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Spaghetti With Marmite

by . Featured in KITCHEN
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Introduction

I came across this recipe in Anna Del Conte's memoirs, Risotto with Nettles. Now, there are so many recipes I could borrow from her, and many I have, but this is the one I have to show you here. She introduces it as hardly a recipe, but I wanted to include it because I haven't as yet found a child who doesn't like it.

I know the combination of pasta and Marmite sounds odd to the point of unfeasibility, but wait a moment, there is a traditional day-after-the-roast pasta dish, in which spaghetti is tossed in stock, and I have eaten shortcut versions of this in Italy (recreated guiltlessly in my own kitchen) which use a crumbled stock cube, along with some butter, olive oil, chopped rosemary and a little of the pasta cooking water to make a flavoursome sauce for spaghetti. If you think about it, Marmite offers saltiness and savouriness the way a stock cube might. I'm glad this recipe is here, and I thank Anna for it.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

I came across this recipe in Anna Del Conte's memoirs, Risotto with Nettles. Now, there are so many recipes I could borrow from her, and many I have, but this is the one I have to show you here. She introduces it as hardly a recipe, but I wanted to include it because I haven't as yet found a child who doesn't like it.

I know the combination of pasta and Marmite sounds odd to the point of unfeasibility, but wait a moment, there is a traditional day-after-the-roast pasta dish, in which spaghetti is tossed in stock, and I have eaten shortcut versions of this in Italy (recreated guiltlessly in my own kitchen) which use a crumbled stock cube, along with some butter, olive oil, chopped rosemary and a little of the pasta cooking water to make a flavoursome sauce for spaghetti. If you think about it, Marmite offers saltiness and savouriness the way a stock cube might. I'm glad this recipe is here, and I thank Anna for it.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Spaghetti With Marmite
Photo by Lis Parsons

Ingredients

Serves: 4-6

Metric Cups
  • 375 grams spaghetti
  • 50 grams unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon Marmite or Vegemite (or more to taste)
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese (to serve) - see Additional Information below
  • 12 ounces spaghetti
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon Marmite or Vegemite (or more to taste)
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese (to serve) - see Additional Information below

Method

  1. Cook the spaghetti in plenty of boiling salted water, according to the packet instructions.
  2. When the pasta is almost cooked, melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the Marmite/Vegemite and 1 tablespoon of the pasta water, mixing thoroughly to dissolve.
  3. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water; then drain the pasta and pour the Marmite/Vegemite mixture over the drained spaghetti, adding a little reserved pasta water to amalgamate if required. Serve with plenty of grated Parmesan cheese.
  1. Cook the spaghetti in plenty of boiling salted water, according to the packet instructions.
  2. When the pasta is almost cooked, melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the Marmite/Vegemite and 1 tablespoon of the pasta water, mixing thoroughly to dissolve.
  3. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water; then drain the pasta and pour the Marmite/Vegemite mixture over the drained spaghetti, adding a little reserved pasta water to amalgamate if required. Serve with plenty of grated Parmesan cheese.

Additional Information

For vegetarians replace the Parmesan cheese with a vegetarian alternative.

For vegetarians replace the Parmesan cheese with a vegetarian alternative.

Tell us what you think

What 31 Others have said

  • This is great with a fried or poached egg on top.....

    Posted by craig74 on 21st July 2021
  • Great and easy recipe! Had to try, marmite has an unique smell to it but eating and cooking with it is heavenly. We loved it and will make again. Definitely double the amount of marmite for this recipe again.

    Posted by mbsaas on 13th July 2021
  • Made this today. Enjoyed it. Next time a little more Marmite.....

    Posted by vmishep on 11th July 2021
  • I have been making this ever since I saw it on one of your shows many years ago. At first I tried it out of curiosity as I had a jar of abandoned Marmite in the pantry. Now it's one of my favourite pasta recipes! Thank you ever so much!

    Posted by naltra on 5th July 2021
  • Been eating this for years. Absolutely delicious. How can you not love Marmite?

    Posted by Supersapper on 16th September 2020
  • My Mum used to make this in the 1950s when it was a lot easier to get a jar of Marmite than it was to get loads of tomatoes to make a sauce. I hated it myself.

    Posted by Elawin on 11th September 2020
  • Thanks Nigella! This was useful. Love from Norway.

    Posted by Oystein1604 on 10th September 2020
  • Amazingly yummy! Easy peasy. Too salty but don't want to lose Marmite's umami? Delete salt from pasta water.

    In super hurry? After draining the pasta, in still hot pasta pan melt butter then add marmite. Stir. Dump pasta back in pan. Forget the water. Stir it up and eat from the pan.

    Greatness of the creation? It's an excellent both base and stepping point recipe. Add, [or don't!] in any combination or alone: frozen peas; fresh flat leaf...or curly if that's what you have...parsley; baby mixed greens; lemon zest; brown the butter first; for a Vietnamese flair, add roasted chopped peanuts, fresh coriander, thinly sliced scallions, thinly grated and vinegared carrots. So many options.

    Posted by my_biscuit on 6th May 2020
  • Oh my word! This truly is food for the gods! So easy to make but so utterly delicious. I can't wait to eat it again. Works very well with Mafalda Corte pasta to.

    Posted by nici1493 on 29th March 2020
  • As an Australian, one tsp of (Vegemite) just won't cut it. I find that 1 tablespoon tickles the taste buds better, and even then, I need more saltiness. I drown it in parmesan. Very nice.

    Posted by LilianaB on 1st September 2019
  • Could you substitute Bovril for Marmite? It would add more "beefiness". I think I'll try it!

    Posted by Odalisque on 15th October 2018
  • I love this so much. Simple but sensational. I’ve often crumbled in blue cheese for an extra tangy bite.

    Posted by BunnyMayfair on 25th June 2018
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