Ketchup spaghetti?! Yes, it’s a spaghetti recipe that is seasoned mainly with ketchup. This ketchup flavored pasta is popular and widely available in cafe restaurants in Japan and we call it Spaghetti Napolitan (スパゲッティーナポリタン).
From what I can find on the web, the recipe was originated in Japan (please let me know if Spaghetti Neapolitan exists in Italy). I want to share this recipe because recently I had received several request from readers. They all referred to this dish as “Ketchup Pasta” hence I called it Ketchup Spaghetti.
There are a few theories of how Spaghetti Napolitan (or Naporitan) or Ketchup Spaghetti originated. The strongest theory is that it’s originated in Yokohama during the post war. Around 1950s, a chef at the New Grand Hotel in Yokohama created this dish when he was inspired by one of the food served for the American military, which was spaghetti mixed with tomato Ketchup.
Around the same time in Japan, Japan started to open itself up to the world and tomato sauce was a rare ingredient, so ketchup was used as a substitute instead. The Japanese enjoyed new westernized dishes like Spaghetti Meat Sauce and Spaghetti Napolitan. Even now these dishes are still two of the most popular western influenced pasta in Japan.
This dish is really easy to make and the flavor is kids-friendly as well. The common ingredients include onion, mushrooms, green bell peppers, and sausages (ham or bacon). It’s seasoned with ketchup and Parmesan cheese, and served with Tabasco sauce. I hope you want to give it a try. Trust me, it’s delicious!
Now let’s go over the recipe first before my husband Shen talks about his review on the wine that we pair up with Ketchup Pasta.
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- 7 oz (200g) spaghetti
- 1 garlic clove
- ¼ - ½ onion
- 6 sausages (I use Japanese “kurobuta” (black pork) sausages) or 2 Italian sausages
- 1 bell pepper
- 4-6 mushrooms
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. milk
- 2 Tbsp. freshly ground Parmesan cheese
- 4 Tbsp. Ketchup
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ tsp sugar (optional)
- 1-3 Tbsp. pasta cooking water
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
- Meanwhile, mince the garlic clove and slice onion, sausages, bell pepper and mushrooms.
- In a large skillet or sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute, just until golden and fragrant.
- Add the onions to the pan and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
- When the onions are wilted, add the sausages and sauté for 1 minute.
- Add the bell peppers and mushrooms and sauté until everything is cooked.
- Add the Sauce ingredients: Ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and sugar (optional). When the sauce thickens, add the pasta cooking water. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- As soon as the pasta is cooked and drained, add to the pan and toss to combine using tongs.
- Add the milk and Parmesan cheese and toss to combine. Serve immediately in warmed plates.
We enjoy drinking wine with our pasta dinner. The acidity of wine refreshes the palate from the pasta sauce. Recently we paired the Pfendler 2011 Pinot Noir with ketchup it worked out very well. The pinot was very smooth yet surprisingly complex for a young wine. Typically young wines do not have so many layers of deliciousness. It is an earthy pinot with just a hint of berries and very slight acidity. The winemaker describe it with layers of tea leaves, and dark chocolate and I couldn’t agree more. The flavor leans towards spice rather fruity for a pinot and I would highly recommend to drink this with cheese or other strong flavored food.
Please note: We received no compensation for this review. We received a bottle of Pfendler 2011 Pinor Noir from Jarvis Communications free of charge to use in exchange for an honest review.