For dinner tonight I had a weird pasta dish, baked spaghetti with corned beef, the recipe I got from the online edition of the Philippine newspaper Inquirer. I was checking the latest results of the presidential elections and naturally my eyes gravitated towards the Food section and found an article on the candidates's favorite recipes . Two of [the presumed president-elect] Noynoy Aquino's favorites are Libby's corned beef and his mom's Swedish meatballs. Reggie Aspiras, one of the newspaper's food columnists, wrote the article and created a recipe based on those favorites. The dish is baked spaghetti with Purefoods corned beef and for crunch and the must-have yellow color she added canned corn. I thought at first the flavor combination is odd but it actually works, it's quite delicious. Thank you Reggie for the recipe. The only thing I will alter should I make it again is to layer the spaghetti and sauce so there's sauce in the middle.
The future president might want to try this pasta dish, he'll probably like it.
Baked Corned Beef Spaghetti à la Noynoy
adapted from a recipe by Reggie Aspiras
1 pound thin spaghetti, cooked al dente and drained (reserve some of the water)
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1½ cups sliced onions
4 tablespoons chopped garlic
3 cups fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
3 cups shredded corned beef or 2 cans Purefoods corned beef
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 can whole corn, drained
sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
cream cheese bechamel
1 cup each shredded mozzarella and Parmesan
- Combine oil and butter. Saute onions until caramelized. Add garlic. Add tomatoes and Italian seasoning. Add corned beef, cook for five minutes. Add corn and pasta, toss to combine. If you find the mixture too dry, add a little bit of pasta water. Season to taste.
- Transfer pasta to a baking dish. Top with cream cheese bechamel. Finish with grated mozzarella and grated parmesan. Bake in a pre-heated 350°F oven for 30 minutes or until cheese has melted and the top slightly golden.
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
3 cups fresh milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup cream cheese
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
sea salt and ground white pepper to taste
- In a saucepan, melt butter, whisk in flour. Slowly add milk, stirring frequently. Add cream and cream cheese and cook, stirring frequently until smooth and has thickened slightly. Remove from heat and add parsley, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
The Filipino grocery store in my area does not sell Purefoods corned beef which is not a problem because I prefer to cook it myself anyway. There are seasoned corned beef in grocery stores, all you do is add water, boil, and shred. If you can't find seasoned corned beef, here again is the recipe.
2 pounds beef brisket
2 tablespoons sea salt
1 tablespoon pickling spice
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, quartered
¾ teaspoon pink salt, optional (if you prefer the cooked meat with red hue)
- Put brisket in a pot large enough to accommodate the brisket. Add the rest of the ingredients and enough water to cover meat. Bring to a boil, cover, turn heat down to medium, and boil for 2 hours. Remove cooked meat and transfer into a plate. Leave until cool enough to handle. Slice the brisket across the grain into 1½-inch strips. Shred the meat using 2 forks or with (gloved) hands.