Spaghetti Aglio e Olio Recipe


Spaghetti Aglio e Olio is one of the most basic Italian pasta recipes for the dish simply use garlic (aglio) and oil (olio) for its sauce, hence the name

Italian cuisine may look intimidating, but there is one dish that is so simple to cook that even beginners in the kitchen will find it easy to prepare, the Spaghetti Aglio e Olio.

This oil-based sauce pasta is close to the heart of most Italians since many consider it as a comfort food. Back then, mothers usually serve a hot bowl of Aglio e Olio to their kids after school, which is why the dish often brings back fond childhood memories.

This dish is commonly associated with rural Italian home-style cooking, which is known as “cucina rustica.” It was said to have originated from Southern Italy, but some also claim that the dish specifically came from Abruzzo, Italy, which is about 50 miles east of Rome. Abruzzo was known as one of the underdeveloped regions in the country decades ago, and because Aglio e Olio was said to have come from here, some people don’t consider the dish as an “elevated” meal. It is not even included on most restaurant’s menus since some see it as “too basic.”

However, Aglio e Olio still came a long way from just a “pasta with garlic and oil” dish before. Several variations of the dish have emerged throughout time, like adding chili flakes and chopped parsley leaves to add more flavor and color to the pasta. There are also some who prefer adding fresh tomatoes, while some people like to put cheese on their plate.

Despite several changes to the original Aglio e Olio were made, one can’t deny that this dish is still the simplest and lightest Italian pasta meal there is today.


Puto Recipe


Puto is a “kakanin,” or rice flour-based pastries, which has been served in the Philippines for many generations. Nowadays, people are finding it too ordinary and simple. There are some cooks who add cheese or itlog na pula (salted egg) as a topping to make it more special, but Filipinos still feel it’s not enough to make this dessert stand out in a country where kakanins rule.

Many have tried to make Puto more exciting before, like experimenting with its shape, color, texture, and flavors, however, none of them succeed. Fortunately, someone thought that it’s now time to level up this traditional rice cake, and as a result, Leche Puto was born.

Leche Puto, also called as Puto Flan, is made up of the traditional Puto and Leche Flan, which is the Filipino-style crème caramel. The combination of these two all-time favorite Filipino dessert became a hit, since the sweet and creamy Leche Flan elevated the ordinary-looking steamed rice cake. This dessert is probably the first variety of this kakanin that can be considered restaurant quality.

The funny story is, Leche Puto was only invented after someone thought that it was such a waste to throw a lot of egg yolks after only getting the whites for his or her Puto recipe. He or she came up with the brilliant idea to make Leche Flan out of the excess egg yolks, and combine it with the kakanin. That person ended up introducing the new dessert on the market and it became one of the most sought “pasalubong,” or souvenirs, from the Quezon Province.


Maruya Recipe


Maruya may not be as common as Turon and Banana Cue, but the trifecta of Filipino banana desserts is incomplete without it. Compared to the other two desserts, Maruya is very distinct and it’s also a lot of fun since these are always shaped like a “hand fan.”

Maruya is simply made from slices of bananas that are dipped in an egg and flour batter, and then deep-fried. Saging na saba (Cardaba bananas) is commonly used for this recipe, but there are some who also use mashed dessert bananas or sweet potatoes as alternatives. Commercial versions of this fritter usually do not have any add-ons, but homemade Maruyas are fancier since they are sometimes sprinkled with white sugar and cinnamon. Some even serve theirs with langka (jackfruit) slices or vanilla ice cream, which definitely elevates the simple snack.

According to food historians, Maruya is similar to the banana fritters from Latin America and Caribbean countries called Tostones and Tajadas. These desserts are said to have Spanish origins, which is no wonder since the Philippines had been colonized by Spain for 300 years. The Spanish influence is everywhere in the country, even the names of most Filipino dishes are Spanish.

There are provinces who have adapted the recipe of Maruya, and create their own version of this snack. In the Bicol Region, they call their version “sinapot” or “baduya.” However, the Bicolanos’ fritters are not as fancy as the “fanned” out version commonly seen in the metro. They just simply dip the banana slice into the batter, and fry those individually.


Mango Graham Cake Recipe


Mango Graham Cake is just a recent addition to many Filipino cookbooks since Graham cracker was not a popular dessert ingredient until a few decades ago. The crackers have proven to be a versatile ingredient to have in the kitchen since it can be used as a crust, as a topping, and a lot more. These crackers definitely make a great dessert when combined with mangoes.

This dessert is more commonly known by Filipinos as Mango Float or Mango Royale. It is the Philippine’s version of the “icebox cake,” which was popular in the United States during the 1920s. Some also say that Mango Float is a variation of another Filipino dessert called “crema de fruta.” These desserts are all similar since they are made up of layers and they are filled with fruits and cream between these layers.

Mango Graham Cake is one of the easiest no-bake dessert to make since the steps are simple and repetitive. It is layer after layer of Graham crackers, mangoes and cream, with crushed Graham crackers and mango strips as toppings. No wonder why Filipinos love to bring this delicious treat in pot lucks since it tastes rich and creamy, but still light and sweet.

The recipe for this dessert is flexible since other fruits, like peaches and strawberries, can be used as alternatives to mangoes. This cake is usually made in a rectangular baking dish or container, but there are others who also use mason jars. Mango Graham cakes in a jar are a wonderful gift idea, especially during the Christmas season.


Maja Blanca Recipe


Maja Blanca might have a Spanish origin, but is considered a traditional Filipino dessert. It is also called as coconut pudding, since it’s made up of coconut milk, sugar, and cornstarch

This yummy dessert is thick and creamy, but with a gelatin-like consistency. It is sometimes topped with grated cheese, although there are some who also use roasted coconut shavings as an alternative.

In the Philippines, there are dishes that are expected to be served in the “Noche Buena,” or the Christmas Eve’s dinner. Besides ham and queso de bola (Edam cheese), it is customary to have a pasta dish, which is either Filipino Spaghetti or Creamy Carbonara, a large bowl of rice, and an “ulam,” or the main entrée. It is also important to serve a dessert after this holiday dinner, and a great way to end the night is having a plate of Maja Blanca, which is a delicious Filipino dessert.

It may be a surprise to some people, but the original recipe for this dessert doesn’t include corn. The coconut pudding that is commonly served now includes corn kernels, since many people love the extra crunch and flavor it brings.

There are varieties of Maja Blanca that have emerged since many have tried to experiment with other ingredients to see what else will taste good with coconut milk. Squash and ube (purple yam) are the other popular Maja Blanca ingredients, and both taste just as good as the corn version. There are also some who modified the recipe and added butter since it gives a yellow hue to this dessert which is normally white.


Mais con Yelo Recipe


Mais Con Yelo is made up of sweet corn kernels, sugar, milk and shaved or crushed ice. There are some who prefer using whole corn kernels, while others enjoy using cream style corn since it is juicier and sweeter

Toppings are optional, but the most commonly used ingredients for it are corn flakes, ice cream and “pinipig,” which are flattened glutinous rice grains.

Summer in the Philippines can be unbearable because of the heat. It’s very hot and dry in cities, and Filipinos will do anything that will help them cool down. One way to do this is to swim in pools or beaches. Another solution is to go up in Baguio.

However, not everyone has the luxury to pursue these leisure activities just to cool down. Instead, some Filipinos just chill at home and eat ice-based desserts. Halo-halo is the most known Filipino shaved/crushed ice dessert, but not everyone prefers this all-in-one treat. For those who want to keep their dessert simple but still very tasty, Mais Con Yelo is the perfect choice.

This dessert’s name literally translates to “corn in ice” in Spanish, and it is a variation of the Halo-halo recipe. Mais Con Yelo is similar to the recipe of Saba Con Yelo, but the latter uses Cardaba banana (Saging na saba) instead of corn.

The recipe for this yummy dessert is easy to do, which is why Filipinos love to make it during hot summer days. It provides instant refreshment, especially after the ice melted. Mais Con Yelo definitely makes summer days more bearable.


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