainly scraps from my refrigerator.  It’s about that time of the week when I have to do my grocery shopping again you see… Continue reading “Pancit: Philippine-Style Fried Noodles”

Salmon Tetrazzini



When you mention tetrazzini, you get visions of pounds and pounds of turkey sitting in your refriegrator days after Thanksgiving.  You normally would not associate tetrazzini and canned salmon…but it’s a great way of serving fish to your family.

We all know how good Omega-3 fatty acids are for our health.  It’s not just good for the heart.  Did you know it’s beneficial for diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and even your mental condition?  Not that my mental condition needs improving…but hey, if it’s our mental health, we all need a boost!

I really wanted to introduce more fish into our diet and canned salmon is such a convenient way…if only I could serve it more creatively.  Thankfully, there’s a website hosted by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute that has a variety of recipes for Alaskan seafoods, including canned salmon.  I tried the Smoked Salmon Jardiniere when I was back home and even the kids loved it.  So here I am again, trying another of their recipes.

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Italian Sausage with Peppers

This is another quick  recipe that will be on your dinner table within an hour of starting it. Serve it with a light, green salad and you’re ready.

For this recipe, I used Sweet Italian Sausage flavored with fennel.  I find the hot sausages a little too spicy for me. I prefer sprinkling red pepper flakes in the sauce so I have better control of the heat.  Spouse and I are not big fans of hot spices. Continue reading “Italian Sausage with Peppers”

Spaghetti with Mussels

Mussels with my spaghetti is something new to me….oh, but I loved it!  It was another great way of serving pasta which I stil have to get over.  The lemon juice was a nice contrast to the sweetness of the mussels and tomatoes…the garlic gave it just the right kick and the parsley added freshness.  Of course, the extra virgin olive oil at the end will make a big difference. Add it after you turn off the heat for maximum flavor.

The mussels were frozen with some of its juices.  Unfortunately, we don’t farm mussels in Colorado.  I bought the pack with the idea of making it into a Filipino adobo like my dad used to make.

Today, Spouse and I were at the Pike’s Peak Library and I was thumbing through a magazine when I chanced on this recipe.  It was simple and satisfying, plus something I’d never tried before. Best of all, I had all the ingredients waiting at home. Continue reading “Spaghetti with Mussels”