Spicy Harissa Pasta: A Quick & Easy Dinner For Two
Image Credit: The Secret Supper Society

Harissa, a Tunisian chilli paste made with lots of citrus and garlic, is typically brushed on meats before or while grilling them. The flavours of this North African condiment range from spicy, smoky and slightly sweet and works perfectly with meats like beef, pork or chicken. You could also toss vegetables of your choice in this and roast in a moderately hot oven to eat as a side with your meal. Speaking of which, mid-week meals could feel like such a drag on days when you don’t find yourselves with too much time or energy to function.

A pasta dinner is of course a saviour in moments like these and adding a touch of harissa to yours, gives it a much-needed spice kick to enliven your tastebuds. The dish takes all of 20 minutes to throw together and works like a charm when it needs to be cooked for any last minute dinner additions or if you have a family to feed. Eat it with a bright and citrus-forward side salad or some toasted bread; either way, this is one meal you’d find yourself coming back to more than just once!



  • 350 grams spaghetti/fusilli
  • 100 grams broccoli/mushrooms
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon harissa paste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup bacon bits/shredded chicken/cleaned prawns [optional]
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Salt to taste

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Image Credits: Pepperworld


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add in your pasta of choice. Cook for 7 minutes before adding in the broccoli. Cook everything together for another 2-3 minutes before draining and setting aside. Make sure to keep some pasta water in reserve as you drain the pasta and broccoli. If you end up using mushrooms instead, skip the step of blanching in water.
  • Heat some olive oil in a pan and add the garlic cloves. Sauté for a couple of minutes, until aromatic before adding a dollop of the red harissa paste. Stir into the oil for a minute or two before adding the bacon or chicken. If you choose to use seafood, add the prawns, cook for a minute on each side and remove onto a plate. You can also sauté your mushrooms at this step.
  • Add some pasta water into the pan and deglaze for a few seconds before toppling the pasta and broccoli over into the pan. Add the lemon zest, salt and anything else you may have set aside to this and mix thoroughly, until the harissa coats every piece of pasta.
  • Season adequately with salt and finish off with a bit more pasta water and butter, for a glossy sheen and more flavour. Garnish with plenty of chopped parsley and serve warm with bread or a salad on the side.