Friday, May 20, 2011

Spaghetti Neapolitan (Japanese Style Ketchup Spaghetti)

My husband has a sort of prejudice against this dish.  He totally and utterly dislikes this dish without having even tried it once.

The reason why he is against this dish is “Ketchup”.  It seems that he cannot believe that sweet sauce turns into a very tasty pasta sauce.

He is British and in Britain there is a sauce called HP sauce which is more vinegary and hotter than the taste of ketchup.  HP sauce is more popular than ketchup over there.  Perhaps, the British classify HP sauce for adults and ketchup for kids and he may feel embarrassed about eating kiddies’ flavoured food!?

Although the taste of this dish is unlike the classic Italian flavour, trust me, it is very tasty and one of the most popular Japanese-Western dishes that we invented after the 2nd World War.

Ingredients for 2 people
7 oz spaghetti
2 rashers of Canadian naturally smoked bacon, cut into small pieces
2 oz thin sliced beef, cut into thin strips
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 medium sized cluster of oyster mushrooms, torn from the cluster
2 tablespoons chopped parsley plus some for garnish
salt and black pepper to taste
AJINOMOTO (MSG) to taste (optional)
2 tablespoons white wine

(Neapolitan Sauce)
2/5 cup Heinz organic ketchup
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder (Colmans English Mustard powder is best)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

dash of Tabasco

Cook the spaghetti in a large pan of boiling salted water until just tender (al dente). Drain well.

To make the Neapolitan sauce, add all the ingredients in a cup and mix well until the mustard powder and the onion powder are incorporated with the mixture.

Heat a large frying pan and fry the bacon without oil.  When enough fat starts to come out of the bacon, add the beef and fry for further 1 – 2 minutes until the beef is just cooked.  With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon and beef from the frying pan and drain on kitchen papers.

Heat the butter in the same frying pan and cook the onion for 3 – 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for further 1 minute.

Add the mushrooms and the 2 tablespoons of parsley.  Return the bacon and beef and cook for 1 – 2 minutes until the mushrooms soften.  Season with salt, black pepper and MSG (if you are using), then add the wine and cook for a few minutes until the liquid has almost (but not quite) evaporated.

Add the spaghetti and the Neapolitan sauce into the frying pan and cook for a few minutes, mixing well.  When you start smelling a sweet ketchup smell, the dish is ready to serve.  Garnish with the rest of the parsley and add a dash of Tabasco if you prefer a spicy flavour.

NOTE: Normal Heinz ketchup is actually tomato flavored corn syrup!  The organic one is about the same price and far better tasting!

If you would like to read this recipe in Japanese, please click HERE.

Bon appetit!


  1. bellissimo blog , saluti da milano-italy


    1. Grazie mille! Apprezzo il tuo commento.


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