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I have developed a love for Haitian cuisine. I'm still learning about it, but I'm captivated by the bold and spicy flavors of Haitian food!
Haitian spaghetti, or Espageti, has become one of my favorite Haitian dishes. This is a delightful, budget friendly dish with the bold and spicy flavors that I mentioned (not necessarily spicy HOT though). It's absolutely delicious and I know you and your whole family will LOVE it!
So allow me to tell you a little bit about this fabulous pasta recipe![feast_advanced_jump_to]
What Is Haitian Spaghetti?
Haitian spaghetti, or Espageti, is not really a traditional Haitian dish. The origins of this delicious and economical pasta dish have to do with America's occupation of Haiti from 1915-1934.
During this time, American troops introduced American processed foods such as hot dogs, and also brought Italian pastas to Haiti during occupation. This fascinating article "How Italian Spaghetti Became a Haitian Breakfast Staple" on Eater.com does a deep dive into the origin of this dish.
In essence, Haitian spaghetti includes spaghetti, spices (including Haitian epis), hot dogs or other sausage, and a tomato sauce or even ketchup.
Haitians typically eat this dish for breakfast, as you can discern from the title of the article I mentioned.
Immigrants from Haiti to the United States continued to make Haitian spaghetti here in the US. Haitian American immigrants loved that this dish was a quick, easy, and cost effective way to feed their families. And I'm sure each bite brought wonderful memories of their home country when they dined on this pasta in their new home.
You'll love the unique combination of flavors in this simple spaghetti recipe from Haiti!
Are you excited about making this dish? I hope so! Now, allow me to tell you what ingredients you will need!
You'll be delighted to know that this dish is made up of mostly simple ingredients. I say "mostly" because the only fiddly ingredient is the Haitian epis. However, epis is super simple to make and once you have some on hand you can use this versatile food in so many ways!
So here's what you will need to make this delicious meal:
- Spaghetti noodles
- Reserved pasta water
- Hot dogs
- Green bell peppers
- Scotch bonnet pepper (optional, but gives a lovely little heat to the dish)
- Fresh thyme
- Haitian epis
- Chicken bouillon cubes or tablets (Maggi is preferred!)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Tomato paste
Hot dog sausages are traditionally used for this Haitian dish. However, you could also use turkey sausages, chicken sausage, or even Vienna sausages if you prefer!
You can omit the Scotch bonnets if you like. However for those of us who enjoy spicy foods, be sure to include them!
As far as the epis? You can technically omit the epis when making this dish. However, I highly recommend you include it as the epis will give you the unique and delicious bold flavors that make this recipe and pasta so very special.
Now, onto the easy instructions!
Here are the simple instructions for making this Haitian spaghetti recipe.
Begin by cooking the spaghetti in a large pot to al dente and according to your package directions. And then drain, reserving 2 cups of the pasta water. Set aside and can toss with a little olive oil to prevent sticking.
Now dissolve the tomato paste, and chicken bouillon in 1 cup of the reserved pasta water to make a tomato sauce, and set aside.
Heat oil on medium high and saute hot dog slices for 4 minutes or until browned. Stir often.
Add onion, bell pepper and Scotch bonnet. Saute for 3-4 minutes or until softened, stirring often.
Add the pasta water with the dissolved ingredients along with the thyme and epis. Stir to combine and bring to the boil.
Lower heat, and then add the cooked pasta and toss to coat with the sauce and other ingredients.
Add additional reserved pasta water a little at a time so that you get a smooth and silky sauce. Taste and add a pinch of salt if needed.
Suggestions For Serving
Now it's time to enjoy a heaping dish of Haitian spaghetti! Place on some lovely plates and garnish with thyme.
I have read on Wikipedia that in Haiti, they will serve their Haitian style spaghetti with tomato sauce and sometimes raw watercress.
And I think some Parmesan cheese would be fantastic as well!
Enjoy this simple dish as one of your savory breakfasts as they do in Haitian households. Or, serve this flavorful dish as one of your weeknight dinners which your whole family will love!
Americans introduced processed foods such as hot dogs and brought pasta with them to Haiti during the American occupation in the early 1900's. Haitian cooks started using these foods to create an easy and budget friendly meal to serve their families.
Store and leftovers in an airtight container in your refrigerator, and enjoy within 4-5 days.
You don't have to include epis when making Haitian spaghetti. However, the epis gives this dish the bold and wonderful flavors which make it so special. I highly recommend using epis!
Some Other Recipes You May Enjoy!
Here are some other recipes you may enjoy:
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Delicious and Easy Haitian Spaghetti Recipe
- 1 large pot for cooking the pasta
- 1 Large skillet for cooking the remaining ingredients and combining with the pasta
- 1 lb spaghetti
- 2 cups reserved pasta water split; may not use all of this reserved water
- ½ lb hot dogs sliced; can sub one of your favorite sausages for hot dogs if you like
- 1 onion select a small onion; sliced
- 1 green bell pepper select a small green bell pepper or use ½ a large one; diced
- 2 each Scotch bonnet optional sliced and deseeded if you like
- 10 sprigs thyme use leaves from 5 sprigs; plus additional 5 for garnish
- ⅓ cup Haitian epis
- 1 each chicken bouillon cube Maggi preferred
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoon tomato paste
- salt to taste
- Cook spaghetti to al dente according to your package directions. And then drain, reserving 2 cups of the pasta water. Set aside and can toss with a little olive oil to prevent sticking.
- Dissolve tomato paste, and chicken bouillon in 1 cup of the reserved pasta water and set aside.
- Heat oil on medium high and saute hot dog slices for 4 minutes or until browned. Stir often.
- Add onion, bell pepper and Scotch bonnet. Saute for 3-4 minutes or until softened, stirring often.
- Add the pasta water with the dissolved ingredients along with the thyme and epis. Stir to combine and bring to the boil.
- Reduce the heat to low, and then add the spaghetti and toss to coat with the sauce and other ingredients.
- Add additional reserved pasta water a little at a time so that you get a smooth and silky sauce. Taste and add salt if needed. Place on some lovely plates and garnish with thyme. Enjoy!