If you wanna venture out of the classic Filipino spaghetti, try making some baked macaroni! If you are serving this for the first time, introduce this as a modified version of spaghetti which uses pasta. But aside from being compared to spaghetti, baked macaroni is special on its own as the macaroni pasta is cooked thoroughly in the meat sauce through baking while the special cheese topping is browned. I’m sure you’ll be so fascinated when you see the topping bubbles!
FILIPINO STYLE BAKED MACARONI
For every Filipino occasion, spaghetti is a must-serve. Every guest will surely look for it. But if you wanna try to serve your guests another pasta dish which is also the same as spaghetti but is made with extra effort, try preparing this Filipino-style baked macaroni.
Aside from being served during occasions, baked macaroni was one of my favorite meal to buy during lunch. We have a small store in our canteen which serves a lot of pasta dishes. Instead of being ready-to-scoop, they prepare the pasta and the sauces separately and one can choose what pasta and sauce combination they like. When this store opened, I had a whole week of eating pasta for lunch since I wanna try them all. (I once tried spaghetti pasta with palabok sauce… it feels so wrong). One of my favorites is their baked mac. They quickly mix the macaroni pasta and the sauce (which they also use in spaghetti) and then top with cheese and then toasted in the oven.
Looking back, my first baked macaroni experience was very simple. Since then, I dedicated some time to make my own version of baked macaroni at home. And all that I wanted to say is that discovering the special cheese sauce was the key to the best baked macaroni.
Baked macaroni uses the same sauce ingredients as the spaghetti. The main difference lies on the pasta used. As the name suggests, elbow macaroni is used for baked macaroni. It is also prepared similar to spaghetti but this dish is baked before consuming. A special cheese sauce is also prepared for the baked macaroni which is poured on top before baking.
Using the tube-like macaroni as the pasta, the meat sauce enters the pasta more and can fill you up fast. If you want a satisfying and fulfilling pasta dish, continue reading the recipe below.
HOW TO MAKE FILIPINO STYLE BAKED MACARONI
If you have tried making spaghetti before, the following steps would be familiar to you.
Start by cooking the pasta. I recommend to cook them just before they turn al dente since they will cook further for later. The pasta is done and it’s time to make the meat sauce.
Cook your ground meat separately. I suggest using meat which is lean so it would not be too oily. And then in another pan, start the sauce base by sautéing aromatics, the hotdogs and then the cooked meat. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients. This baked macaroni is modified to the Filipino style for the Filipino tastebuds. Since we like a bit sweet pasta, I used a little condensed milk in the sauce. Add some grated cheese to balance the taste.
When the sauce is done, mix it just like how you mix the spaghetti. If youre in a rush, you can actually eat it at this point. But since we have an extra time in the kitchen, place the macaroni pasta in a baking dish. Now let’s make the special thing which will make our baked macaroni special—the milky cheese sauce.
The special cheese sauce is simply made by combining the topping ingredients until it forms a nice and thick sauce. Pour this sauce over the pasta and then bake. When the cheese starts to bubble, the baked mac is ready. Let it cool a bit or eat it straight out of the oven. Enjoy!
Filipino-style Baked MacaroniCourse: Pasta Recipes
- For the macaroni:
600 grams elbow macaroni
500 grams ground pork or beef
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon oil (for sautéing)
1 medium-sized onion (minced)
5 pieces hotdogs (sliced)
2 tablespoons red bell pepper (minced)
4 cups spaghetti sauce
¼ cup condensed milk or sugar (optional)
1 cup beef stock or water
1 piece beef broth cube (skip if using beef stock)
½ cup grated cheese
- For the toppings:
1 cup all purpose cream
1 cup quickmelt cheese
salt and pepper
- Boil some water and add some salt (when boiling). Add the elbow macaroni and cook until almost al dente. Once cooked, drain and set aside.
- Put the ground meat in a pan (no oil). Add a cup of water to pre-cook the meat. Add the salt and cook until the water dries up. Sauté the meat using its own fat until light brown. Set aside.
- In another pan, heat some oil. Sauté the onions, garlic, hotdogs for a few minutes until light brown. Add the pre-cooked meat and sauté.
- Add the red bell peppers and spaghetti sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Add the condensed milk (optional). Add the water or beef stock and the beef broth cube. Cover the pan and let it simmer for 10 minutes using low heat.
- Add the grated cheese and stir until it melts.
- Remove the pan from heat and reserve some sauce for topping (optional).
- Combine the macaroni pasta and sauce in the same pan. Mix well until every piece is fully coated.
- Transfer the macaroni to a baking dish. Add some meat topping. Set aside.
- For the cheese sauce, put all purpose cream in a pot and cook in low heat until almost boiling. Add the quickmelt cheese and stir until it melts. Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour some cheese sauce on top of the macaroni. Bake the macaroni in a preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes using 180C.
- Scoop a big portion of the macaroni to your plate and enjoy!
Filipino-style Baked Macaroni Recipe (TAGALOG)
Para sa macaroni:
- 600 grams elbow macaroni
- 500 grams giniling na baboy o baka
- asin at paminta
- 1 kutsara ng mantika (pang-gisa)
- 1 sibuyas (hiniwa ng maliliit)
- 5 piraso ng hotdog (hiniwa)
- 2 kutsara ng red bell pepper (hiniwa ng maliliit)
- 4 tasa ng spaghetti sauce
- ¼ tasa ng condensed milk o asukal (optional)
- 1 tasa ng beef stock o tubig
- 1 piraso ng beef broth cube (skip kung gagamit ng beef stock)
- ½ tasa ng grated cheese
Para sa toppings:
- 1 tasa ng all purpose cream
- 1 tasa ng quickmelt cheese
- asin at paminta
- Magpakulo ng tubig at lagyan ng konting asin (kapag kumukulo na). Ilagay ang elbow macaroni at lutuin hanggang malapit nang maging al dente. Kapag luto na, i-drain ang tubig at isantabi.
- Ilagay ang giniling sa kawali (wag lagyan ng mantika). Maglagay ng tubig para maluto ang karne. Maglagay ng asin at lutuin hanggang maiga ang tubig. Igisa ang giniling sa sariling mantika. Isantabi.
- Sa isa pang kawali, magpainit ng mantika. Igisa ang sibuyas, bawang at hotdogs ng ilang minuto hanggang maging light brown. Ilagay ang giniling at igisa.
- Ilagay ang red bell peppers at spaghetti sauce. Budburan ng asin at paminta. Ilagay ang condensed milk (optional). Ilagay ang tubig o beef stock at beef broth cube. Takpan ang kawali at lutuin ito ng 10 minutes gamit ang mababang apoy.
- Ilagay ang grated cheese at haluin hanggang matunaw.
- Alisin ang kawali sa apoy. Kumuha ng konting sauce pang toppings (optional).
- Paghaluin ang macaroni paste at ang sauce. Haluin ng mabuti.
- Ilipat ang macaroni sa isang baking dish. Maglagay ng meat topping sa ibabaw. Isantabi.
- Para sa cheese sauce, lutuin ang all purpose cream gamit ang mababang apoy. Kapag malapit nang kumulo, ilagay ang quickmelt cheese at haluin para matunaw. Budburan ng asin at paminta.
- Maglagay ng cheese sauce sa ibabaw ng macaroni. I-bake ang macaroni sa preheated oven ng 20 – 30 minutes gamit ang 180C.
- Kumuha ng malaking portion ng macaroni at ilagay sa iyong pinggan. Enjoy!