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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 more to taste)
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese (to serve)
  • 12 ounces spaghetti
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon marmite (or more to taste)
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese (to serve)

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 and 1 tablespoon of the pasta water, mixing thoroughly to dissolve. 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 and 1 tablespoon of the pasta water, mixing thoroughly to dissolve. 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 29 Others have said

  • 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
  • I loved this--so easy and tasty. I added some left over vegetables and it worked really well. Thanks for such an easy recipe and making me think of Italy when I cook it.

    Posted by har12345 on 15th June 2017
  • This is a firm favourite at our place. My daughter loves it and making it is a breeze. Thanks Nigella for another simple but yum recipe

    Posted by nadee_ms on 27th May 2017
  • Australian here, so I made this with Vegemite after a memory of Nigella cooking this on one of her shows. Only had udon noodles in the house rather than spaghetti (I feel like the Japanese would appreciate the spread's umami-ness anyway) and I can report back that it's just as good!

    Posted by DrinkMelbourne on 20th April 2017
  • Oh my wow! Best thing ever for returning back after a break with no food in my student flat! Had this Tuesday night and will be making it again for my Mum when I break for Spring!

    Posted by HarrietONeill95 on 10th April 2015
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