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5 from 2 votes
Spaghetti Napolitan (Japanese Ketchup Pasta)
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
12 mins
Total Time
17 mins

Spaghetti Napolitan is one of the popular yōshoku (Western food) dishes. The uniqueness of this pasta is the sauce, which is based on ketchup/tomato sauce (Aussie), making the colour of the pasta almost red. It is a simple pasta dish but very tasty.

Omit the protein to make it vegetarian!

Cook Time = time to cook my Spaghetti (n.7) + 1 minute to mix pasta with the sauce. This is because I started making the sauce while cooking pasta.

Don't forget to see the section 'MEAL IDEAS' below the recipe card! It gives you a list of dishes that I have already posted and this recipe that can make up a complete meal. I hope it is of help to you.

Recipe Type: Mains
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: ketchup spaghetti, pasta, spaghetti
Serves: 1
Author: Yumiko
Ingredients (tbsp=15ml, cup=250ml)
  • 100g / 3.5oz pasta (dried, note 1)
  • ½ tbsp oil (note 2)
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 60g / 2.1oz onion sliced into 1cm / ⅜" wide pieces
  • 40g / 1.4oz green capsicum thinly sliced (note 3)
  • 20g / 0.7oz mushrooms thinly sliced
  • 40g / 1.4oz ham sliced into 1cm wide strips (note 4)
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 2 tbsp ketchup (= tomato sauce for Aussie)
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • ¼ tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp water
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Tabasco
  1. Cook pasta in a big pot of boiling water per packet instructions (al dente).

  2. Reserve 1 tablespoon of water from the pot, then drain the pasta.

  3. Put all the Sauce ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

  4. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, sauté for about 1½-2 minutes until the onion pieces become transparent.
  5. Add capsicum, mushrooms and ham to the pan and sauté 1 minute.
  6. Push the ingredients to one side and put the Sauce in the cleared area. The sauce should starts bubbling immediately.

  7. Stir the sauce for 30 seconds (note 5), then mix the ingredients and the sauce together.
  8. Add the pasta and a tablespoon of the pasta water to the pan. Mix quickly.

  9. Add butter to the pan and toss several times until the butter melts and mixes with the pasta, then turn the heat off.

  10. Transfer the pasta to a serving plate with grated parmesan cheese and a bottle of tabasco.
Recipe Notes

1. I used Barilla brand spaghetti no.7, which is called spaghettoni. Spaghettoni is thicker than standard spaghetti (no.5). For today’s pasta dish, I think either spaghetti or spaghettoni are best suited.

2. Unlike standard pasta dish, I didn’t use olive oil because I wanted the pasta just like how it was made in Japan when I was in Japan. But if you wish, use olive oil instead.

3. I sliced the capsicum thinly because in Australia. capsicum is quite large and the flesh is very thick. I halved the capsicum vertically, then sliced the half perpendicular to the first cut.

If your capsicum is like Japanese capsicum, which is about 5-6cm / 2-2⅜" long with very thin and soft flesh, you should slice it to 7mm / ¼" wide strips.

4. Instead of ham, you can use bacon strips or thinly sliced sausages (not the raw meat sausages).

5. This is to remove the acidity of the tomato sauce/ketchup.

6. Nutrition per serving, not including toppings.

serving: 326g calories: 616kcal fat: 15g (23%) saturated fat: 3.6g (18%) trans fat: 0.2g polyunsaturated fat: 2.3g monounsaturated fat: 7g cholesterol: 36mg (12%) sodium: 763mg (32%) potassium: 878mg (25%) carbohydrates: 98g (33%) dietary fibre: 5.6g (22%) sugar: 17g protein: 25g vitamin a: 19% vitamin c: 178% calcium: 4.7% iron: 27%