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Easy Japanese Recipes

Ketchup Spaghetti スパゲッティーナポリタン

Ketchup Spaghetti | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

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 from 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 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!

Ketchup Spaghetti | JustOneCookbook.com

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.

Ketchup Spaghetti Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: Serves 2
  • 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
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, mince the garlic clove and slice onion, sausages, bell pepper and mushrooms.
  3. 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.
  4. Add the onions to the pan and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  5. When the onions are wilted, add the sausages and sauté for 1 minute.
  6. Add the bell peppers and mushrooms and sauté until everything is cooked.
  7. 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.
  8. As soon as the pasta is cooked and drained, add to the pan and toss to combine using tongs.
  9. 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.

Ketchup Spaghetti Wine Review 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.

Ketchup Spaghetti | JustOneCookbook.com


Posted in: 30 Minutes Or Less, Easy Dinner Ideas, Noodles & Pasta, One Dish Meals, Pork, Quick & Easy

Leave a Comment

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  • Mags April 19, 2013, 11:41 am

    Yeah, there is a Neopolitan sauce. As I understand it it’s a ragu, like bolognese, but made with whole meat pieces. I’m running to google now to learn more!

    • Nami April 22, 2013, 10:26 am

      Hi Mags! Thanks for your input! I think there may be a ragu called Neapolitan (I saw one video which an Italian chef was making Neapolitan pasta), but definitely NO ketchup. :D

  • Mr. & Mrs. P April 19, 2013, 12:02 pm

    Before going into the blog post.. the first thing that came to mind was Honey Boo Boo. They make Sketi!!! With ketchup and margarine.. Tons of margarine! lol

    Your recipe is nothing like that.. Looks delicious!!! Love the veggies pepping through the spaghetti

  • Kate @ Kate from Scratch April 19, 2013, 12:21 pm

    Looks delicious! I bet my boys would ravage this dish. lol!

  • donna mikasa April 19, 2013, 12:28 pm

    Would you believe we just finished up some spaghetti and meatballs this week, so I have to wait a while to try this Ketchup Spaghetti. But thank you for sharing the wine choice! It’s always nice to get a good pairing. Have a wonderful weekend, Nami!

    • Nami April 22, 2013, 10:29 am

      Hi Donna! Have you tried Napoletan before? It’s a comfort dish which brings back of my childhood memory. :)

  • Asmita April 19, 2013, 12:32 pm

    This looks so delicious! I love all the flavors in this and would be a huge hit at my place.

  • Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking April 19, 2013, 12:42 pm

    Wow, Nami! This looks so delicious, and I love how easy it is too. Thanks for sharing!

  • A_Boleyn April 19, 2013, 12:47 pm

    I thought a ketchup pasta sauce would be sketchy (as in lacking in substance and depth) and too sweet due to the ketchup but with the other ingredients it looks good. The wine sounds very intriguing.

  • Eleanor April 19, 2013, 1:02 pm

    My mother made ketchup spaghetti, though instead of kurobuta sausage she used sliced bologna. She was from the Yokohama area, so I’m guessing that’s where she learned to make this particular spaghetti sauce. Also, “real” meat was hard to come by after the war, so I suspect the bologna was a postwar staple just as Spam was in the UK.

    Unfortunately, I grew up and took cooking classes from chefs who looked down on ketchup, so I never made the dish myself. When my mother died, I was sorry I didn’t write down her recipe for ketchup spaghetti—until now. Thank you so much for posting this!

    • Nami April 22, 2013, 10:32 am

      Hi Eleanor! This spaghetti became popular in Yokohama, but now it’s pretty much all over the place in Japan and always found in Yoshoku (western style) restaurants and cafes. :)

      Haha, I understand about the ketchup. I’m not a huge ketchup fan too (I eat french fries without dipping in ketchup until I get bored with salt taste…then I’d dip in ketchup). Hope you can recreate your mom’s flavor!

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci) April 19, 2013, 1:07 pm

    I’ve never heard of Ketchup Spaghetti but these flavors sound wonderful!

  • The Ninja Baker April 19, 2013, 1:11 pm

    懐かしい!I saw the photo of your Spaghetti Napolitano and rushed to click your post. This scrumptious noodle dish brings such fond memories back. Thank you for sharing this recipe, Nami-san.

    Appreciate too the history behind the dish. 勉強になりました=)

  • Pam Yoshida April 19, 2013, 1:22 pm

    Nami: I love your blog! My Uncle Yutaka turned me on to it, and I’ve turned it on to some of my cousins. I’ve had this in Japan over 20 years ago and swore it was ketchup! Thank you for validifing the use of ketchup!

    Wondering if you’ve ever run into a recipe for: ume spaghetti? It has shiso leaves in it. Or-maybe it is shiso spaghetti? I had it at a restaurant in Carson (or Cypress) in So CA: Hiro’s Cafe. It was so delicious!

    • Nami April 22, 2013, 10:35 am

      Hi Pam! Thank you so much for following my blog and for introducing my site to more people! That means a lot to me. THANK YOU!!! xoxo

      I love shiso & ume pasta with sprinkled nori. Ahhhh! I am craving for it now! When I go to Japanese style pasta restaurant in Japan (unfortunately not around in SF area), I always order that. I need to remember this restaurant when I go to SoCal! Or I should recreate my own version. Thanks for your suggestion! :)

  • Ramona April 19, 2013, 1:28 pm

    Looks fantastic and I know two kids that would be in heaven with this cool spaghetti dish. :)

  • wok with ray April 19, 2013, 1:37 pm

    This is how we cook spaghetti when I was growing up. We used Ketchup as sauce and we used sliced hotdogs. But you added a lot more goodies in there that is why your spaghetti is a lot more special and I bet taste a really good. Have a nice weekend to you and your family, Nami. :)

  • yummychunklet April 19, 2013, 1:41 pm

    I’ve never heard of this. Sounds tasty!

  • Manju @ Manju'sEatingDelights April 19, 2013, 1:48 pm

    Nami, this recipe brought back childhood memories…my mom made spaghetti exactly like this and used minced meat instead of the sausage and did not use Worcestershire sauce though….but the main sauce was ketchup….Its absolutely yummy isn’t it! never knew it was a Japanese restaurant style preparation :-) My mom wud be happy to know that!

  • Janice April 19, 2013, 1:49 pm

    Growing up, my dad would make spaghetti for us with jarred sauce and add copious amount of ketchup and sugar. It’s been so long and now I feel so nostalgic! I not only want to try your recipe, but want to visit him and ask if he would make his spaghetti for me as well. Thanks =)

    • Nami April 22, 2013, 10:38 am

      Hi Janice! Thank you for your lovely story! That’s wonderful that you have a wonderful memory of food your dad made. I don’t remember when or if my dad ever cooked! :D Your dad will be so happy to see you and hear that you miss his food. :)

  • Betty Ann @Mango_Queen April 19, 2013, 2:10 pm

    Happy Birthday to your little cute daughter! This is the perfect dish to celebrate the happy event. Your ketchup spaghetti is similar to our Filipino-style pasta dish which we like to eat sweet and with lots of sauce. Thanks for sharing. This is great comfort food for today! Happy weekend, Nami!

  • Mi Vida en un Dulce April 19, 2013, 2:23 pm

    You really surprise me with this post, I can imagine that something made with ketchup is original from Japan, I mean, the ketchup sound very American for me.

  • Alessandra April 19, 2013, 2:58 pm

    Now I finally understand why some spaghetti with tomato sauce in Japan tasted like ketchup! :-)


  • Sandra's Easy Cooking April 19, 2013, 3:04 pm

    This is so funny because I love spaghetti w/ ketchup and my kids too. I add ketchup even in the ground beef based sauces–it has that unique taste and add bit of sweetness too. I know this is good, like really good but haven’t tried it with the sausage….putting on the list for next time! Oh and Delicious pictures! :)

  • Vicki Bensinger April 19, 2013, 3:21 pm

    Hi Nami, I feel so bad I haven’t stopped by lately. It seems like the weekends are when I’ve had time to visit most people, I’ve just been so busy. I do read many of your posts though.

    My mom always made spaghetti with ketchup and then doctored it up and I loved it. As a child I lived on the stuff – couldn’t get enough of it. I would still eat it daily if my figure would allow it.

    This sounds so good. I like all the ingredients used and can actually taste how good this is. The addition of milk adds just a touch of creaminess to take this pasta to the next level. Very nice recipe. Hope you and your family are well.

  • Stephanie April 19, 2013, 3:28 pm

    My mother is Japanese and used to make this for the all the time growing up. It really is delicious! I’m happy to see the recipe here. Can’t wait to make it for my own daughters!

    • Nami April 22, 2013, 10:45 am

      Hi Stephanie! I think this dish is made more at home than eating out. I never had anything against ketchup growing up because of this delicious dish… :) Hope you and your daughters enjoy this dish!

  • Patty April 19, 2013, 3:42 pm

    Interesting history to this noodle dish Nami, I have never heard of ketchup spaghetti but it looks like a delicious meal -especially like the sausages, mushrooms and peppers!

  • Stephania April 19, 2013, 4:09 pm

    I watched Hotaru no Hikari a couple months ago, they made a reference about napolitan (5:16) :)


    • Nami April 22, 2013, 10:47 am

      Hi Stephania! Ohhh this movie make me cry every single time I see (last time was last year). The link doesn’t work anymore, but I have a DVD. I don’t remember the reference but next time I’ll pay more attention. :)

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious April 19, 2013, 4:31 pm

    What fun flavors! I definitely want to try this out with Jason – he’ll love it!

  • Monica April 19, 2013, 4:42 pm

    I “secretly” love ketchup spaghetti. We had it a lot in Hong Kong-style cafes…if you ordered your spaghetti w/o cheese, it was essentially a ketchup sauce. It’s so good and your version looks just right.

    • Monica May 8, 2013, 4:26 pm

      Nami, I just made this for dinner tonight…sooo yummy! My son who uses goes for the meat and has little interest in the pasta ate more spaghetti than usual! It’s really good, and I love that it only takes a few pantry ingredients. Great recipe to have in my back pocket. Thanks for sharing your recipe!!

      • Nami May 8, 2013, 8:51 pm

        Hi Monica! Thank you so much for trying this recipe! Really happy to hear your son loves it too. :) We always have ketchup and other ingredients for this recipe in the fridge, so when I have to make a quick lunch or bento, this comes in handy! Thank you for your feedback, Monica!

  • Karen (Back Road Journal) April 19, 2013, 5:07 pm

    It is so interesting to see how spaghetti is prepared differently no matter where you live.

  • Dar April 19, 2013, 5:12 pm

    Thank you for the memory! My ojiisan made us spaghetti with ketchup and hamburger! He also did a fried rice with ketchup and hamburger! Hadn’t thought about that for years!

    • Nami April 22, 2013, 10:48 am

      Hi Dar! So happy to hear about your Ojiisan’s recipe! Wow he cooked? I don’t remember my grandpas or my dad made any dish! Yep, ketchup chahan is delicious too!

  • Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover April 19, 2013, 5:59 pm

    Oh, Thanks for sharing this yummy pasta, another great idea for a quick lunch, going to cook very soon. Have a great weekend ahead Nami.

  • john@kitchenriffs April 19, 2013, 7:12 pm

    Fun recipe! I don’t think I’ve ever had a spaghetti sauce made with ketchup. It does look quite interesting, and definitely would be interesting to try. Really cool post – thanks so much.

  • The Café Sucre Farine April 19, 2013, 7:35 pm

    Nami, I’ve never heard of anything like this. Leave it to the Japanese to come up with something fun and creative!

  • Muna Kenny April 19, 2013, 7:45 pm

    Easy and yummy! I’m thinking turkey sausage maybe, I’ll have to try it. Thanks Nami :)

  • Candice April 19, 2013, 7:47 pm

    Hi Nami,

    Happy Friday! I recently asked if you had a recipe for this. Thank you so much for posting this recipe so quickly. =D

    Your photo of the Spaghetti Neapolitan (aka Ketchup Spaghetti) is beautiful. I’ve never thought to pair it with wine, but will give it a try when I make your version of the Spaghetti Neapolitan.

    Have a wonderful weekend with your family.

    • Nami April 22, 2013, 10:51 am

      Hi Candice! Yes, you are one of the readers and the first person who requested! Thank YOU for your request. So many readers told me this post reminded of their childhood memory and I was really happy to share this post. :)

  • Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. April 19, 2013, 9:03 pm

    I half expected to see tomato ketchup tossed with spaghetti and that’s it, lol! I should have known it would actually be something that looks so tasty!

  • Denise Browning@From Brazil To You April 19, 2013, 9:08 pm

    Nami: I love ketchup — and my people do as well. Don’t worry about how odd certain people think this pasta is. Japanese find great solidarity in Brazilians. :):) We use it as a condiment to pizzas, certain starters, etc I have no doubt how great this pasta is. It looks very good. Like Andrew Zimmern says: If it looks good, eat it!!! :)

  • hui April 19, 2013, 9:12 pm

    i used to think adding ketchup to ready made bottled tomata pasta sauce was a given when cooking pasta sauce because my brother did it this way (still does! and his son thinks its the best pasta sauce ever!).. i realized much, much later that that’s questionable ^^ but your ketchup spaghetti just threw me over.. perhaps big brother knew best! ^^ i know my family would love this ketchup spaghetti!

  • Bam's Kitchen April 19, 2013, 9:52 pm

    Nami-san, I am glad you write out the katakana as I need to practice before I start to forget everything I learned. A great little recipe for those frantic week night meals. I used to order a similar dish in a little restaurant in Motomachi and I never understood why their spaghetti was sweet, now I know. There is a Have a super weekend. BAM

  • tigerfish April 19, 2013, 10:07 pm

    When I was a teenager, I used to eat similar in a Japanese cafe in Isetan, Singapore. I remember always ordering the same dish whenever I visit the cafe. So it must be delicious. I don’t remember the name of the dish but it was tomato-based and very unlike the typical marinara. Maybe it has ketchup in there?

  • Anne ~ Uni Homemaker April 19, 2013, 11:49 pm

    When I was a child, I used to eat ketchup spaghetti all the time but of course, it didn’t have all the goodies you have in here. Love the idea of adding in sausage, bell pepper and mushroom in here. Looks delicious and sounds quick to make!

  • Lorely | Butter Love Affair April 20, 2013, 1:09 am

    This looks so easy to make and yummy! How this dish came about is an interesting read:)

  • Jenny April 20, 2013, 2:03 am

    lovely family supper.. simple and light. sounds delish, Nami!

  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef April 20, 2013, 3:21 am

    What a wacky and very American sounding recipe name. I love this dish and the wine pairing is a great idea, Nami!

  • Hotly Spiced April 20, 2013, 3:33 am

    I have heard of ketchup pasta but every time I see a recipe the ingredients and sauces vary slightly. I do like how yours has more than just ketchup in the sauce xx

  • My Kitchen Stories April 20, 2013, 6:01 am

    A great recipe for kids. Simple and nourishing as usual

  • Adora's Box April 20, 2013, 9:44 am

    Filipino spaghetti has (banana) ketchup in it, too. I love this! Yes to the sugar because I love sweet spaghetti. Love the sausage and peppers, too. What a great recipe. I would never have thought that it’s Japanese.

  • Jeff April 20, 2013, 9:49 am

    Hooray! History and food! My favourite combinations! It’s definitely got some American influence to it. I wonder what the Japanese people thought about this dish when the American GI’s ordered it!

  • dedy oktavianus pardede@Dentist_Chef April 20, 2013, 10:06 am

    sounds preety easy to make,
    heinz is rocks!, never missed one tomato based sauce without even a simply dash of it..
    btw i prever white wine for pasta and pinot noir for seafoods…

  • Purabi Naha April 20, 2013, 10:14 am

    This Ketchup sphagetti sounds simple and delicious with that cheese sprinkle at the end! And the Pfender 2011 Pinot Noir sounds so distinct and something one must try!

  • Balvinder April 20, 2013, 5:10 pm

    That looks quite interesting. Spaghetti with ketchup and Worcestershire sauce.

  • Sandra April 20, 2013, 8:37 pm

    I love everything about this recipe.

  • Antonella April 20, 2013, 11:59 pm

    Hi Nami,
    I’m in Italy, and we always use fa sauce made with. Fresh tomatoes, basil and garlic or onion as every ones prefer…
    The ketckup in known here only as a sauce for French fries…
    But I love to explore new taste, and I’ll try your sauce too! :)

    Have a great Sunday!

    • Nami April 22, 2013, 11:14 am

      Hi Antonella! You are too kind, thank you for your comment! Yeah I think using ketchup in pasta are more American thing than Italian. It was a substitution for tomato sauce back then (after war) but it was so good that it became a dish in Japan. I grew up with it and never doubt about using ketchup for spaghetti. Haha! :D

  • Raymund April 21, 2013, 1:34 am

    I was reading about this Japanese spaghetti when I was researching on where did the Filipino version did originated, A lot said it was from this Japanese spaghetti as there are a lot of similarities like using Ketchup and sausages.

  • kat April 21, 2013, 1:50 am

    napolitan! sometimes it is too sweet, this looks just right!

  • Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today April 21, 2013, 2:05 am

    When I read a ketchup spaghetti – I was surprised, but I can see that there’s much more behind it plus all the ingredients – just yummy.

  • Kitty April 21, 2013, 6:10 am

    This is surprisingly delicious. I’ve had it several times and I must say the first time I didn’t realize it contained ketchup. (Maybe I was still jetlagged!) Children and some grown men are crazy for ‘Ketchup Spaghetti’. The grown men includes my husband. Last year I read the book, ‘Pure Ketchup’ by Andrew F. Smith and it was an very interesting book.

    • Nami April 22, 2013, 11:16 am

      Hi Kitty! Yeah “surprisingly” is totally the right word because I think some people are not used to seeing ketchup with pasta. LOL… Pure Ketchup sounds like an interesting book to read!

  • Cha April 21, 2013, 6:23 am

    Hi Nami! What kind of mushroom did you use? I am sooo excited to try this recipe for my little boy.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Nami April 22, 2013, 11:17 am

      Hi Cha! I use button mushrooms, but you can use enoki mushrooms, eringi mushrooms, maybe even shiitake mushrooms too! Hope that helps! :)

  • Kate@Diethood April 21, 2013, 9:27 am

    I never thought that Macedonian cuisine and Japanese cuisine would ever cross paths, but here we are!! We also make this and it is the most popular way to eat spaghetti. Most of the time we add crumbled feta cheese to it, too. :)

  • Belinda @zomppa April 21, 2013, 9:36 am

    I’ve definitely seen ketchup spaghetti in Asian countries – neat and unique!

  • Rosa April 21, 2013, 9:39 am

    Scrumptious! What a tasty combination.



  • Rhonda April 21, 2013, 10:37 am

    Kids would definitely love this! When I was growing up my brother put ketchup on everything, but never pasta.

  • Wizzy April 21, 2013, 1:49 pm

    I smiled when I saw this because it’s quite a popular home dish here and very kid friendly

  • Mich Piece of Cake April 21, 2013, 8:30 pm

    Love this simple and delicious pasta dish! Perfect for days when you just need to whip up sometime fast.

  • Amy Tong April 21, 2013, 10:49 pm

    This is one of my favorite Japanese pasta dish and my kids love it too. :) I haven’t met a kid who doesn’t like ketchup. My Son dislike tomato, but he loves ketchup! Can’t you believe it? I’ve tell him many times that ketchup are made from tomatoes, but he just insist he doesn’t like tomato but adores ketchup. hahahaha….Anyway, back to your recipe and review. I love how simple this spaghetti is to prepare. :) I know my kids will finish dinner in no time if I make this. The Pfendler 2011 Pinot Noir sounds like something my hubby and I would love to enjoy with pasta. We love wine that are dry. Fruity ones are too sweet for our taste buds. :P

  • TheKitchenLioness April 22, 2013, 12:45 am

    Nami does pasta – delightful post my friend! I am sure that it received glowing reviews from your whole family!
    Have a lovely Moday!

  • Orchidea April 22, 2013, 2:12 am

    Hi Nami,
    I like a lot the pictures you took of this pasta but as an Italian I have to disagree on ketchup pasta… in Italy ketchup is baned and never used on pasta. I know, as I see it here in Sweden, outside Italy people eat pasta with ketchup but I really not understand it. We have a basic simple pasta that we call “pasta rossa” (red pasta) and we make with tomatoes sause, you can either use fresh tomatoes in summer or can tomatoes in winter and you cook the sause with onion or garlic and herbs like basil or thyme or any herb you like, and you cook it for a long long time. This basic recipe has many variants in every family and I am sure in Neaples there are differences, they usually use a lot of chili for example (I never heard of spaghetti Neapoletan).
    I do not know why I did not put my family recipe for pasta rossa… I will do it soon since I make this pasta often, when I do not have anything else at home I always have pasta and can tomato. This is a dish all kids love in Italy… and adults too.

  • Rowena @ Apron and Sneakers April 22, 2013, 3:36 am

    I don’t think anyone would put ketchup in their pasta here but in the Philippines, you can. I grew up in my school’s cafeteria eating spaghetti with ketchup, meat & hotdogs. Big similarity with the Japanese’.

  • Nancy/SpicieFoodie April 22, 2013, 3:37 am

    Hi Nami and Shen! I’ve only heard of ketchup spaghetti from movies. Though I’m not a big fan of ketchup Nami your photos and recipe made my mouth water. I love the addition of Worcestershire sauce and sausage. Okay, I really have to give this a try. Thanks for sharing the history and the wine review.

    P.S. Are tomatoes used in Japanese cuisine now, other than in the pasta dishes you mentioned? Thanks:)

  • Laura @ Family Spice April 22, 2013, 5:02 am

    So, when my husband left Iran to stay in the US, he was only 13. He told me they used to add ketchup to their spaghetti, too. Must be this east meets west thing!!! And look what the US has done to Chinese food. From what I understand, the “traditional” dishes we see in Chinese restaurants in the US are not found in China at all! Go figure!

  • Mandy - The Complete Cook Book April 22, 2013, 5:17 am

    What a wonderful combination of flavours Nami.
    :-) Mandy xo

  • Baby Sumo April 22, 2013, 6:56 am

    Sounds like a simple and delicious pasta, Nami!

  • Lail | With A Spin April 22, 2013, 7:29 am

    This spaghetti looks delicious and the steps seem easy to make. Will give it a try.

  • Charles April 22, 2013, 7:47 am

    Hi Nami, this reminds me a little of the sausage stroganoff Swedish recipe I posted a while ago… key ingredient of ketchup. With pepper and sausage it’s a lovely dish – so simple and hearty and well-loved by everyone I think! I think your dish looks a bit more fancy than my humble version but certainly delicious!

  • Jean (Lemons & Anchovies) April 22, 2013, 10:12 am

    I can almost taste this. The Filipino version of spaghetti uses ketchup as an ingredient, too. I loved my mom’s version and in fact, I have missed it. One of those dishes that takes you back to childhood. This looks so good, Nami. :)

  • Evelyne@cheapethniceatz April 22, 2013, 11:13 am

    It looks way better than it sounds lol. Great history behind it. I would be afraid if it was dripping in such a sauce, this is just a nice little coating.

  • Kiran @ KiranTarun.com April 22, 2013, 2:33 pm

    I just drooled over this recipe! Great way of using ketchup here!

  • Eliza@ravenousscientist April 22, 2013, 2:51 pm

    Hi Nami, this is a really nostalgic recipe for me. My mom used to make this as a special treat for me and my brother with Ayamas (dunno if you know this Malaysian brand) sausages!

  • Gemma @andgeesaid April 22, 2013, 8:44 pm

    We used to have ketchup spaghetti as kids!!
    this brings back memories <3

  • Jen L | Tartine and Apron Strings April 22, 2013, 8:45 pm

    We Filipinos love ketchup spaghetti and almost the whole country has their own version / secret recipe, LOL.

  • Sissi April 23, 2013, 8:15 am

    It does sound like a crowd-pleasing dish! If I were a child I would also go crazy for it (ketchup as a sauce!!!). It’s so interesting that the Japanese love Italian cuisine so much! A Japanese friend told me that Italian pasta restaurants are far from being cheap in Tokyo. I have never tasted Japanese sausage! Definitely something I must plan for next trip.
    Sadly I cannot find the wine here, but I loved the review.

  • nipponnin April 23, 2013, 9:24 am



  • Shema George April 23, 2013, 12:28 pm

    Nami, one of the reasons i love following your blog is that i learn something new with each post…today i learnt about kurobuta…The spaghetti looks yum – sure looks like a quick fix meal

  • Reem | Simply Reem April 23, 2013, 2:12 pm

    I love ketchup in anything and everything… Do you know in many indian curries they make in restaurant they add ketchup for color n that peculiar sweet taste…
    This is just perfect… I can already see my boys loving it.

  • Yelena April 23, 2013, 7:04 pm

    We used to have Ketchup Spaghetti dish in Russia when I was a kid. One of the best food from my childhood-))

  • mjskit April 23, 2013, 9:23 pm

    Very interesting. The first part of this recipe I am very familiar with, but a sauce with ketchup as the base – I have never heard of it. It does look quite easy and actually very good. We don’t use ketchup much; therefore, I have a bottle in the fridge that hasn’t been touched in months. Sounds like this is the perfect use for it. Very interesting post Nami. Thanks!

  • My Kitchen Stories April 24, 2013, 10:32 pm

    I sometimes make this for my son, and thought I was just cheating by making him my form of fast food. Good to know it is a real live dish. Lovely photos nami

  • Christine @ Cooking Crusade April 26, 2013, 6:45 am

    Oh wow, I never would have thought to use ketchup in pasta at home but your recipe sounds delicious :)

  • Reese@seasonwithSpice April 26, 2013, 9:49 am

    This is such a fun recipe, Nami. I’ve tried the pasta before when we frequented a few Japanese-Italian cafes in Japan. Really delicious! What’s missing was of course a good bottle of red wine. We had bubbly water instead:( The use of ketchup is really universal. In Malaysia, ketchup is also used in noodles and rice dishes. It is a great culinary invention, isn’t it?

  • asami April 27, 2013, 9:39 am

    Here in Germany many Italian restaurants serve Pasta Napolitana, it’s tomato sauce, like Americans eat spaghetti with marinara sauce

    • Nami April 29, 2013, 9:34 pm

      Thank you so much for letting me know Asami! Some Italian blogger told me that Spaghetti Neapolitan doesn’t exist. It was interesting to hear there is a name “Pasta Napolitana” in Germany. :)

  • Nuts about food April 29, 2013, 3:10 am

    I have never heard of spaghetti Neapolitan here in Italy, and I am sure most Italians would be horrified at the thought of ketchup with spaghetti. Me too actually, although I see there is a lot more to the sauce than its namesake and it actually looks quite delicious.

  • PolaM April 29, 2013, 2:26 pm

    No, they don’t exist in Italy, but I have to admit the look rather good!

  • Emily May 2, 2013, 5:39 pm

    I made this tonight and it was absolutely delicious!

    • Nami May 8, 2013, 9:32 am

      Hi Emily! Thank you so much for trying this recipe! I’m so happy you liked it!! :)

  • Daisy@Nevertoosweet May 7, 2013, 6:26 am

    I know my boyfriend would love this spaghetti for dinner :) Because he loves going to those Japanese and Western fusion cafes in Hong Kong such as Pokka cafe not sure if you still have it in Japan and also UCC Cafe hehe where they serve this style of spaghetti :)

  • Cindy Loh June 9, 2013, 3:09 pm

    Hi Nami,

    Hope u are having a good weekend.
    I am just wondering if I can use salami instead of Italian sausages. Will that work too?
    Please advise. Thanks!


    • Nami June 9, 2013, 8:43 pm

      Hi Cindy! Thank you, it was busy but we had good weekend. Hope you had good one, too. Sure, you can use salami, ham, any kind of meat you have in your fridge. Hope you enjoy this recipe! :)

  • Mayumi September 1, 2013, 9:38 am

    Hi Nami,
    My mother used to cook a lot of that when we were growing up at home (in Paris, but she grew up just after the war near Tokyo so that explains a lot). My brother and I used to love this almost as much as omurice (typical for kids) but at home we just called it akai spaghetti (as in 赤い). And as of this day I am still cooking it on my own (minus the bell pepper that I think kills the onions).
    Thank you for your blog where I can find almost all the dishes I used to eat when I was a kid!

    • Nami September 2, 2013, 11:26 pm

      Hi Mayumi! I remember it was one of my favorite spaghetti too! It’s so easy to make and we usually have ingredients at home so my mom would cook it sometimes for lunch. “Akai Spaghetti” hehee that’s a cute nickname! I personally don’t eat green bell pepper (I start to get heartburn) but it’s one of ingredients in “classic” napolitan recipe, I think. ;)

  • silvia November 5, 2013, 11:48 am

    no in Italy they normally don’t use ketchup in their spaghetti. its usually tomatos, tomato paste. Actually using ketchup with any kind of pasta is forbidden but I know italians who do add some ketchup to the marinara sauce.

    • Nami November 5, 2013, 11:53 am

      Hi Silvia! I think this dish is created by Japanese who was working for a hotel in Japan back in the 50s when we get a lot of influence from the Americans. :) Ketchup is very American thing. :) But it’s funny how the name implies Italian… maybe because it’s pasta dish. :)

  • Kerstin November 8, 2013, 9:51 am

    Nami, I tried this dish for lunch tonight and I have to admit, it turned out great and so reminded me of dishes I have tried while living in Japan. I just added some red pepperflakes, and used hot Italian Sausage. In the end I added a Tbspoon of Mirin… it was great. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    • Nami November 8, 2013, 4:08 pm

      Hi Kerstin! Thank you for trying this recipe! The “ketchup” as seasoning sounds a little strange, but when it’s convined with Worcestershire sauce, it is actually really delicious! Good idea to make it spicy with pepper flakes and hot sausages and balance out with mirin. Thank you so much for your kind feedback! :)

  • Grace November 25, 2013, 7:30 pm

    Hello!gud morning I really want to try your ketchup spaghetti .your very creative to your foods that’s why I want to try it at home.can u advise me about other brands of ketchup b’coz I am nt familiar at Japanese store in case I cud not find organic ketchup.wat brand I can use?thank you ^_^

    • Nami November 26, 2013, 8:15 am

      Hi Grace! I use Trader Joe’s organic ketchup. It doesn’t have to be specific brand of ketchup for this recipe, but I try to get organic and good quality ones. :)

  • Marie October 18, 2014, 8:09 am

    Hi Nami! Have you ever heard of this spaghetti dish being made with *just* ketchup and a little mirin? That’s what my mom does, but I noticed there isn’t any mirin in your recipe. I’m going to try yours tonight, because based on all of the other recipes I tried from you, I know this is going to taste great :-) !!!

    • Nami October 18, 2014, 10:35 pm

      Hi Marie! It really depends on your personal taste, and the brand of ketchup. I like adding a bit of salty condiments to ketchup so it’s not too “ketchupy”. A splash of soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce is a wonderful touch. Some brand of ketchup can be a bit sour, so sugar can help make it more mild (but not necessary). Hope you enjoy this recipe! :)

  • Ewaboy December 14, 2014, 12:55 pm

    Brings back so much memories! I lived in Tokyo as a young child almost 60 years ago with my Mom’s family in Roppongi, Azabu, Minatoku(?)close to Mikawadai Koen. My mom made what I called “fried spaghetti” for me and I loved it. I haven’t eaten “fried spaghetti” since then. Thanks for posting the recipe – I’ll try it for sure.

    • Nami December 15, 2014, 5:33 pm

      Happy to know this reminded you your childhood memories in Japan! Hope you enjoy the recipe! :)

  • Ewaboy December 14, 2014, 1:13 pm

    I remember the “spaghetti” my Mom used when I was a kid in Tokyo – in the 1950s – was different from the pasta we buy in the U.S. Am I confused or was it different?

    • Nami December 15, 2014, 5:35 pm

      If the noodles were coated with ketchup flavor, most likely it’s spaghetti. But I’m not sure what brand or type of spaghetti used back then. Could be different? Neapolitan uses spaghetti all the time. :)