Baked Macaroni

I remember asking for this recipe from one of my aunts when I was in High School because I really was a fan of how this dish was always ready to eat, and always tasty and full of flavor. Growing up, I was a sucker for cheese, so seeing this was always mouth-watering. I wasn’t able to get her recipe, but I remember taking my fork and dissecting the plate of baked macaroni she served to me and tried to identify as much of the ingredients as possible. It took me about four years to finally be able to master all the ingredients, the timing of the pasta, and right proportion of sauce to pasta.

Note that this particular recipe caters to those who prefer a pinoy-tasting sauce. I’ll create a separate recipe and procedure in a different post for those of you who prefer the more italian-tasting red sauce.

You’ll need:
1 kg Elbow Macaroni
800 g Tomato Sauce
1/3 kg ground beef or pork
1 can mushroom, sliced
2 tbsp crushed garlic
1 red onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
5-6 pcs hotdogs, chopped
1 whole carrot, chopped to small pieces
cheddar cheese, or any quick-melt cheese

In a large kettle filled with water, 1 tbsp salt, and 1 tbsp olive oil, cook the pasta until it’s just at the chewy stage before al dente. You need to take it off the boiling water just at this stage as it will continue to cook even after you take it out of the stove. Set aside.

Step 1:
On a saucepan, heat up about 3 tbsp of cooking oil, and sautee the garlic in it until golden brown, following it up with the chopped onions.

Step 2:
Mix in the ground beef or pork in until the meat is all gray or light brown.

Step 3:
Pour in the tomato sauce, lowering the heat, bring to a boil.

Step 4:
Add the chopped carrots, mushroom, and hotdogs into the sauce. Stir so everything will spread evenly. Cover and leave for about 2 minutes.

Step 5:
Add the green bell pepper, and follow it up with half a cup of grated cheddar cheese. Stir until the sauce absorbs all the melted cheese. Cover and leave for about 2 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and sugar according to how you prefer your sauce.

Step 6:
Mix the sauce with the pasta, making sure all of the pasta has a fair share of the sauce. Put in a container, generously cover with grated cheese.

It’s good to serve as-is, without baking it, but if you prefer, put inside pre-heated oven to 190deg and bake until cheese turns light brown.

Enjoy!

 

 

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