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Spaghetti with ketchup - does anyone else eat this?

  • t

When I was growing up my mom and dad would whip up a quick bowl of thin spaghetti, mixed with butter and then mixed with Heinz ketchup. Often we would have it with Bordens grated american cheese sprinkled on top (which I can't find anywhere these days, anyone have an outlet for it?) I still eat it. And I still really enjoy it. Most people really look disgusted when I mention it. Just wondering are there any closet spaghetti and ketchup folks here?

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  1. I have never had this, but friends of my in-laws were talking about it one day. They were newly married, and she (Irish) was anxious to show off her cooking skills. He (Italian) asked for pasta. He got overcooked spaghetti with butter and ketchup, which is what she had grown up believing was Italian food. They're still happily married, believe it or not. :)

    4 Replies
    1. re: Beth P.
      benny la coco

      thats the Irish for ya

      1. re: benny la coco

        I thought Spaghetti and ketchup was urban legend!

        1. re: Mike


          I don't want to yuck your yum, but the appeal of such a concoction is beyond me.

          1. re: PotatoHouse

            Heh. Well, maybe you should try some and expand your horizons? ;-)

    2. Oh my! I thought only MY family was served that combo. My mother always cooked spaghetti with ketchup and grated cheese when my sisters and I were growing up. When we were in our teens, she went all 'exotic' and started using Ragu. Actually, the ingredients - butter, ketchup and grated cheese don't sound gross at all to me. Though, quite honestly, I haven't thought about that preparation in years. But it sure sounds like comfort food. So, yes, guess I WAS a 'closet spaghetti and ketchup eater' - albeit quite a few years ago. (Hey! This isn't my twin, Lynn, posting this, is it??? The post was signed "Too embarrassed to say." Well....if it IS.....well, as Emily Latella used to say on SNL, "Nevermind!")

      1 Reply
      1. re: AliceJ
        Michele Cindy

        Just read your reply, I'll come out of the closet I confess, it's me.

      2. 'japanese spaghetti' is made w/ ketchup...i make it all the time and at first my friends were turned off, but once they tasted it, they had to admit they liked it.

        boil up the noodles, then in a frying pan quickly stir fry some onions and slices of ham if you eat pork (or bite size pieces of chicken breast is another possibility)...salt, pepper...(i'd use ajinomoto -- otherwise known as msg)...and ketchup...toss in the noodles.

        2 Replies
        1. re: cj

          That's awesome, cept for the evil msg part! I've done that before. It's very good. Didn't quite know it was a japanese dish, but I suspected it might be.

          1. re: cj

            My mom doesn't it this way too, and I love it with bacon :P~~

          2. I like cold spaghetti with ketchup. Thinking about it just now made me wonder what it would be like to serve that combo with some of the new green or purple ketchup on it. I bet you could really gross some people out with that. What fun!

            1 Reply
            1. re: christina z

              Hah! Yeah! That'd be swell on Halloween.

            2. during my time as an exchange student in finland in the early 1980's, i came across the horror (sorry) of ketchup and spaghetti several times. i must admit a bit of shock the first time i saw what my host brother was able to do with a perfectly fine plate of buttered noodles, finnish/swedish meatballs on the side, and a squeeze bottle of ketchup. he seemed puzzled by the fact that i didn't follow suit, instead asking someone to pass the cheese and butter. ah, but the horror was to continue, when, on another occassion, my host brother squeezed ketchup and mustard unto a (thankfully, self-sized) pizza, which was topped by melted cheese and canned peas. no sitings of cardboard cylinder parmesan cheese, however.

              a couple of years later a finnish student studying in the u.s. reported having spaghetti for dinner earlier that night. intrigued, i asked him what sort of sauce he put on it. "oh, the family had some weird looking red sauce with meat in it." "did you eat it?" i asked. "no way. i asked for the ketchup."

              6 Replies
              1. re: jr
                Too Embarrassed to Say

                That's a really funny story. When I was in grade school I would ask all of my friends to taste the spaghetti, butter and ketchup mixture and for the most part they liked it. My one friend still eats it to this day. For those who haven't tried it, the closest thing I've had that reminds me of it is Pad Thai. Well, I guess a really bad Pad Thai that is.

                1. re: Too Embarrassed to Say

                  It probably reminds you of pad thai for good reason. My favorite recipe for pad thai actually includes a lot of ketchup, mixed of course with fish sauce and garlic. It is from Jennifer Brennan's The Original Thai Cookbook. (However, I usually don't scramble the eggs in like she says -- I usually do them separately as an egg pancake and use it as a garnish.) Ketchup seems to really have legs in lots of Asian cuisines.

                  BTW, my grandfather loved spaghetti with ketchup too. It was for him the essential accompaniment to my grandmother's wonderful fish cakes.

                  1. re: Alan Divack

                    I did the spaghetti noodle and ketchup dish when I was in high school....and then I started cooking professionally....and the noodle/butter/ketchup dish is still something we cooks in San Francisco occasionally eat when there's no time to fix much else for staff meal. We have some great Thai restaurants in SF that are literally holes in the wall with good Pad Thai. I hate to think there's ketchup in it, but who know's?! :)

                    1. re: Nicole
                      Melanie Wong

                      Nicole, could we ask you to move over to the SF board to post some info on said Thai places? One of our common themes on the SF Bay Area board is how lousy so many Thai restaurants have become. We'd love to hear about the good ones.

                      1. re: Melanie Wong

                        Melanie....I'm going over to the SF board with two Thai places.....if you're in Bay Area, please add any good places....thanks

                2. re: jr

                  I feel it's better when you just barely cover the noodles with the ketchup. For sure.

                3. Me Too!!!!

                  My mother used to make it for me as a kid. She ate it as a kid in a brooklyn-jewish family and when she told one of her italian co-workers about it, the woman was totally baffled and grossed-out, ("Do you heat up the ketchup?")

                  Then we all got to fancy and started having ragu. I haven't had it in years but might have to make it soon. THat will shock my fancy, new fiance.

                  Really. My mom would add cottage cheese too. I bet my parents still eat it when we're not around to mock them.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: sharon

                    Do you heat up the ketchup? Don't leave us hangin'.

                  2. I've often sworn I'd write a book titled, "What to Make When You Think No One's Looking." A compendium of culinary no-no's we're ashamed to admit we'll eat. Things like re-heated spaghetti, Kraft Mac and Cheese with canned Vienna Sausages (for the brave only), and other things--like "road kill". I'd certainly add spaghetti w/ketchup, and lasagne with cottage cheese. It's all survival food, either because there's nothing else to eat or no proper ingredients for authentic ethnic cuisines. Still, I can't justify reheated pasta, I just like it.


                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Pete Feliz

                      You *reheat* spaghetti?!? I eat it cold, right out of the refrigerator!

                      1. re: Dena

                        You can get spaghetti like FRESH just by heating it in a pan with a touch of water. Try it out, it's amazing.

                        1. re: Dena

                          I like it cold out of the fridge too.

                        2. re: Pete Feliz

                          One for the history books:

                          My ex-mother-in-law used to open up a couple of big cans of Friend's baked beans Saturday nights and serve them with hot dogs. Sunday night she'd take the leftover hotdogs, smash them up, mix with the leftover beans, and a packet of store brand chili mix, and call it chili.

                          Ah, fusion cuisine!

                          1. re: Pete Feliz

                            I love reheated spaghetti. Where the pasta has soaked up the sauce, then fried in butter and add grated cheese to melt. Love it.

                          2. My husband grew up on something similar: spaghetti with tomato juice and sliced American cheese. He still has fond memories of it (even though I sure as hell won't make it for him).

                            1. Oh, Lord yes! :)

                              Ever since I was a kid (when it all began) I've eaten spaghetti with ketchup!

                              I think, if memory (which is sketchy on this point) serves correct, that Mom, being a professional cook, upon discovering that she was out of commercial spaghetti sauce and not having time to make any from scratch deduced that ketchup would make a fine substitute, and indeed it did.

                              She would generously butter the pasta, then mix in room temperature ketchup, and I grew so fond of this concoction that I would prefer it over commercial sauces or my friends' mothers' homemade sauces.

                              As I grew up and learned to love to cook, I modified the ketchup, and you may want to try this yourself: Pour the ketchup into a saucepan and, in addition to liberally buttering the pasta, toss several pats of butter in with the ketchup. Add a couple of dashes of salt and pepper, some oregano, some garlic powder, maybe a dash of thyme, and some chopped onion if desired (add all the above ingredients to taste).

                              Simmer the ketchup mixture until the butter melts, stirring frequently. Add to the hot pasta and mix well and voila!

                              I also have concocted a recipe for a tomato/dill creme sauce using ketchup as its base....I'll share it if anyone wants to e-mail me and ask for it (I'd post it here now, but I'll have to look it up as I don't remember it off the top of my head).

                              Link: http://members.tripod.com/~atdaylong/...

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: John Russell

                                That's how my mom came up with it, in a pinch with no sauce. The pepper really makes a difference.

                              2. A resounding YES!!! Much to the disgust and dismay of friends and loved ones. Even my brother won't eat it any more. But I love it. I use sharp cheddar cheese now and add green onions and garlic powder. It is a staple but I can't get my wife to try it.

                                1. my mom used to make spaghetti with ketchup and hamburgers... I call it poor man's spaghetti dinner...
                                  I still love it...it has become a "comfort" food for me!

                                  1. yep, used to eat it cold, right out of the fridge, 1960's

                                    1. Yes! We do eat this! It was conceived by my mother in our family when she had no sauce to put on the noodles. We ate it without any dairy. We used margarine (which I don't eat now!) and if you add a bit of pepper, it makes it very delicious. Pepper really shines in this dish. My brother adds a bit of mayo to it. Use butter and or olive oil!

                                      I can't eat any commercial ketchups (nor catsups :) so I hadn't eaten it for a long time. But, luckily, I remembered that I could duplicate the same taste. I have been eating it because I figured out how to get that same taste. Now, this is if you're the type that adds just enough catsup to cover the noodles, not enough to be a highly visible and scoopable sauce. I haven't tried it with that quantity, but it may work!
                                      Noodles (somewhere between 1 and 2 cups cooked)
                                      about 2 tablespoons of crushed tomatos (a sauce)
                                      Salt (omg yum @ "realsalt" in this).
                                      Onion powder
                                      Garlic Powder
                                      and finally, most importantly, a spritz of white vinegar! I'm not sure how much I add, I'd say about a teaspoon for the whole lot.
                                      It's really good.
                                      I think adding cheese takes away from it's goodness.
                                      Unless you add kidney beans to it, then by all means add your cheese :)

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: FoodBelly

                                        My Mom made "Spaghetti Pizza" which was a hot mess. She tossed the spaghetti in ketchup and though in browned hamburger. Added a layer of shredded mozzarella and a couple of slices of pepperoni on top. Then she baked the hell out of it. She won $20 in a recipe contest so of course this dish was served everytime we came home from college with friends. I finally had to tell her to stop.

                                        1. re: chinacat1969

                                          China; you have brightened my afternoon, read your reply and laughed my head off ... thanks

                                        2. re: FoodBelly

                                          forgot to mention a pinch of sugar

                                        3. this is right up there with people who cut spaghetti with a knife!!

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: MarkG

                                            When my mother made spaghetti for dinner, she served it with jarred sauce and then, in later years, with homemade sauce.

                                            But elbows (only elbows, no other type of pasta) with ketchup was a fairly common lunch dish for me. No butter, just elbows and ketchup. Actually, I still eat it sometimes. It's comfort food.

                                            1. re: marcia2

                                              Elbows with butter and ketchup was the side dish that always accompanied salmon croquettes in my house. That was in Brooklyn in the 60's.

                                          2. If I am eating some bland bottled sauce, I will quite often add a splash of ketchup and hot sauce to flavor up the sauce. The ketchup adds a bit of richness and the hot sauce adds some zip.

                                            Not if its my wife's homemade, only for a bland bottled sauce.

                                            1. Total comfort food. My mom made-makes a great meat sauce from scratch, but when she was busy, or there wasn't much else around we would get buttered spaghetti and ketchup as a treat. Usually cubes of cheddar and frozen mixed veg on the side to make a complete meal. I still eat this maybe twice a year, but only home alone- and I wouldn't admit it to your face.

                                              1. I dislike it when people razz or berate the tastes of others, but since you asked, I'd have to respectfully say "HELL NO",

                                                1. I beleive this is the state dish of North Dakota.

                                                  1. I'm pretty sure in the movie "Goodfellas" ,mobster Jimmy Conway (Robert DeNiro) puts ketchup on his spaghetti at Tommy DeVito's (Joe Pesci) mother's house. (PS.. the half dead body of Billy Batts is in the trunk of the car during the duration of the late night meal.)
                                                    I always thought this scene was odd, thinking Italians would never do such thing (or people like Jimmy who hang around Italians.) But he is Irish, so who knows (some people had alluded to the Irish/ketchup connection earlier in the thread.

                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: rochfood

                                                      Haha, I never noticed that it was spaghetti he was squeezing the ketchup onto. It definitely has to be a subtle play on his Irish background.

                                                      In the same movie, Henry Hill chides a restaurant for serving him "egg noodles and ketchup" when he asked for pasta and marinara sauce.

                                                      Italians would never, ever, use ketchup...no one in my family would even consider it.

                                                      1. re: venividibitchy

                                                        On the topic of "Italians would never do this", I was living in Florence and studying Italian in the mid-80's. One night I went to dinner with a friend from NYC and one from Norway - for dinner and also to practice Italian. We ordered pasta and the Norwegian, refusing to speak Italian, asked the waiter for ketchup in English. The New Yorker, the waiter and I were all HORRIFIED with mouths agape. (I had never heard of anyone doing this before at this point - the second time I've heard of it was reading this thread!) Eventually, the waiter apologized and said they didn't have any. That was our last meal out with the Norwegian.

                                                        When I lived in Japan I soon learned that Japanese spaghetti was HORRIBLE - really sweet and bland. Someone upthread suggested they make it with ketchup. Interesting. I think you develop a real fondness for foods eaten in childhood - no matter what those foods are.

                                                        1. re: woodleyparkhound

                                                          That must have been in the 1970s or so. These days, Japanese spaghetti is remarkably good, and there are many, many variations available.

                                                            1. re: woodleyparkhound

                                                              It's still common in Japan - you won't see it at Italian restaurants there though. Lots of housewives still make it too. Well, at least my aunt does.

                                                    2. my mother served spaghetti with ketchup to the kids, while the adults were served meat sauce or marinara sauce

                                                      1. Mmmmm, my mother makes spaghetti with ketchup..and soy sauce. Hahaha. It's a weird combo, but I love it.

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: Bex_03

                                                          I think people in Britain do this quite a lot. I keep recalling a scene in a Brtish fanatasy novel I read where the character says that the reason she has 2 convenient empty Heinz bottles around (to stuff 2 inconvienent genies in) is that she was "planning to make a bolongese"

                                                          1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                            My sister and her friends would have elbow macaroni with ketchup when they were in their teens...

                                                            1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                              Yeah! That's my mom's "bolognese"...meat and ketchup. She did live in England for awhile, so perhaps you're right.

                                                              1. re: Bex_03

                                                                In some ways this thread has cleared a lot up. that scene (BTW remembered where it was in Tom Holt's "Djinn Rummy") I aways got very very confused.

                                                          2. It sounds wonderful, but maybe a little rich ... Heinz is the best ketchup in my opinion ... And ketchup with kraft mayonaise and a little sugar, makes a nice quick thousand island dressing for your salad ...
                                                            Wanted to take this opportunity to share with all, that if you live in a state that has a Smart & Final (Calif, Az, Nev) ... Heinz spaghetti sauce is the one used at the hot bar at Sizzler Restaurants.. As many times as I have made spaghetti sauce from scratch - I would say that Heinz in the can is as good as any - for fast ..

                                                            1. as a child, i ate spaghetti with ketchup, slices of Kraft singles, and (wait for it) bacon.
                                                              i'm having a major flashback right now.
                                                              DH always puts ketchup in mac&cheese...boxed or from scratch, it doesn't matter.

                                                              1. Good Lord No! But I've mentioned before, a high school gfriends mother would add hot water to top ramen noodles, let them sit in a bowl, drain it, dump Heinz ontop and eat the whole thing while I gagged.
                                                                I'll do weird things with leftover macaroni but it never crosses my mind to have ketchup on it...

                                                                1. OMG....my mom who had ZERO idea how to cook used to give us this when we were little. Pasta was totally undercooked and then Heinz poured on top. Horrible. I did not know this happpened to other people :)

                                                                  1. We used to fry cooked elbow macaroni or penne in butter until a little brown, then add some ketchup, fry until the ketchup caramelizes, fantastic

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: budlit

                                                                      That is exactly how I make my "ketchup fried spaghetti." You can't just dump the ketchup on, but must make sure the sauce is tacky. (How my dear mother always described it). I just made some for myself for dinner, which prompted me to go on line and see if I am the only person in the world who remembers this dish. I am happy to see I am not alone.

                                                                    2. I've only seen that happen on "My Name Is Earl", and I'm from Kentucky.

                                                                      1. YES! it is called "Spaghetti Western" (and i love the suggested book title below (what to cook - or eat - when nobody is looking)

                                                                        so - you boil and drain well some good spaghetti. then you put it back in the cooking pot to dry out a bit. Then you add maybe 1/2 cup butter to melt. Then add maybe 1 cup grated real cheddar (not process) - maybe more depending on your taste, plus about 3/4 cup of good ketchup. I have tried the organic version, but it just does not have same "spaghettio" result. THEN the trick is a bit of celery salt - that is what makes it hard to resist (and of course, ground black pepper, fresh, just a bit)

                                                                        ps - stir it all together gently to melt and make creamy but do not break it up and end up with mush. ALSO - be careful not to curdle the cheese

                                                                        and that is one of our family's fav apres ski or winter sailing suppers. Works for camping too.

                                                                        the celery salt is the trick


                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: Georgia Strait

                                                                          My grandmother tried to cheat with the spaghetti by squirting in copious amounts of ketchup, I was disgusted and got really nauseous as a kid and asked her to stop putting ketchup in the sauce.

                                                                          Fastforward: I'm visiting my fiance's family and was surprised to see heinz on the table, with plain spaghetti and meatballs. (they're Swedish) I didn't touch it at first, but I've reserved myself to a couple of drops on the pasta so it isn't so dry. I just think of it as something entirely different from pasta, but I can see myself groaning at my in-laws squirting ketchup on top of the bolognese I've simmered for hours :(

                                                                        2. Husband #1 used to eat this in college when he was broke or drunked up or both, and he pronounced it "mighty fine eatin'." If he was flush, he'd toss in a spoonful of skweezy cheezy product.

                                                                          1. This is the way spaghetti is served in the Phillipines with add-ins like vienna sausage and ham. The signature ingredient, however, is banana ketchup. There's a Filipino place here that serves it and people lap it up. There a a couple of chains in the islands that feature it, too, for instance Jollibee's.

                                                                            There's a legend that it was served to Gen. Douglas MacArthur and he liked it.

                                                                            You can find lots of recipes on line for Filipino spaghetti.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: brucesw

                                                                              jollibee just opened near seatac, they had spaghetti with sweet tomato sauce and finely grated cheddar served with chicken. i prefer the banana sauce labeled hot and use it for potsticker dippping. also instead of ketchup for rice omelet a la tampopo. at jollibee the chicken is good but i would avoid the spaghetti.
                                                                              in the 60s we would get spaghetti and fried chicken at the la farmers market. completely different style though. can't believe my mom let us get potato guns and zorro swords there (with chalk holder at tip so you could make the z sign but still good for poking out an eye).

                                                                            2. I've used ketchup as a filler when I didn't have enough sauce. But to use ketchup entirely? Mm, nah.

                                                                                1. No, but when I was a tad I used to put ketchup on my salad. I don't remember why. It was something having to do with my mother's insistence that I could only use the particular type of salad dressing she approved. Probably oil and vinegar or something. Which is weird. I could glop ketchup on there, but not any kind of salad dressing I actually liked.

                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                                    ZS, do you think mommy thought it was lower in calories and healthier than bottled dressing? That's EXACTLY the kind of the my mom would've done: "Oh, no honey, bottled dressing's not healthy for you!! It's full of fat, and preservatives, and flavorings, and oh, just terrible things! Here, use ketchup instead!! It's good for ya!! And it's so tasty, too!" (Shades of the vitameatavegamin commercial..). ZS, do you have an e-mail you'd be willing to give up? Mine's on profile. I want to ask you about one of your other blogs. or can I contact through your blogs?

                                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                                      No, she was just a control freak. SHE ate salad dressing.

                                                                                      I developed a terrible habit of dipping my fries in salt instead of ketchup because she insisted that I had to eat them with a fork if I used ketchup. Naturally I was convinced that if I ate my fries with a fork, everyone would stare at me. Actually they probably would have - fries and chicken were finger food where I came from. Which, oddly, is the same place my mother came from, but she had all these weird pretensions

                                                                                      I'll e-mail you, or you can probably find my e-mail address on one of those blogs. I think it's on the non-cooking one under contacts, suitably hidden from spambots in javascript. That's the only reason I don't "publish" my e-mail address anywhere, they're crawling everything these days, even dinky little blogs like mine.

                                                                                        1. re: mamachef

                                                                                          Ewwww! Unsettling . . . probably because it's so accurate an image. EEEEWWWWW!

                                                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                                                        hey ketchup is a vegetable, so proclaimed by reagan for the school lunch menu.

                                                                                        1. re: mamachef

                                                                                          You know I can just hear that Norwegian-influenced Minnesota drawl . . . and the Ketchup Council commercials courtesy of Prarie Home Companion

                                                                                      2. Yes. I'm 68 and once in awhile my mom would give us this. I think it was a treat. I still have it maybe twice a year. I don't delude myself into thinking that it's healthy by any means. Just a treat.

                                                                                        1. Spaghetti is a pretty popular dish served to kids here in Norway, as probably that is a way to get them to eat pasta. At least for those not too used to it.

                                                                                          Me I think most ketchups are way too sweet to use with pasta, making the combined taste much too heavy. A better way to use kethup might be to heat some good quality tinned tomatoes quickly without the juice, and then add a dash of ketchup in that(preferably a more spice variety without a load of sugar). Then some fresh thyme in as well, and it will taste like something.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: jostber

                                                                                            i've been draining canned cut up tomatoes to use on pizza. amazing, can is well over half liquid (i squeeze dry after draining probably wind up with 1/4 volume of solid).

                                                                                          2. Jeez- the pot's on the stove right now, you all have made me so hungry!
                                                                                            Sometimes I make it with just the ketchup and butter, heated up in the pan after the pasta's drained, with lots of pepper or sriracha, but it climbs to a new level if you cut back the butter and add cream with the ketchup and pepper.
                                                                                            Too Embarrassed, don't be. You seem to be in good company, if this thread is any indication.

                                                                                            1. so funny I saw this

                                                                                              my wife is Japanese and she uses ketchup in her pasta that she serves to the kids-even adds cut nori on top

                                                                                              I just cant do it.

                                                                                              1. My wife could eat spaghetti out of a can every day - I'd rather make fresh and add canned sauce than eat that stuff. Your dad's recipe would work for me.

                                                                                                1. When I'm in the mood I make a bastardized version of meat sauce inspired by bolognese (I'm amused by this subthread from below: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/2692...


                                                                                                  I talked about it here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7326...

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: huiray

                                                                                                    My mother in law used to do this, when she would reheat her spaghetti. But then again, her cooking was very bland. Not being critical, that's just the way they liked things. I would not put it in my spaghetti, although I did try it a couple of times under her influence.

                                                                                                    1. re: EmJayC

                                                                                                      Heh. :-)

                                                                                                      Mind you, I wouldn't use JUST ketchup and soy sauce on leftover spaghetti...although I wouldn't say the combo is exactly "bland", unless you used just a dash of each.

                                                                                                      The "meat sauce" I described in that other linked thread wouldn't be ANYWHERE close to "bland", even if I say so myself. ;-)

                                                                                                  2. Not since eating C-rations in Nam. Canned scrambled eggs w/ ketchup and chocolate pudding too. YUM!

                                                                                                    1. Ha! Those Irish really know how to screw up perfectly good italian food. My full-blooded irish boyfriend grew up thinking lasagna was shells, tomato sauce and cheese mixed together and baked. Got a big surprise the first time he went to a restaurant and ordered lasagna! He and his family now refer to it as irish lasagna.

                                                                                                      1. I always assumed my mom invented this dish to use up shredded chicken. We could count on having ketchup spaghetti the day after a roast chicken meal. Ingredients: Onions sauteed with bell peppers, julienne carrots and shredded chicken. Toss with hot cooked spaghetti, Heinz ketchup and lots of black pepper. I thought it was delicious, but I suspect it's a dishes-from-childhood-are-tastier thing. Interesting, though: my dad still hates spaghetti with tomato sauce or Bolognese, but looks forward to this dish.

                                                                                                        1. My mom sometimes makes spaghetti this way:
                                                                                                          Cook bacon strips or ham if you like with sliced onions and julienned carrots. She adds the spaghetti and ketchup salt pepper. I don't know if it's just her or if it's a Japanese thing but it tastes really good!!

                                                                                                          1. TE - I eat it the EXACT same way. Perhaps I have a long lost sibling I didn't know existed! Since I no longer can find Borden's I use Kraft Grated American Cheese, I think they sell it primarily to go over popcorn. It's usually in the same section where you find cardboard parm, swiss knight, and laughing cow. I keep it in the freezer, since I don't eat it too often.

                                                                                                            1. I worked at a prison and that was the first time in my life I had ever seen people put ketchup on already sauced spaghetti noodles. Actually that was the ONLY time I had ever seen that.

                                                                                                              1. For some reason I looked up this topic and was very surprised! I was utterly disgusted when I saw my late husband eat this junk! He would boil up elbow macaroni noodles, and put ketchup on it, ugh! I then asked my sister-in-law and she said her husband did the same thing as well. When at a family reunion, I had mentioned this to the whole lot of them. To my surprise, everyone started to beg Oma Lilly to make them some. Now get this, this is why all the men die before 45 in that family. Here's what she did: boil elbow Mac till done to your liking, she killed it, then she took a pound of bacon and fried it crisp broke it up small pieces and then added a cube of butter and melted it. Poured this whole frying pan of greasy yuck over drained noodles added the ketchup and stirred it up. Lunch was served. Everyone ate it except you know who, the wives of these two brothers. Our children loved it, grimmeny! They are from Hanover, Germany, may very well be a war thong as I am English and beans on toast came during the war.

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                                                                                                                1. re: Sakii20

                                                                                                                  Well duh, bacon makes EVERYTHING better. ;o)

                                                                                                                  I would have eaten some. Just to, cough cough, be polite.

                                                                                                                2. Certainly not for me but I can see how people might think that ketchup is merely a differently spiced tomato sauce.

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                                                                                                                  1. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                                                    In my childhood home, spaghetti was served in one of two ways -- out of a can or cooked up and splashed with ketchup and/or butter.

                                                                                                                  2. Virtually every lunch aboard my fishing boat was a few packs of those quick cheap chinese noodles with lots of ketchup and butter s/p. My crew never complained. We never stopped fishing just stuffed our faces while working on deck. I still make that lunch once in a while at home.

                                                                                                                    1. Hand in the air and NOT Too Embarrassed to Say..btw,
                                                                                                                      Warm spaghetti with cold ketchup took me thru college many a time. Along with eggs over easy, scrambled with cold ketchup. Sometimes I give into the craving even now.

                                                                                                                      I never added cheese though...that would have broken my college budget.

                                                                                                                      1. OMG, this brought back such fond memories for me! When I was in 9th grade, I had a friend whose family had a camper trailer. We were allowed to "camp out" in it about twice a month. We always had spaghetti noodles w/ketchup, lots of black pepper and canned Parm cheese, a large bag of peanut M&M's, Chips Ahoy cookies, Lays Classic Chips w/French Onion dip and Cokes. We had a radio going and all of our favorite girl magazines. We talked, laughed, dreamed and shed a few tears. No T.V., no computer, no cell phone, etc., teens these days couldn't survive a night like that, lol. She and I always had a blast!! Oh, there might have been some gossiping going on, too. :D

                                                                                                                        1. I opened this thread fully expecting a Honey Boo Boo reference, surely I'm not the only 'hound enjoying that guilty pleasure on TV... I had never heard of ketchup and spaghetti except as a joke until last week. Then that darling reality TV family had "sketti" for dinner - spaghetti with melted country crock and ketchup. It looked an awful lot like Chef Boyardee, another guilty pleasure, so I might have to give it a try.

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                                                                                                                          1. re: mpjmph

                                                                                                                            I saw that, told hubby, and he winced. I however while fully expecting it to be horrible suspect the next time I boil spaghetti noodles for dinner a few may make it into a bowl with a dab and a squirt so I can find out just HOW terrible.

                                                                                                                            1. re: mpjmph

                                                                                                                              Me too, had never heard of it before seeing it on the show. But like the spaghetti tacos from iCarly, we had to try it. Made it last night for a snack. Not sure if I had the proper proportions of butter to ketchup. It needed salt and pepper. It was just OK, wouldn't try it again.

                                                                                                                            2. I've seen it done in Poland, and by Polish politcal refugees in the US in the 80s. I think it would be eaten anywhere where people don't really think of tomato sauce and ketchup as being that different from each other.

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                                                                                                                              1. re: Wawsanham

                                                                                                                                Must disagree. It seems to be something that came from Eastern Europe pre-WWII. I love a good Italian sauce, but I find the ketchup and butter to be more comfort food. I know the difference between the two, and they are totally different animals not to be confused.

                                                                                                                                1. re: michele cindy

                                                                                                                                  I'm sure they also knew the difference between the two--but, I don't think they thought of the difference as being big enough to care about--at least in those cases I experienced.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: michele cindy

                                                                                                                                    Since my grandparents came from eastern Europe, maybe you're right about that. But I'd go one step further to say that, at least in MY childhood household, there was really no such thing as an Italian tomato sauce. Pasta was either spaghetti or elbow macaroni, and either could be topped with butter, ketchup, or both. Those were the only choices that existed in our very limited culinary world.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: CindyJ

                                                                                                                                      The most important thing is that it hits the spot, and that the eater enjoys it! I occasionally like a good plate of noodles (spaghetti, or whatever) with butter and a bit of salt or some herbs--ketchup not as much, but I wouldn't rule it out depending on the circumstances :)

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Wawsanham

                                                                                                                                        Suppose you chopped up some onions, maybe some celery, sautéed them in nice oil, added ketchup to your heart's content, swished it around and let the mixture just begin to caramelize a bit then dump in pre-cooked (just undercooked, of course) spaghetti and tossed it with the "sauce", finishing cooking in the pan in the "usual" manner adding pasta water as needed? By all means toss in some deshelled plump shrimp as well if you like...

                                                                                                                                        1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                          As nutty as it sounds, It would defeat the purpose of the dish to doing anything else to it. It's nice and simple. All this talk about it, I might whip some up tonight. My kids won't eat it... however my husband will.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: michele cindy

                                                                                                                                            I hope you did it that night. :-)

                                                                                                                                            But, really - you might consider trying something like what I described - it can be quite yummy, so long as one does not have an illogical aversion to the use of ketchup on anything. ;-)

                                                                                                                                2. No, but we DO most often have a red, tomato-based sauce, and often with Sun-dried Tomatoes.


                                                                                                                                  1. Considering ketchup (Heinz) is essentially 24% sugar and 3% salt, Yes - it does sound revolting.

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                                                                                                                                    1. re: Clams047

                                                                                                                                      Just to give you an idea that it isn't as bad as it sounds, in a strange way it reminds me of pad thai.

                                                                                                                                    2. When I was a kid, we had it served this way. Not for me- I dont care too much for ketchup, so used to go with S/P and butter. Funny- two of my brothers still do this from time to time- one brother passed this on to one of his kids- and my sister in law goes crazy when they eat it like this!! But- the two of them put ketchup on eggs, too- which I think is gross!! A little ketchup with fries, or on a burger- if mixed with mayo. Then again, some people will think that is gross. To each his own!!!

                                                                                                                                      1. I'm curious -- of those of you who do/did the spaghetti and ketchup thing -- where did you grow up? I spent my childhood in Brooklyn, NY.

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                                                                                                                                          1. re: CindyJ

                                                                                                                                            My parents grew up in Newark NJ in the 50's.

                                                                                                                                          2. Yes:)
                                                                                                                                            Growing up in Russia, we had pasta with ketchup or some weird ketchup-like tomato sauce. Add butter and grated cheese (not much choice back then, just whatever was at the store) and voila!

                                                                                                                                            (I still like it sometimes, yeah).

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                                                                                                                                            1. re: Marusik

                                                                                                                                              It's also an Aussie thing....my Dtr-in-law,from Perth does it all the time.

                                                                                                                                            2. This reminds me of the 1950s Doris Day movie where she made 'tomato soup' by adding ketchup to a bowl of hot water at the Automat. Which begs to ask why would an Automat sell a just bowl of hot water?!

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                                                                                                                                              1. re: pdxgastro

                                                                                                                                                That's Connie Francis' recipe in Where the Boys Are! She would order a cup of hot water, make "soup" and eat with the free salteens.

                                                                                                                                              2. I have to admit, I'd never heard of this. To be honest, it had never even occurred to me as a viable option. And, lo and behold, last night for dinner my roommate's mother asked for ketchup with her buttered egg noodles. Oh the timing!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: machen

                                                                                                                                                    Pretty funny comments as well. I just watched this before breakfast, and good thing for my diet I'm not hungry anymore!

                                                                                                                                                  2. Actually I eat it all the time... Food is all about your flavor and style.. I even sometimes cook the spaghetti then after drain it... take another pot put light oil in the pan and slice onions and green pepper, Take the spaghetti and dump it on the pan while the peppers and onions are already cook by the oil.. stir the spaghetti up and take some tomatoes paste and put a tea spoon in it and mix the spaghetti.. The Tomatoes Paste is to bring Color and flavor... then after u can either pour ragu sauce or ketchup around the edge......

                                                                                                                                                    1. In Japan and other Asian countries including Korea, "omurice", a fried rice dish made with ketchup is really popular!


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                                                                                                                                                      1. re: hungryhungryme

                                                                                                                                                        i learned to make omirice from the classic scene in movie tampopo. i do like my eggs more lightly cooked and instead of ketchup i like banana sauce, similar to ketchup but slightly sweeter and slightly different texture. i prefer the hot style. also good with potstickers.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: divadmas

                                                                                                                                                          Yea, that's how I like an omelet too. Great movie! Have you seen 'Eat Drink Man Woman'? Another must see if you like to watch authentic Chinese/Taiwan being made.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                                            never got around to it but will put it on my list.

                                                                                                                                                      2. My family eats something we call spaghetti red. It's spaghetti, bacon, onions sautéed in the bacon grease - combine. We love it. My husband loves it, my sister's husband thinks it's an abomination. I have no idea where my mom came up with this dish.

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                                                                                                                                                        1. re: amy_rc

                                                                                                                                                          It's not too different from my favorite pasta dish, bucatini all'amatriciana, only you traditionally use guanciale or pancetta instead of bacon, add garlic and red pepper flakes to the onions and bacon, mix in a tomato-based sauce, toss the pasta in it, and cover it with romano cheese.

                                                                                                                                                        2. How very Honey Boo Boo!
                                                                                                                                                          Eh, I wouldn't knock it until I tried it. Maybe for a future experiment. If I don't like it, the dogs will eat it!

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                                                                                                                                                          1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                                            Eaten way before Honey Boo Boo was even born, make that well before her parents were ever born!

                                                                                                                                                          2. We used to get this at a scouts get together. 24 ounce Ketchup, equal water, 1 medium onion, 1 1\2 lbs american cheeze, 1lb spagetti. cook spag. in a med pan cook onions with butter add Kat. and water. simmer. layer sauce, american cheeze and spagetti, 350 oven for 40 min. YUMMMM better that noodles ramon. LOL....

                                                                                                                                                            1. I don't eat it (I won't eat anything with Ketchup in in -- think it is disgusting), but I suspect many people in my small midwestern hometown did. My mom was considered a fairly "exotic" cook because she made spaghetti with tomato sauce and those packets of spaghetti sauce seasoning from Lawry's or whoever. We did use the nasty parm cheese in the green box.

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                                                                                                                                                              1. re: marcyfitz

                                                                                                                                                                Try putting some hot V* juice with the ketchup. Lots of butter/s&p and grated PG cheese. It's heavenly.
                                                                                                                                                                I add a little V8 juice to any tomato based sauce.
                                                                                                                                                                The 'original' not the 'spicey'.

                                                                                                                                                              2. On a sunny island in the Mediterranean I was passing the summer on the beach and enjoying a light lunch at the taverna when I spotted a couple of beautiful blondes emptying the contents of a bottle of ketchup over the plate of spaghetti they ordered. I had to ask. I had no other choice. I approached them, sat beside them, introduced myself, and requested their country of origin. One replied "Netherlands", whilst the other whispered "Sweden".

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                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                                  Oy. Whatta way to ruin a perfectly good makaranoia, eh?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                    This particular beach side taverna had spaghetti with soudzoukakia. They requested 'plain' I suppose.

                                                                                                                                                                2. We were just talking about this on a recent visit with my brother and his wife. Their 17-year-old German exchange student loves ketchup as a "sauce" on her spaghetti!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. I really thought this was just a fairy tail made up by Italian grandmothers to scare little children.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Although this is from '01, that was actually around the time I first had pasta in Japan. The sauce was definitely more ketchup than anything else.

                                                                                                                                                                      Actually, isn't this common in the Philippines?


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                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: BuildingMyBento

                                                                                                                                                                        Ketchup is HUGE in Taiwan.
                                                                                                                                                                        They "put that **** on everything".

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                                                          I'm the OP on this, I was only able to reveal myself after I saw I wasn't that strange after all! I'm very happy to see that there are plenty others who eat ketchup on their spaghetti, and I no longer have any shame for doing so :)!

                                                                                                                                                                        2. I'd never heard of this before seeing it make headlines because of Honey Boo Boo's mom, June.
                                                                                                                                                                          I guess it's more popular than I thought.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. i eat this shit every day, i still love it. Which cheese is your favorite? My is hushålls ost