Like Ms. Loren, I love spaghetti. And Japanese wafu (Western) spaghetti is too good to deprive my husband of the experience: Spaghetti Napolitan! During the U.S. occupation of Japan, this scrumptious dish became popular in restaurants all over the country. It is comfort food—a meal you’d eat because your mom made it for you. The predominate flavor comes from ketchup, a condiment with variations all over our earth: fruity, sweet, sour, and sometimes hot.
Yes, I do know that ketchup has been denigrated by many gourmands…
Ketchup spaghetti is popular the world over. Mr. Tess was working out of town when I made this last year but he enjoyed my posts and the discussions. This was his first taste. He seemed to enjoy the meal—there’s not much more to say! It’s an interesting topic which you can read by clicking on the picture links below.
Tess’s Japanese version of Spaghetti and Tomato Sauce
- 8 oz. dry spaghetti (cappellini or thin spaghetti)
- 4 wiener sausages (hot dogs), sliced diagonally into ovals
- 1 sweet red pepper (traditionally, a green bell pepper), roasted, skinned, and cut into strips
- 6 ounces button mushrooms, sliced (oops: I forgot them!)
- 2 Tbs. butter
- ½ medium onion, chopped finley
- Salt and pepper
- ½ cup ketchup (Heinz)
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- 2 Tbs. heavy cream (I used 3 Tablespoons of half and half)
- several shakes of Worcestershire Sauce
- grated Parmesan cheese
- minced parsley
Cook the spaghetti, in salted vigorously boiling water. Drain, but leave a little of the pasta water with the noodles. Mix with 1 Tablespoon butter. Keep warm.
Add 1 Tablespoon butter to a large skillet or heavy bottomed pot. When the butter melts over medium heat, add the onion and cook until the onion is translucent. Add the peppers. Stir and fry for about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and stir and fry until they are soft. Add the hot dogs, ketchup, and tomato sauce: let it get hot. Turn the heat to low, and add the cream. Stir. Then add the spaghetti. Stir to heat. Or serve the buttered spaghetti topped with the sauce. Garnish with the cheese and parsley.
Roasting the pepper:
Wash and quarter the pepper. Cut the stem off, and remove the seeds and white membranes. Place the pepper on a cookie sheet, skin side up. Broil until the skin blisters and blackens. Put the pepper quarters into a paper bag to cool. Slice or otherwise use in your recipe.
If you have left-over Spaghetti Napolitan, then consider taking it for lunch as a spaghetti sandwich—another popular snack in Japan.
or try spaghetti bread!!