The one-month extended enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) for Covid-19 has many Filipino families stuck with sardines in tomato sauce. Husbands and kids are already grumbling about how tiring sardines and rice can be. They are longing for something more tasty and interesting. But since Covid-19 relief packs mostly contain sardines in a can, they have to make do. Here’s a new dish for you: Sardine Spaghetti Aglio Olio recipe. Sosyal ang dating, but it’s less than 50 pesos and is good for 4-5pax already. Go na?
Covid-19 Relief Packs
When the lockdown started in the Philippines in order to flatten the curve, people clamored for Covid-19 relief packs. The relief goods usually consist of rice, noodles, eggs, and sardines in a can. These packs are supposed to provide for the family while the breadwinner could not work because of the ECQ.
But as the quarantine has been extended, the government has sent a second wave of relief goods and it still contained the same. Even the private sector that gives relief packs often usually contain sardines and noodles.
Lack of Gratitude?
While I mentioned in the past that these four food items seem like a symbol of hope for Filipino families. These are rice, sardines, noodles, and eggs. It seems that if you have these four items in your pantry, you won’t go hungry. But after two weeks, people already feel like it’s a punishment to keep eating sardines and rice.
Sometimes it’s easy to judge them for being ungrateful. Are they all like that?
I think that, sometimes, they are also up to their wits trying to make both ends meet and prepare for the family. And not too many people are very creative in the kitchen. It is my hope that I can teach them and encourage them to think up of more ways to serve sardines.
You would be surprised. Even my own family didn’t recognize that I used a can of hot Mega Sardines for my Sardine Spaghetti Aglio Olio recipe. They thought that it’s another complicated Italian dish.
1. Spicy food does not require a lot of viand. Instead, people will tend to eat more carbs, hence, they will feel full faster. That’s survival mode.
2. Chili removes the lansa from the fish and further adds flavor and aroma to the dish. You may use sliced fresh chili, chili flakes, or cayenne pepper powder.
3. To make your dish more presentable and to further the Italian feels, add a few malunggay leaves. It will look like chopped basil when wilted. To make the dish more nutritious, then add more malunggay leaves, up to ½ cup.
4. Do not overcook the garlic or it will become bitter. Just brown it slightly.
A Budget Meal
Below, you will find an approximation of the cost of this dish.
- Spaghetti – P25.00
- Mega Sardines – P17.00
- Garlic and oil – P8.00
Total – P50.00
Swak sa family budget diba?
By the way, here’s another budget recipe for you using items from your Covid-19 relief pack. Still below 50 pesos and can feed a family of 4 to 5 pax. Click here: Spicy Sardine Frittata: 50-peso-Dish for a Family of 5 from Covid-19 Relief Packs
Sardine Spaghetti Aglio Olio Recipe
Spaghetti aglio olio is a traditional Italian pasta dish that uses only garlic, olive oil, and sometimes chili flakes. This is their main carbohydrate in the meal and they often pair it with steak. But since we are on Covid-19 ECQ with limited resources, I am going to show you a complete budget meal that your family is going to love.
Mommies, it’s your time to shine in the kitchen and impress your finicky family with a new dish without ruining your wallet.
- 1 can hot Mega Sardines
- Cooking oil
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 chili, sliced thinly, optional
- A few leaves of malunggay, optional
- 250-300 grams spaghetti noodles, cooked according to package instructions
- Separate the tomato sauce from the fish. Remove the innards from the fish, as this can be bitter. Remove the scales as well.
- In a small pan, fry the sardines in oil and mash the fish. Cook until the fish has turned darker. Remove from heat.
- In a bigger pan, heat oil and add the chopped garlic. Stir-fry over low heat for about two minutes then add the chili slices and the sardines. Mix and fry for a minute and stir in the malunggay leaves. Let the leaves wilt for about 2 minutes. Turn off heat.
- Toss in the cooked pasta and serve with bread.
- Serves 4-5 pax.
So, who would think that this meal is just 50 pesos? Cooks so fast, too. If you don’t have anchovies at home and a recipe calls for it, you can substitute it with fried sardines.
Enjoy and stay safe everyone while the world battle the Covid-19 pandemic! Keep praying!
The Sardines Sauce
So what did we do with our sardines sauce? One of kasambahay here really likes sardines sauce. But she is not so happy with the fish. So she had the sauce with lots of rice and that was already her lunch. haha I know it’s not healthy, but she likes it. So go, who are we to judge her? hahah
Other Covid-19 Articles
Meanwhile, here are other posts about Covid-19 in this blog. These are the articles that got me the Blog of the Year Award 2020 at the Globe Media Excellence Awards (GMEA 2020). Just click on any of the links below:
- Arroz Caldo Recipe: How to Liven Up This Comfort Food
- Activities for Kids During Home Quarantine for Covid-19
- Improve the Air Quality in Your Home
- Working from Home and Homeschooling Amidst Covid-19 Pandemic
- nCoV Scare: Don’t Panic But Be Careful About the Novel Coronavirus Outbreak (covid-19)