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My Mother-in-Law's Spaghetti

Hey, you! Surprisingly we woke up to a rainy morning today. What is up with this summer weather???

Anyways … yesterday was my mother-in-law’s death anniversary. Her 5th death anniversary already.

I’ve always considered myself pretty lucky because of the fact that my in-laws have always been really great with me. The truth about marriage is that you choose your husband / wife but you have to accept his / her family, which is not always easy.

I remember that when the husband and I got married, we were asked to attend a marriage seminar. The speaker talked about how a lot of times marriages turn sour when the husband or the wife don’t stand up for their partner. No one even family should come in between a husband and a wife. So, in fact when you get married, you don’t just exchange vows with your spouse, you decide to cut ties with the family you grew up with. Your new family becomes your spouse and future children.

I have great respect for my mother-in-law. Even before marrying her son, I had already considered her as my second mom. Sure, she had her character and temper, but she was always there when we needed her. You’d get scolded at first, but then she’d be the first to come up with a solution to your problem.

Through the years, I’ve learned a lot from her, including this recipe she shared with me. My Mother-in-Law’s Spaghetti has always been present at her party table so as long as I remember. And I was always curious about what she put in it.

My dad is European, so I learned to make the classic Spaghetti Bolognese. But there just was something about her spaghetti. Until I found out her secret ingredient …. red bell pepper! Red Bell Pepper!!! Honestly, on my own, I would never think of putting red bell pepper in my spaghetti sauce, but trust me you gotta try it.

My Mother-in-Law’s Spaghetti


  • Olive oil

  • 6 garlic cloves, diced

  • 1 white onion, finely chopped

  • 1 red bell pepper, diced

  • 500g ground beef

  • 5 Filipino hotdogs (I used Knacks Sausage)

  • 500 ml Tomato puree (in the Philippines, I used Del Monte)

  • 1 small can Tomato paste

  • Brown sugar

  • Grated cheese (in the Philippines, I used the Quickmelt-type)

  • Salt

  • Black Pepper

In a wok, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Add 6 diced cloves of garlic, 1 finely chopped white onion, and 1 diced red bell pepper. Sauté until it becomes fragrant.

Then add 500 grams of ground beef and let it brown.

In lieu of Filipino hotdogs, I added 5 knacks that I sliced. Stir.

If only I could buy hotdogs here…

Add a 500 ml pack of tomato puree. To sweeten it, add a pinch of brown sugar. Stir. Add also 1 small can of tomato paste (about 3 tablespoons). Let it simmer on low heat until the sauce thickens.

Add a handful of grated cheese. Let it melt in the sauce.

Season with salt and black pepper. Stir together.

In the meantime, don’t forget to cook the pasta al dente. Drain and transfer to a serving plate. I, then, topped the pasta with the sauce.

Serve hot and enjoy!

xoxo Elodie

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