What do you do when you have left-over food in the refrigerator? Well, for a lot of “modern” families, one usual option is to throw these away. My family, however, and if I’m not mistaken, Filipino culture in general, frowns at such a wasteful act. Since it’s a Sunday, and I bet you all had big lunches, there’s surely left-over food in your house right now.
Filipinos aren’t ashamed of recycling their food or using every single part of an animal for something. For example: RICE. If there is still rice left in the pot or rice cooker after dinner, Filipinos would usually have this fried in garlic and salt. This is what we call sinangag. There is also the option of using the cooked rice for mixing into arroz caldo, a rice porridge mixed with chicken and ginger or goto with beef innards. There is also the option of mixing cooked rice with chocolate and thus having champorado, a dish common between the Philippines and Mexico because this was usually eaten on the galleons that plied the Manila-Acapulco route.
Today was a Sunday, and as usual, we had quite a feast for lunch. Like many Filipino families, home-cooked Sunday lunches especially those who still have their grandmothers active in their kitchens are times of gastronomical delight and family bonding. Although my own lola who lives here in Manila has been gone for two years (my other lola is in New Jersey), we still try our best to continue her fantastic and memorable Sunday fares in our homes. Alas, when it’s dinner time, the food would usually be the same food served during lunch. I remember in lola’s house, the roast turkey or chicken we had for lunch was either shredded for soup or heavy sandwiches for dinner. Sadly, there are now some Filipino families who have no figure in the family (well, maybe the help) who could prepare such delicious meals that are products of love and devotion, and instead, simply eat out or call pizza for delivery.
Earlier today, I thought of using the left-over spicy adobo crab for pasta. Pastas aren’t complex to make because you just basically mix everything in with the noodles.
Take some time then to imagine the smell and joy of using the left-over Asian-tasting crab mixed in al dente noodles, Asian sweet basil, some red hot sili (chili), and lots of garlic and onions. That was our dinner, which I joyfully prepared.
Adobong alimango left-overs (Mud crab cooked in soy sauce and vinegar)
Pulang sili (Red chili), chopped
½ Sibuyas (One half of an onion), sliced
Bawang (garlic), crushed
1 Kamatis (One tomato), sliced
7 Asian Basil leaves, finely chopped
Spaghetti pasta noodles (as thick as one’s index finger touching one’s thumb: how do you make that sound scientific, anyway?!)
Boil the pasta noodles in water with two table spoons of rock salt and also two table spoons of olive oil until al dente (or literally “to the bite”).
While waiting for the pasta to cook, sauté the tomato, onion and garlic in a pan in a generous amount of olive oil. Then just as the garlic turns brownish, immediately add the left-over crab and the chili.
Leave it to boil for a while then add the basil. By this time, the pasta would’ve been already al dente, and so, transfer the pasta noodles right from the pot where it was boiled into the pan.
No need to drain the pasta noodles. Mix well the sauce and noodles with tongs. Top it off with more fresh sweet basil, and/or some Parmigiano Reggiano if you want some cheese with it.
Remember then that things literally made yesterday can still taste better today. That adobong alimango, which was added to my pasta, hecho ayer.
PS Apologies for the poor photo quality. I simply used my phone. I hope you could visualize the dish better! haha!